October 1, 2022

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The controversial start of the Arcade Fire tour saw CBC Music boycott the band

The controversial start of the Arcade Fire tour saw CBC Music boycott the band

Arcade Fire kicked off their tour in Dublin on Tuesday as demands for ticket refunds flooded social media despite allegations of sexual misconduct against singer Win Butler. For its part, music channel CBC Music has confirmed it will stop playing the group’s songs until further notice.

Posted at 2:16 pm.
Updated at 8:28 p.m.

Josie Lapointe

Josie Lapointe
Pres

Vincent Laurin

Vincent Laurin
Pres

In an article published on Sunday, four people told US media outlet Pitchfork that they were victims of sexual misconduct by the Arcade Fire boss. The allegations have been denied by Win Butler, who says he never had a consensual relationship but apologized for the pain he caused by not being “more aware and attentive” to people.

Later in the evening, a CBC Music spokeswoman confirmed that the music channel would be boycotting Arcade Fire because of allegations related to its singer, “until further details of the situation become available.” At least one Toronto music station, Indie88, has made the decision to no longer play the band’s songs.

On ICI Music’s part, although no formal directive was sent to the animators, we are told to be “situationally sensitive”.

“As of now, there is no chance of airing or starting new projects with the artiste. In addition, we leave it up to the groups to make decisions about the music broadcast at their shows. [selon leur mandat]. This work of music editorial judgment is naturally contextual,” said a spokesman for the state-owned company, Mark Pichet.

Cancellation appeals

After Pitchfork’s text was published, several calls were launched to cancel the tour.

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But seeing as the group decided to continue with the shows, many fans said they couldn’t go on stage to applaud them or cheer them on. On Twitter, demands for refunds that directly challenged the ticketing giant abounded on Tuesday.

But hours before the show began, both concerts in Dublin were organized by producer MCD Productions.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Canadian singer Feist took the stage as scheduled. Proceeds from the sale of her wares will go to Dublin Women’s Aid, read a small poster hanging from her to stand.

Arcade Fire then took to the stage at Dublin’s 3Arena to a raucous crowd and some empty seats, and began the show without commenting on the situation.

The group, which performed in Osheka a few weeks ago, is scheduled to perform around 40 shows in Europe and the US this fall. tourism We areHeadlining his most recent album, he’s in Montreal on Dec. 3 at the Bell Center.

Pres Evenko, who hosts the show, asked if cancellation was being considered. “We are currently evaluating the situation,” we were told in an email. Same thing for refund requests: “We will review any requests for refunds. »

disappointment

Daniel Seligman is the artistic director of Pop Montreal, an event closely associated with Arcade Fire from its inception. According to him, it would be very surprising if the tour is cancelled. “Millions have been invested in this and it’s impossible. Even if the band decides to cancel, they can be sued!”

He understands that fans are upset, but he thinks there are other ways to make it known. “They can boycott the band, go to the show and yell at them… Look at Feist, he’s going to give the money from his merch sales to a women’s aid organization in Dublin. »

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He admits that he, too, was upset by the revelations he read on Pitchfork. Especially since it’s predictable, because of the culture that reigns in the music industry.

This rock star lifestyle… you can’t treat people like that, you have to treat them with respect and dignity. The problem is that they are surrounded by people who turn a blind eye, who cover up, who do not act, who are afraid to say something.

Daniel Seligman, Art Director of Pop Montreal

Win Butler reportedly met one of the four people who spoke to Pitchfork during a 2016 event organized by Pop Montreal, Pop vs Jock, a fundraiser for a basketball organization the group has participated in over the years. Reading this information affected Daniel Seligman very badly.

“It’s hard to hear that he used his visit to target an 18-year-old young woman. »

It was also the last time Pop Montreal collaborated with the group he grew up with – after winning at the Grammys, Arcade Fire gave a big free show at the Place des Festivals in 2011.

Photo by Bernard Brault, Press Archives

Arcade Fire during its big show at the Place des Festivals presented as part of Pop Montreal in 2011

“We’ve had a long history with the band, and we’ve done great things,” says Daniel Seligman. “But lately the relationship wasn’t good. People were sick, there were verbal abuses. We didn’t like it as an organization. We felt it wasn’t a good fit anymore, so we’re no longer with them.” We decided not to work.”

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With Canadian Press