There was a swift response from the arts community, and particularly musicians, after the passing of House Bill 2. Some artists and bands cancelled performances to send a message that the state government had crossed a line, while others used their show as an opportunity to condemn the bill’s discrimination.
Under the Radar published a story Tuesday about artists’ decisions on whether to play or not to play in North Carolina after HB2. You can read the full article here, but note the website contains graphic language.
Less than a month after the bill’s passage, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam and Maroon 5 had cancelled upcoming concerts. A few days after the wave of announcements, the report states that Against Me! lead vocalist Laura Jane Grace, a transgender artist, announced the band would be going ahead with their scheduled May 15 show in Durham.
Pulling the plug on their show was not an option, they said, and they would use their performance as a protest against the law and an opportunity to start a dialog within the community. “Visibility is more important than ever,” Grace explained in an interview before the concert, then hit the stage and burned the birth certificate that the law now said was necessary to prove that one was using the correct bathroom.