Brow Beat

Pearl Jam, Boston, and Cirque du Soleil Cancel North Carolina Shows Over Anti-LGBTQ Law

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder performing somewhere other than North Carolina.

Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

The list of ways North Carolinians can amuse themselves (when they’re not busy passing vicious, misguided anti-LGBTQ laws) just got a little shorter. Joining earlier cancellations by Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, Seattle rock band Pearl Jam, Massachusetts rockers Boston, and circus troupe Cirque du Soleil have all canceled upcoming appearances in North Carolina to protest HB2, the law pushed through in a special legislative session to gut LGBT nondiscrimination protections across the state. 

Cirque du Soleil made its announcement via Facebook on Friday, canceling shows in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh:

Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all.

Boston made the jump Monday, canceling three upcoming concerts. Band founder Tom Scholz elaborated his reasons on the band’s website.

HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves.  Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry.  With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.

But it was Pearl Jam who went the furthest in their condemnation of HB2, in a handwritten statement posted to its Facebook page Monday:

The HB2 law that was recently passed is a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens. The practical implications are expansive and its negative impact upon basic human rights is profound. We want America to be a place where no one can be turned away from a business because of who they love or fired from their job for who they are.

There’s still hope for music-loving North Carolinians, however, as long as they’re Parrotheads. Jimmy Buffett will play shows in Raleigh and Charlotte this week as scheduled. So for all you North Carolina state legislators and governors out there, here’s a link to an infinitely looping version of “Volcano” to listen to while you think about what you’ve done.