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 its LGBT citizens.
The state’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act rolls back protection against the transgender community by, among other things, dictating use of public bathrooms by a person’s gender by birth certificate and not their current identity.
The New Jersey musician announced his decision to shut down the Greensboro date on his 2016 The River Tour on Friday via his social media sites.
Springsteen writes: “As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. 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.”
He continues: “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. 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.”
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt backed up The Boss’ decision while attending the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductions in New York on Friday, reports Rolling Stone.
Van Zandt explains: “We just felt the issue was just too important. This really vile and evil discrimination is starting to spread state to state and we thought, ‘We better take a stand right now and catch it early.’”
Springsteen wraps up the North American dates on The River Tour in support of The Ties That Bind: The River Collection – a 7-disc box set that presents an expanded look at his fifth studio record – in New York on April 25 before starting a European run next month that will bring him to the UK for six stadium shows in May and June.
Opinion: Why is Springsteen punishing his fans for their politicians' actions?