On the Beat

Brandi Carlile won’t bypass North Carolina over House Bill 2

And now, we wait.

Bruce Springsteen’s cancellation of his Greensboro show over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 upped the ante for artists with the state on their itineraries. And it inevitably begs the question: Who’s next?

One person who won’t be boycotting North Carolina is Brandi Carlile, an openly gay singer-songwriter who is scheduled to play four dates here in the coming months starting with Merlefest on May 1. She made the announcement on her Facebook page; the complete text is below.

Also still on is Against Me!, a Florida punk band fronted by the transgender woman Laura Jane Grace -- scheduled to play Durham’s Motorco Music Hall on May 15.

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As I’m crossing over the state line into the beautiful state of Massachusetts where I was legally married to my wife four years ago - I’m contemplating Bruce Springsteen and North Carolina - everywhere I’ve gone I’m being asked if I plan to cancel my shows. I should start by saying that I want to be Bruce Springsteen when I grow up. Bruce has decided on principal not to go through with his concert because of thinly veiled legislation having been passed that permits the discrimination of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in NC. I deeply appreciate this, and I want to say on my own behalf thank you for doing what you’re doing guys. These are massive shows and this is big business lost for NC - Bruce is not LGBTQ himself - but is bravely defending those of us that are. This is how we’ve seen the progress that we’ve seen. As artists it’s our responsibility to take cause against those who would oppress our brothers and sisters and defend them using whatever power we possess. Bruce is an artist, but on behalf of NC LGBTQ citizens, also is poignantly depriving NC of the big business his event would bring - well done.

For very different reasons I have decided not to cancel my North Carolina shows.

I’m a small artist, and I’m gay, many of my fans are gay as well.

To cancel my shows in NC would further oppress my fans who are hurt by this legislation, who worked hard to suppress it, and who need a place where they can come together. That’s why we intend to be in Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Asheville, and Greensboro this summer. We’re going to come together, let our voices be heard, not stand down, and make a joyful noise in the face of this insult of a law.

We all have a role to play here. Bruce is playing his beautifully and I respect him. In my own humble way though, I want to witness the protest through music.

See you in NC my friends. XoBC