Dead & Company will perform in North Carolina on June 10, as scheduled. The group announced Thursday via their Facebook that they will keep their date in Charlotte, but will also donate $100,000 to organizations fighting to repeal HB2, or “the Bathroom law,” which was passed this year and dictates which restroom transgender individuals use in public. The band named Equality North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign as the beneficiaries.
“This March, when North Carolina lawmakers passed HB2 and Governor Pat McCrory signed it into law, we categorically objected to it,” their statement says. “We had hoped that by now this abhorrent law would have been repealed. Sadly, it has not. After much thought, consideration and conversation, we feel the most effective way to move forward is to perform as scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 10 and to donate $100,000.00 to organizations engaged in this battle for justice.”
They also outline other, non-financial ways they will continue their protest. “We will assemble a ‘Participation Row’ social action area,” the band writes, “where we’ll host local organizations fighting discrimination and national organizations dedicated to voter registration and protecting the planet. Every fan in attendance will have an opportunity to learn about the true ramifications of the HB2 law, and take meaningful action by registering to vote; to that end we are working on an online community registration site that will assist the HeadCount organization in promoting and simplifying voter registration.”
Their statement ends by asserting the Grateful Dead’s code of acceptance. “Dead shows have always been a safe place for all of our audience to come together through music no matter how they appear or self-identify,” they write. “History shows these values of openness and inclusiveness have served us - and the world around us - well.”
Many artists are protesting HB2, in a variety of ways. Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, and Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato have each cancelled tour stops in the states, while Dave Matthews Band, Cyndi Lauper, and the Lumineers have pledged proceeds from their shows in the area to local, pro-LGBT organizations.
See Dead & Company’s entire statement below.