Bruce Springsteen cancels Greensboro show over HB2
Posted April 8, 2016 3:50 p.m. EDT
Updated April 9, 2016 7:41 a.m. EDT
Greensboro, N.C. — Bruce Springsteen announced on his website Friday he is canceling his Sunday show in Greensboro in opposition to North Carolina's recently passed discrimination law.
In the statement, Springsteen asserted that the law attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their rights are violated in the workplace.
"No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden," the statement said. "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."
Springsteen is the first artist to cancel a show over House Bill 2, but many businesses have canceled plans in the state due to the bill.
Braeburn Pharmaceuticals said they were reconsidering plans for a $25 million expansion on March 31. PayPal canceled plans earlier this week to open an operations center in Charlotte that would have provided 400 jobs.
Springsteen said that canceling the show is a move to show solidarity with those targeted by the law.
"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," the statement said. "It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."
Tickets will be refunded to fans through their original point of purchase.
Officials with the Greensboro Coliseum said they stand to lose about $100,000 in lost revenue because of the canceled show.
In a statement, North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse called the cancelation "bizarre."
"The Greensboro Coliseum has men's restrooms, women's restrooms and presumably family restrooms. The policy passed by the General Assembly rolled back the radical change in bathroom policy by the Charlotte City Council and maintained the status quo," Woodhouse said. "For years, young girls have safely used the restrooms at ACC Tournament games and other events at the Greensboro Coliseum, separated from grown men. The legislature and Governor secured the long standing common policy of safety and security and privacy."
State Senate Democratic Leader Dan T. Blue, Jr. said that Springsteen's announcement is the latest economic blow served to North Carolina since HB2 was passed.
"Springsteen's announcement, coupled with news of companies such as PayPal pulling out of the state, puts a quantifiable measure on the negative consequences of this bill," he said in a statement. "We're losing jobs; we're losing revenue from the loss of major events. We're moving in the wrong direction."