Before the band’s concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mumford and Sons released a letter to fans saying they would donate all profits from the performance to LGBT charities in light of the state’s controversial HB2 law. It read in part, “As a band that relishes welcoming everyone to our shows and promoting tolerance, we do want to take a stand with the people of North Carolina who this week are shouting loudly against intolerance, fear and discrimination.”
Following through on their commitment, Mumford and Sons announced they have set up The Gentlemen of the Road Fund, which will “donate funds to charities fighting for social justice around the world.”
The band wrote on Facebook, “We met with the Mayor of Charlotte and some other charities and action groups while we were in town and will be making donations to the following wonderfully worthy organisations: Equality NC, the oldest LGBT rights action group in the US, Time Out Youth, which creates a safe place for young LGBT people in Charlotte, and the Equal Justice Initiative, a civil rights campaigning group based in Alabama.”
The band told fans to keep watch on their Facebook page for further announcements regarding the fund.
Mumford and Sons wrote in their earlier letter, “Over the years we’ve looked for ways to contribute to the vitality of local communities and, in that spirit, we’re now creating a charitable fund to support those who have made it their mission to pursue love and justice.” They added, “As always, we will open the doors to our show to anyone who wants to come, and are excited to get down with the people of Charlotte.”
HB2 blocks anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and bars transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
Joel McHale, Cyndi Lauper, and Father John Misty also donated profits from their respective events in North Carolina to LGBT groups in protest of HB2, while Bruce Springsteen, Cirque du Soleil, and Pearl Jam are among those who canceled their concerts completely.