North Carolina is starting to look like a distinctly un-fun place these days as numerous musical acts have cancelled tour dates in the state in protest of a recently passed law. Pearl Jam today joins a rising chorus — which already includes Ringo Starr, Boston, and the legendary Bruce Springsteen — in objecting to "a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens."
At fault is House Bill 2, signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in March, which strips away discrimination protections for LGBT people and also mandates that transgender people must use bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with the gender on their birth certificate.
Fresh off an April 16th appearance in South Carolina, Pearl Jam has cancelled its scheduled April 20th concert in Raleigh, NC, with a handwritten note articulating "deep consideration and much regret." In our current digital age, the assiduously penned letter resonates with an added air of sincerity and emotion. Writing by hand may be fading out of everyday use, but that just makes it more powerful when a person (or in this case a group of people) wants to express a dearly held and fundamental belief.
Like Springsteen and almost every major tech company, Pearl Jam believes there's a need to "take a stand against prejudice" and even promises to fund local North Carolina groups who are working to repeal the offensive law. All tickets for the April 20th concert will also be refunded.