Artists end NC concert boycott


Maroon 5

On October 4, 2018, Maroon 5 will be ending its HB2-induced boycott of NC concerts.

As of November 1, many musicians are ending their boycott of North Carolina performances. Beginning last year, these acts canceled concerts in North Carolina due to the installation of House Bill 2, a law invalidating anti-discrimination ordinances for the LGBT community and restricting transgender people’s access to public bathrooms. Bruce Springsteen was the catalyst of the movement, canceling his April 10 show in Greensboro two weeks after HB2 was signed. Artists like Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, Pearl Jam, and Boston followed suit.
Maroon 5, a Los Angeles based pop band, are among the first artists to resume tours in the state. They opposed HB2, saying they felt everyone should be treated equally. With the bill replaced, they have reconsidered their NC performances. On October 4 of next year, their “Red Pill Blues” tour schedule includes a concert at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.
Sanderson junior Julia Holoman stated, “[it’s] unfair to deny fans a concert that they purchased tickets to see.” It’s no secret that many people love concerts, and canceling them to prove a point could be seen as either noble or annoying. “I understand that an artist may be trying to convey a message by refusing to perform,” Holoman stated, “but having differing opinions is also a part of life.” Others have seen the concert cancellation wave in a different light, convinced it’s good for artists to stand up for what they believe in.
Artists such as Joe Walsh, Jimmy Buffett, the Dixie Chicks, and Brandi Carlile didn’t cancel, but made anti-HB2 statements at their North Carolina concert. Others, like Selena Gomez, gave North Carolina concert profits to LGBT charities or other organizations, both making a statement against HB2 and supporting people’s rights.
Nevertheless, HB2 has been replaced, and musical acts are slowly making their way back into North Carolina. Stay tuned for more artists and bands stopping in NC during future tours.