After the passage of HB2, North Carolina’s discriminatory anti-trans bathroom law, touring musicians have found a number of different ways to respond. They’ve issued statements, canceled North Carolina shows, and turned those shows into protests. And in a joint statement, beloved indie trios Death Cab For Cutie and Chvrches, both of whom have shows coming up in the state, have now issued a joint statement saying that, while they’re both playing those planned shows, they don’t intend to make any money from them. Instead, both groups are turning their shows into benefits, raising money for LGBT rights organizations. Here’s the compete statement:
We, Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are deeply saddened by the recent passage of North Carolina’s hateful and dangerous House Bill 2 (aka, HB2 or the “bathroom law.”). We are appalled by how Governor Pat McCrory and his conservative cronies have stoked the flames of fear around an undocumented, non-issue (i.e., sexual predators posing as transgender for the purpose of molesting children) as a way to not only discriminate against transgender persons but also to undermine the constitutional rights of North Carolina’s entire LGBT community. This nefarious brand of bigotry is embarrassing for the state of North Carolina and has no place in this great nation.
Since the passage of this horrific legislation, we have been deliberating as to what to do about our show together in Charlotte on June 16th as well as Death Cab for Cutie’s show in Asheville on June 11th. While we whole-heartedly support the decisions of our contemporaries to cancel their upcoming appearances in political protest, we have decided to honor our commitments and play. These shows will now be staged as benefits for two terrific North Carolina based organizations, Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground (SONG), whom we admire for their tireless defense of LGBT rights in the state of North Carolina. We will not be taking a single dime from these shows. All profits will be donated to these important organizations.
“We have absolutely loved playing in North Carolina over the past 17 years,” says Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, “Not only have the crowds always been amazing but we have met so many wonderful people who remain friends to this day. Not to mention that the music of Chapel Hill’s Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and countless others have been integral to the ethos and sound of our band. And so it is with a heavy heart that we announce these shows in Asheville and Charlotte will be our last in North Carolina as long as HB2 stands. We sincerely hope we won’t have to wait long to come back”.
“We are incredibly distressed by HB2 and all that has been happening in North Carolina, but are also heartened to hear about so many people fighting to create positive change,” stated Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry. “I know that our fans will join us and Death Cab in promoting equality, empathy and understanding between people, and we are proud to be supporting Freedom Center for Social Justice and Southerners On New Ground at this show.
“We know that all of us have a role to play in creating a world free from fear where attacks like HB2 are no longer feasible,” says Elias Lyles of Southerners On New Ground. “Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are acting in solidarity by using their concerts in North Carolina to lift up the voices and work of southern LGBTQ people of color, immigrants, and working class folks.”
If you are not able to attend the shows but are interested in donating to these organizations, you can do so here:
About The Organizations:
Freedom Center for Social Justice: Through established programs and initiatives that counter the effects of poverty and all forms of oppression, the Freedom Center for Social Justice addresses social, economic and other justice needs within the LGBTQ community, helping to create true culture change within communities, businesses, organizations and institutions that serve and connect to some of the most marginalized.
Southerners On New Ground: Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South. We believe that we are bound together by a shared desire for ourselves, each other, and our communities to survive and thrive. We believe that Community Organizing is the best way for us to build collective power and transform the South. Out of this belief we are committed to building freedom movements rooted in southern traditions like community organizing, political education, storytelling, music, breaking bread, resistance, humor, performance, critical thinking, and celebration.
Death Cab For Cutie play Ashveille’s US Cellular Center 6/11. Chvrches play Charlotte’s Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre 6/16.