Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band will be touring this summer, but the former Beatle has canceled the North Carolina date on the tour (June 18 at Koka Booth Ampitheatre) in protest of the state's anti-LGBT law HB 2. Says Ringo, "I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love."
Bruce Springsteen canceled his upcoming NC show for similar reasons, as has Bryan Adams. Other artists like Jimmy Buffett, Greg Allman and LGBT activist Cyndi Lauper have released statements decrying the law but will play North Carolina anyway, all basically saying fans shouldn't be punished. Here's Buffett's statement from his Margaritaville blog:
As a traveling musician for 40 years, I played many shows years ago, in many states where you could go to prison for 20 years for smoking a joint. It was a stupid law based on stupid assumptions. Time has fortunately reversed a lot of that way of thinking. But now another stupid law, based on stupid assumptions, has sprung up like kudzu in North Carolina, where we are scheduled to play shows next week in Raleigh and Charlotte.
North Carolina was there for me as a performer in the early days and I have always felt a loyalty to fans there that goes deep. Rightly so, a lot of people are reacting to the stupid law. I happen to believe that the majority of our fans in North Carolina feel the way I do about that law. I am lucky enough to have found a job in the business of fun. These shows were booked and sold out long before the governor signed that stupid law. I am not going to let stupidity or bigotry trump fun for my loyal fans this year. We will be playing in Raleigh and Charlotte next week.
That said, as for the future of shows in North Carolina, it would definitely depend on whether that stupid law is repealed. That is up to the good people of North Carolina and there are many, and I am confident that they will see that the right thing will be done. As Forrest said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”