Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Boston cancel three North Carolina concerts over transgender law

Boston have announced the cancellation of three concerts in North Carolina next month in protest over the state’s newly-passed laws limiting the rights of its transgender citizens.

Band leader Tom Scholz released a statement confirming that 40th anniversary tour dates in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh have been shut down over the human rights issues related to the HB2 law.

“While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating forty years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important,” says Scholz. “It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so called ‘North Carolina bathroom law.’”

“HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves,” Scholz continued. “Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.”

“My sincere apologies to our fans who have already made arrangements to attend these shows,” added the guitarist. “The removal of the shows from our schedule is a major disappointment. It has always been my wish to inspire people with Boston's music. Hopefully the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future. We look forward to the day that the state government of North Carolina will come to its senses and treat ALL individuals with equal freedom in their pursuit of happiness here in the United States.”

Tickets for the cancelled Boston shows will be refunded at point of purchase. Tickets purchased online or by phone will be automatically refunded.

Boston will launch their 40th anniversary tour on April 29 in Hollywood, FL.

The group join a growing list of performers – including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr and others – who are taking economic action against the state over the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act passed by Governor Pat McCrory that blocks transgender individuals from using public bathrooms that match their gender identity, stops cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people, and bans state lawsuits for any type of workplace discrimination.

The News & Observer in Raleigh reports the economic losses in Wake County alone over HB2 have quadrupled over the last seven days, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau estimates the County alone has lost more than $3.1 million because of HB2.

“We continue to receive concerns from definite and tentative groups regarding HB2,” said Dennis Edwards, the bureau’s president and CEO. “We also have a great deal of concern about those groups that were going to consider Raleigh and North Carolina but have now taken us off of their list of consideration due to the bill.”

According to an NBC analysis, North Carolina has lost between $39.7 million and $186 million due to companies and events not coming to the state in protest.

See also:

Boston announce 40th anniversary tour
VIDEO: Boston issue 2015 tour promo
Boston announces 2015 tour
Boston guitarist featured on Secret Life web series
Search Boston at hennemusic