On the Beat

Dead and Death Cab: Dead-set against HB2

Dead & Company, Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are the latest acts to weigh in against North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.

In a statement calling the law “abhorrent,” Dead & Company (which is led by surviving members of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band the Grateful Dead) announced it would still play its June 10 show in Charlotte and donate $100,000 of the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina. The complete text is below.

Death Cab & Chvrches, meanwhile, will play their June 16 Charlotte show with a similar anti-HB2 agenda -- benefiting Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground.

As far as concert cancellations, things have actually quieted down a bit since last month; there was one week when pop-rock band Maroon 5 and classical violinist Itzhak Perlman both announced they were calling off North Carolina shows over HB2.

But since then a number of acts have, like Dead & Company, announced that they’re playing under protest and turning their shows into anti-HB2 benefits -- including Cyndi Lauper, Dave Matthews Band, Joe Walsh and Lumineers.

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This March, when North Carolina lawmakers passed HB2 and Governor Pat McCrory signed it into law, we categorically objected to it. We had hoped that by now this abhorrent law would have been repealed. Sadly, it has not.

After much thought, consideration and conversation, we feel the most effective way to move forward is to perform as scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 10 and to donate $100,000.00 to organizations engaged in this battle for justice – the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina.

Additionally, we will assemble a "Participation Row" social action area, where we'll host local organizations fighting discrimination and national organizations dedicated to voter registration and protecting the planet. Every fan in attendance will have an opportunity to learn about the true ramifications of the HB2 law, and take meaningful action by registering to vote; to that end we are working on an online community registration site that will assist the HeadCount organization in promoting and simplifying voter registration.

Dead shows have always been a safe place for all of our audience to come together through music no matter how they appear or self-identify. History shows these values of openness and inclusiveness have served us - and the world around us - well.

We’ve never been a band that’s spoken many words when we’re on stage. But we hope that our actions, and the actions of our fans, will ring louder than ever before.

With Love and Respect,

Dead & Company

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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