Bruce Springsteen pulls out of North Carolina concert over anti-LGBT law

‘Some things are more important than a rock show’ Springsteen says as band joins notable businesses in condemning controversial discriminatory law

Bruce Springsteen on Friday cancelled an upcoming concert in North Carolina because of a controversial anti-LGBT law that critics say legalizes discrimination.

Springsteen was scheduled to perform on Sunday in Greensboro, but said he was cancelling the show because he and the E Street Band “want to show solidarity for those freedom fighters” protesting against the law.

“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 said in a statement.

North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act allows governments to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and prevents municipal governments from creating local laws that would offer these groups protections. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on biological sex.

Republican state legislators pushed the law through North Carolina’s general assembly and it was signed by the state’s governor, Pat McCrory, in just one day. Three people have filed a federal lawsuit against the act.

Major businesses including Bank of America and American Airlines, which are based in Charlotte, quickly condemned the law. This week, PayPal cancelled plans to open a new operation center in Charlotte, which would have employed more than 400 people.

“Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments,” Springsteen said. “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 apologized for cancelling the show and said tickets will be refunded.

“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,” Springsteen 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.”


Amanda Holpuch in New York

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Pearl Jam join Springsteen in cancelling North Carolina show over anti-LGBT law
Band follow Ringo Starr and Bryan Adams in calling off concert, calling new law ‘a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination’

Guardian music and agencies

19, Apr, 2016 @7:35 AM

Article image
Bruce Springsteen called 'bully' for protesting anti-LGBT law
North Carolina Republican Mark Walker slams Springsteen’s for ‘bully tactics’ after musician cancels concert in the state following the passage of a bill that critics say discriminate against LGBT people

Guardian music

11, Apr, 2016 @9:10 AM

Article image
Ringo Starr cancels North Carolina concert in protest over anti-LGBT law
The former Beatles drummer has joined Bruce Springsteen in refusing to perform in the state, which recently passed a bill many see as discriminatory

Guardian staff

13, Apr, 2016 @9:23 PM

Article image
North Carolina could lose millions in federal funding over anti-LGBT law
Governor Pat McCrory has until Monday to drop law requiring transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their birth gender or face penalties

Edward Helmore

05, May, 2016 @5:04 PM

Article image
North Carolina reels from business backlash to anti-LGBT law
Raleigh’s convention center has lost $2.4m of bookings and big names in music are staying away from the state despite the governor’s attempt to backpedal

Edward Helmore

15, Apr, 2016 @12:36 PM

Article image
Obama says overturn anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi
President joins critics questioning laws that focused on whether public bathrooms could only be used by people in accordance with their biological sex

Matthew Teague

22, Apr, 2016 @7:35 PM

Article image
Justice Department says North Carolina anti-LGBT law violates Civil Rights Act
Letter to Republican governor Pat McGrory said HB2, which limits protections to LGBT people, violates the landmark 1964 act and cannot be enforced

Matthew Teague, southern correspondent

04, May, 2016 @10:20 PM

Article image
Bruce Springsteen unveils anti-Trump anthem That’s What Makes Us Great
The Boss has put his longstanding antagonisms with the US president into a song, released with collaborator Joe Grushecky

Guardian music

20, Apr, 2017 @10:36 AM

Article image
North Carolina Republican condemned over ‘repugnant’ anti-LGBTQ tirade
Democrats and gay rights groups groups call out Mark Robinson for ‘dangerous’ remarks but lieutenant governor remains defiant

Maya Yang

16, Oct, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
Dolly Parton denounces North Carolina 'bathroom bill'
Country singer joins growing number of musicians in opposing controverisal new measure barring local governments from creating LGBT protections

Guardian music

10, Jun, 2016 @2:13 PM