Dave Matthews Band Pledge Charlotte Gig Proceeds to Equality Groups

 Dave Matthews Band said they will carry forward with their May 27th gig at Charlotte's PNC Music Pavilion, but donate a portion of proceeds to five charitable organizations defending equality: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)Lambda LegalACLU of North CarolinaEquality NC and Time Out Youth.

The band selected these groups with the assistance of NC Needs You, an organization that encourages performers to keep their North Carolina dates and raise awareness and resources in response to HB2. The law removes local legal protections for LGBT people and requires transgender people to use public facilities matching the gender listed on their birth certificates.

Southern Cities Split With States on Social Issues

“The people who would go to those shows from a few hours away now aren’t going to go to the restaurants, or go to the bar and drink craft beer,” said Grayson Haver Currin, an editor of a North Carolina alternative weekly. He and his wife, Tina, recently started a website encouraging artists to keep their commitments in the state, but to donate proceeds to gay rights groups.

Op-Ed: North Carolina’s Transgender Fight Needs Musicians to Show Up

The morning after that announcement, Tina and I hopped online, bought and built a simple website called “North Carolina Needs You,” and wrote a short statement encouraging artists to come to North Carolina and use their platform to raise money and awareness for these issues, rather than cancel the date and simply move on. Almost immediately, responses began to arrive.

We have discovered, it seems, that people are desperate to lift North Carolina out of our dilemma, to give this human rights crisis a shot of ancillary strength. Yes, it’s tempting to walk away, middle fingers in the air, and to boycott a state whose leaders act like they don’t want anyone who doesn’t think exactly the way they do. But right here and right now, North Carolina needs you.

Group Asks Artists to Keep N.C. Shows After Springsteen Pulls Out Over Law

Bruce Springsteen may be the latest performer to boycott North Carolina over its law seen as discriminatory against the LGBT community, but now one group is urging performers not to follow The Boss' lead. 

The organization North Carolina Needs You started a new initiative over the weekend aimed at encouraging performers to keep their shows in the state in order to generate money locally and speak out against the controversial legislation.

Boycott or not? For artists outraged by N.C.’s bathroom law, it’s complicated.

Granted, that’s how boycotts are typically designed to work — by sending reverberations through the economy and energizing opposition among regular citizens and business interests. Grayson Haver Currin and Tina Haver Currin, an activist couple who launched the North Carolina Needs You website this month, say Springsteen made the right call. Still, they’re encouraging other artists to keep their dates.