Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina show over transgender law

Bruce Springsteen has cancelled his April 10 concert in Greensboro, North Carolina in protest over the state’s newly-passed laws limiting the rights of transgender citizens.

The state’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act 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.

Springsteen announced his decision to shut down the show on Friday via his social media sites.

“As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday,” he writes. “As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace.

“No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments.”

“Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters,” Springsteen continues. “As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Springsteen’s cancellation brings more negative headlines and economic pressure to North Carolina and its Republican lawmakers – including Governor Pat McCrory – for creating and passing HB2.

More than 15,000 concert tickets were sold and the cancellation will cost the Greensboro Coliseum an estimated net revenue loss of $100,000, according to the venue.

Governors in some nearby states have banned official business travel to North Carolina, while over 80 companies have condemned the law, with some – including PayPal – cancelling plans to expand their operations in the state.

The Greensboro show is part of Springsteen’s 2016 The River Tour in support of December’s release of “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection”, a 7-disc collection of material from the sessions for 1980’s double album “The River.”

The North American leg wraps up at the end of the month before Springsteen heads to Europe for dates starting next month.

See also:

Bruce Springsteen autobiography due this fall
Bruce Springsteen expands The River tour
Bruce Springsteen offers free downloads from 1980 concert tour
VIDEO: Bruce Springsteen performs on Saturday Night Live
Search Bruce Springsteen at hennemusic