The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Bruce Springsteen battles NC law

On Friday, Bruce Springsteen announced the cancellation of Sunday night’s Greensboro stop of The River Tour in response to the passing of House Bill 2.

“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,” Springsteen said in a statement on Facebook.

He said he’s opting out of the performance to show solidarity with North Carolinians fighting against the legislation.

“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,” he said. “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Refunds are available for the nearly 15,000 fans, many of whom are UNC students, including sophomore Gray Forrester.

Forrester and a friend purchased floor seats in February and planned to meet other UNC students at the show.

“Initially I was really bummed out because it was two days before,” he said.

But Forrester found Springsteen’s actions to be in character for the rocker.

“In retrospect, I’m not really surprised considering Bruce Springsteen is arguably one of the more political figures since about the 1980s,” he said.

After Springsteen’s announcement, comedian Joel McHale told his audience at the Durham Performing Arts Center on Friday night that he would donate all of his earnings from the show to the LGBTQ Center of Durham.

“We had no idea in advance,” said Helena Cragg, the chairperson of the center’s board of directors.

She said Springsteen’s cancellation likely prompted McHale to take action.

It seems like because of Bruce Springsteen’s decision, he really reflected on it that day and tried to get a sense of what to do,” she said. “He ended up discovering we existed, and it sort of happened from there.”

Cragg said both artists are helping in different ways.

“The way Joel McHale handled it allows us to move forward in a very grass-roots way — his decision will have a huge impact for us and help make a wrong right with the people who are impacted,” she said.

“But someone of the magnitude of Bruce Springsteen is definitely sending signals, signals that will get the governor and General Assembly to pay attention to the impact of HB2.”



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