Springsteen Cancels NC Show to Protest ‘Bathroom Law’

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Bruce Springsteen

Photo source: Bruce Springsteen Official Facebook page

“Some things are more important than a rock show,” said Bruce Springsteen on canceling his concert tonight (4/10) in Greensboro, NC. And to him that includes “this fight against prejudice and bigotry – which is happening as I write.”

The gesture protests the state’s recently enacted House Bill 2, known as the “bathroom law” as it requires transgender individuals to use public bathrooms for the gender on their birth certificates. It also bars LGBT citizens and other minorities from suing over human rights violations in the workplace, say opponents.

“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,” said Springsteen in a statement. He is joined in opposition to the law by executives for such companies as Starbucks, Facebook, Apple, Citibank and many others that have signed a letter to the state’s governor asking for the law to be repealed. Paypal canceled plans to open an operations center in Greensboro in protest to the law. Other firms and individuals in entertainment say they will not do business in North Carolina if the law remains in effect.

E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt spoke in support of the move on Friday night (4/8) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. “You never want to disappoint fans. But this evil and vile discrimination is starting to spread state to state. We better take a stand now, early, and try to stop it or at least set some kind of example for others to do the same.”

The cancellation does have a direct economic effect. A spokesperson for the venue, the Greensboro Coliseum, said the hall and its vendors stand to lose some $100,000 from the cancellation. Tickets will be refunded.

Greensboro bookstore owner Brian Lampkin told the Greensboro News & Record that fans will miss a chance to see a rock legend perform. “The loss is immense, because he’s 66 years old – how many more opportunities are there going to be? But yes, of course, I just love the guy for what he does and standing up like this. It hurts, but I’m glad he did it.”

The U.S. congressman that represents the city, Mark Walker, said that Springsteen is a “bully” for canceling. “It’s disappointing he’s not following through on his commitments,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve got other artists coming soon — Def Leppard, Justin Bieber.”

Springsteen said his decision “is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Best Classic Bands Staff

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