Brandi Carlile Won’t Cancel North Carolina Concerts in Response to ‘Bathroom Law’
Following Bruce Springsteen's cancellation of his shows in North Carolina in response to the state's new so-called "bathroom law," the music industry has been buzzing about whether more acts will follow suit. Brandi Carlile has decided that she will continue with planned concerts in the Tar Heel State -- but not because she's in favor of the law.
North Carolina's HB2, known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, was signed last month by Gov. Pat McCrory and dictates that people must use the bathrooms that match the sex indicated on their birth certificates. Opponents of the law (which include Springsteen) argue that it's discriminatory toward the transgender and LGTBQ communities.
"I deeply appreciate [Springsteen's decision to cancel his concert], 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 N.C. -- 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," Carlile -- who says she "want[s] to be Bruce Springsteen when I grow up" -- writes on social media. "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 N.C. LGBTQ citizens, also is poignantly depriving N.C. of the big business his event would bring -- well done."
However, Carlile -- who is openly gay -- notes that she's decided not to cancel her North Carolina shows "for every different reasons."
"I'm a small artist, and I'm gay, many of my fans are gay as well. To cancel my shows in N.C. 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," she explains. "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."
Carlile concludes by stating, "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 N.C. my friends."
Carlile will soon embark on a co-headlining tour with Old Crow Medicine Show, and she also has several of her own dates sprinkled in, too. On May 1, she's scheduled for MerleFest in Wilkesboro, N.C., on May 7, she'll play Greensboro, N.C.'s White Oak Amphitheatre. On May 21, she'll perform at the Fillmore Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. On Facebook, the singer says that, through her Looking Out Foundation, proceeds from these concerts will be donated to the ACLU Foundation of North Carolina; she'll also invite "several grassroots organizations" to be part of the events.
Numerous performers in addition to Springsteen have spoken out against such laws, or cancelled concerts in response, including Bryan Adams and Jimmy Buffett. Additionally, some cities' mayors -- including those of New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Honolulu and Santa Fe -- have formed Mayors Against Discrimination, while celebrities such as Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, writer John Grisham and others have taken a stance against the laws.
Country Stars Who Have Come Out