Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches are the latest artists to throw their hats into the ring over HB 2, following the Dead & Company and a long string of others. The bands mutually announced this morning that they would not cancel their June 11 and 16 shows in Asheville and Charlotte, respectively.
Instead, the concerts will benefit Southerners on New Ground and Charlotte’s Freedom Center for Social Justice. Both bands are donating the entirety of their profits from the shows.
Though both shows are still on, Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard said that these two concerts will mark his band’s final stops in North Carolina for as long as HB 2 remains in effect.
“We sincerely hope we won’t have to wait long to come back,” Gibbard wrote.
Read the bands’ full statement below.
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.”