North Carolina Needs You is here to encourage artists of all kinds, from musicians and comedians to dance troupes and festival organizers, to keep their dates in North Carolina—and even to schedule new ones—in order to generate the social and financial capital necessary to win in November and beyond.
On Thursday, April 14, an exciting message arrived in North Carolina Needs You’s inbox. Duran Duran, scheduled to play in Charlotte two days later, wanted to talk. The band had debated canceling its show, but instead wanted to know how it could enhance the fight for equality in the Tar Heel state. In concert with band management, North Carolina Needs You drafted a list of recommendations, including voter registration and a sizable donation to nonprofits doing work with progressive politics in the state and organizations doing work within the LGBTQ community in Charlotte. Not only did the band do all of these things without hesitation, but also they brought a representative from Equality NC onstage in order to sign a petition to send to the North Carolina General Assembly. They did this all in front of an alternating rainbow-colored and trans-colored American flag. It was a beautiful moment, a spark in what we hope is a large movement to unseat Pat McCrory and his regressive cronies in 2016 and beyond. You can read the band's statement here.
MUMFORD & SONS
Less than forty-eight hours after North Carolina Needs You was launched, Mumford & Sons reached out about a show only a few days later in Charlotte. Following Bruce Springsteen’s decision, the band debated canceling its Charlotte show. But after a series of extended phone calls with North Carolina Needs You, Mumford & Sons carried on, not only issuing a statement in support of equality in North Carolina (the first political statement in its decade-long career) but also donating profits from a sold-out arena show of more than 14,000 fans to local nonprofits, including Equality NC. The band has pledged to start a long-term program meant to bolster such efforts around the world, too, and even opened up its list of contacts to support North Carolina Needs You’s efforts to win back North Carolina. Thank you, Mumford & Sons, for your dedication to the fight for social justice and your support of North Carolina.
CHAD DICKERSON, CEO OF ETSY
Chad, a North Carolina native, gave us a call to talk strategy and learn more about what's going on in his home state. After our call, he published this thoughtful response to HB2. Chad is sponsoring a May 15th benefit show at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw to raise money for Equality NC and QORDS. He also invited legislators to visit Etsy and see the company's gender-inclusive restrooms in action.
THROWING SHADE PODCAST
Bryan and Erin of Throwing Shade reached out in search of a local organization who might need their support. A day before we spoke, news reports indicated a massive increase in call volume to local LGBTQ centers and suicide prevention hotlines due to issues associated with HB2. We connected them with the LGBTQ Center of Chapel Hill, which operates one such hotline in the city they will perform their show. They plan to donate all proceeds from their performance at DSI to the Center.
OF MONSTERS AND MEN
In late April, the Icelandic band got in touch to plan benefit opportunities for their July show in Raleigh. The band will play the 6,000-seat Red Hat Amphitheater. We connected them with the LGBTQ Center of Raleigh, and they plan to donate proceeds from merchandise sales to the organization.
On May 8, Animal Collective performed at The Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C. In advance of their show, North Carolina Needs You connected them with Progress North Carolina Action, who attended the concert with an information booth and petition. In an effort to raise awareness and help those fighting for equality, the band decided to make recordings of two recent shows available for download in a “pay what you want” model. All proceeds from the downloads benefit Progress N.C. The band also made a statement on their website and social media channels about the partnership.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
A portion of the proceeds from Dave Matthews Band's May 27 concert at PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC will be donated via the band's Bama Works Fund to five charitable organizations: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lambda Legal, ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC, and Time Out Youth. Dave Matthews Band identified these organizations with the assistance of NC Needs You, an organization that encourages artists to keep their dates in North Carolina in order to bring awareness and resources to the fight for equality in response to House Bill 2.