Bruce Springsteen quite rightly celebrated as one of the most generous, fan-friendly musicians out there. He and the E-Street Band have poured their hearts and souls into massive three-hour sets for decades, and few fans – if any – have ever been left wanting.
Fans in Greensboro, North Carolina, however, have just woken up to the news that tomorrow’s show will be cancelled.
Springsteen released a statement on his Facebook page speaking against the state’s new laws, which restricts which bathrooms transgender people are allowed to use.
Fan responses were extremely and predictably divided in response.
“Bad move Boss,” said one fan. “Many people will miss a chance on seeing a great show because of the ignorance of a few lawmakers. Music should be bigger than politics.”
Others, however, were extremely understanding:
“My kids are disappointed and there were a few tears (we were heading down as a family to celebrate a birthday at this show.)” said another fan. “But a proud moment: Our 8 year old son said ‘That makes sense’.”
“As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday,” said Springsteen.
“As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the ‘bathroom’ law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden.
“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.
“Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. 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.
“As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. 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.
“It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”