Band Maroon 5 cancels North Carolina shows because of HB2

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Saturday, May 21, 2016
Maroon 5 cancels
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Citing HB2, Maroon 5 will not play in Charlotte and Raleigh.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Staff inside PNC Arena took down promotional signs for Friday afternoon and a notice was posted online after multi-platinum-selling and Grammy award-winning rock band Maroon 5 announced it is canceling two concerts in the Tar Heel State because of House Bill 2.

The band was supposed to play in Charlotte on Sept. 11 and PNC Arena on Sept. 12.

Frontman Adam Levine and his bandmates issued a statement:

"We have announced that we will be canceling our upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina because of the recent passage of the HB2 legislation. This as a difficult decision for us to make as a band. We don't want to penalize our fans in North Carolina by not performing for them, but in the end it comes down to what we feel is morally right as we feel everyone should be treated equally."

PNC Arena would not comment on the cancelation.

Three other concerts have been canceled at this venue since HB2 became law. Pearl Jam, Cirque de Soleil, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas have also canceled events.

"Hundreds of concerts have been successfully performed across North Carolina, including Beyonce, over the past few weeks since the law passed. We may never know why Maroon 5 waited until weeks later to make their political statement, but at this point, the only people they are hurting by hypocritically targeting North Carolina for selective outrage are their fans and the hardworking men and women servicing these shows while they keep tour dates overseas - even in Russia," said Ricky Diaz, campaign spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory.

A Durham business is also protesting the law by pulling out of the Got to Be NC Festival at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Fullsteam, which is based in Durham, canceled. The owner tells ABC11 he can't participate in the state-sponsored festivities until HB2 is repealed.

"If a vendor makes a decision not to participate, that's entirely up to them and we'll respect that decision. But we have a lot of vendors that are here and going to take advantage of this opportunity," said State Fair spokespersons Brian Long.

A new regional initiative has been launched in an effort to stop the economic bleeding. Chambers in Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh are teaming up for the "All Are Welcome" campaign. The towns are promoting the Triangle's commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equality.

"Diversity is really important. You need different people from different backgrounds and different life experiences," said Raleigh Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Vernessa Roberts. "(We're saying) I'm going to accept you how you are and I'm going to be happy that you're here and make you feel welcome."

HB2 was designed to block a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, part of which allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with. The law also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from anti-discrimination protections and blocks municipalities from adopting their own anti-discrimination and living wage rules.


Supporters say the law is a "common sense" measure designed to protect people's privacy when they use restrooms.

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