On the Beat

Boston: Your HB2-inspired cancellation du jour

Tom Scholz and the band Boston in concert Friday night, August 22, 2014 at Raleigh, NC's Red Hat Amphitheater.
Tom Scholz and the band Boston in concert Friday night, August 22, 2014 at Raleigh, NC's Red Hat Amphitheater. ssharpe@newsobserver.com

Boston is the latest musical act to cancel North Carolina over House Bill 2.

The venerable classic-rock band, touring to mark the 40-year anniversary of its 1976 debut, was to have played three North Carolina dates including May 6 at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. But the band canceled with the statement below. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase.

Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Ani DiFranco and Cirque du Soleil are among the entertainers to call off North Carolina shows this month. The controversial law removed local anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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BOSTON CANCELS 3 MAY NORTH CAROLINA SHOWS FROM THEIR TOUR

While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating forty years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important. It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so called “North Carolina bathroom law.”

HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves. Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.

My sincere apologies to our fans who have already made arrangements to attend these shows. The removal of the shows from our schedule is a major disappointment. It has always been my wish to inspire people with BOSTON’s music. Hopefully the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future. We look forward to the day that the state government of North Carolina will come to its senses and treat ALL individuals with equal freedom in their pursuit of happiness here in the United States.

-- Tom Scholz

North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.

 

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