Duran Duran did some soul searching recently concerning whether or not they would follow in Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr’s footsteps and cancel their show in North Carolina over the passing of discriminatory HB2 in the state.
The band released a statement on their website several days ago explaining why their upcoming concert in Charlotte, which took place last night, would go ahead as planned. It read:
With respect to the current storm which is howling through this State, we considered cancelling our show on Saturday, but decided to go ahead, both for the sake of our fans and to support those in North Carolina who feel as strongly as we do about this issue. We see this as an opportunity to make the following statement.
Yes here it is again, just plain old fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression, the same old kind that’s blighted the human race, in varying degrees, for all of its history. Duran Duran is opposed to bigotry and discrimination in all of its ugly forms, and so it follows that we are opposed to the basic premise of HB2. We support the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community, to have equal opportunities. We support their rights to live free, happy, fulfilled lives. If you live in this State and feel the same way, we urge you to register, so that you can vote; so that your voice can be heard. We urge you to sign this petition which will be presented at the General Assembly meeting on April 25th in North Carolina. You have the power to repeal this outdated and cruel legislation.
The band also mentioned that there would be tables manned by Equality NC and North Carolina Needs You, where there would be information about HB2 and how to fight against it, including a petition concertgoers could sign calling for its repeal.
North Carolina Needs You is a new organization encouraging performers against HB2 not to cancel their shows in the state and helping connect them with like-minded nonprofits, such as the aforementioned Equality NC, which is part of a lawsuit against the bill, along with the ACLU and Lambda Legal.
During Saturday night’s show at the PNC Music Pavilion, the band took a moment to read that statement onstage and called up Equality NC’s Matt Hirschy, who brought with him the petition to repeal HB2 which the band then signed.
After each band member had signed the petition they played their song “Save a Prayer,” dedicating it to LGBT people.
Hirschy took to Facebook after the event and wrote, “To answer your questions – I’m still shaking.”
He later posted photos and a more complete reaction.
Duran Duran also spotlighted the Charlotte LGBT youth organization Time Out Youth in their online statement, asking fans to do like they have done and support the group, which they said, “do incredible work with LGBT youth in the area.”