GREENSBORO, NC (WBTV) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band announced Friday that they are canceling a North Carolina performance over House Bill 2. The show was scheduled for April 10, in Greensboro.
"As you, my fans, know I'm scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the "bathroom" law," the singer wrote in a statement on his website. "HB2 - known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act - dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace."
The singer wrote that "No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. 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 wrote that he and the band were joining the growing list of people fighting to overturn the legislation.
"Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters," Springsteen wrote. "As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th."
The singer ended his statement, "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. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."
Some fans, like Executive Editor for Charlotte Magazine Michael Graff, were surprised by the announcement.
"A few of us were going to get together and have a nice Sunday night with the boss, but now it's not happening," Graff told WBTV. "I never thought it would happen, and I sort of thought we had passed the window where it would happen. Certainly not Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock."
Graff said he doesn't think anyone could have foreseen the "intense backlash" the state has received over HB2.
"Charlotte is a city that's built on moving forward, and this week we have seen the breaks lock up on a city that's been moving forward for a long time," he said. "At some point, I think lawmakers will have to decide that these are not veiled threats anymore - that we are actually losing money."