Maroon 5 has become the latest big-name act to join a growing list of performing artists who have canceled shows in North Carolina to protest the state’s controversial LGBT law, House Bill 2.
In a statement issued by Live Nation and posted on its website Friday morning, the band wrote: “We will be canceling our upcoming shows in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina because of the recent passage of the HB2 legislation.
“This was 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.”
The concerts were scheduled to take place Sept. 11 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte and Sept. 12 at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Live Nation said ticketholders can obtain refunds from whatever outlet those tickets were purchased from; seats bought online and by phone will be automatically refunded.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign was swift to respond to the cancellation on Friday morning.
“Hundreds of concerts have been successfully performed across North Carolina, including Beyoncé, over the past few weeks since the law passed,” McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz said in a statement issued less than an hour after Live Nation’s press release came out.
“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.”
Maroon 5 is best known for its lead singer and frontman, Adam Levine, who – in addition to helping them land at the top of the Billboard charts with songs like “Moves Like Jagger” – has been highly visible on television as a longtime judge for NBC’s “The Voice.” The band has won three Grammy Awards.
Levine has spoken publicly in the past in support of LGBT issues and his brother Michael, who is gay.
“I can single-handedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired,” Levine told OUT magazine in 2011. “Trust me, you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was two. We all knew.”
In the interview with OUT, the singer also said: “We all really wanted to provide some cushion for him and constantly let him know that it’s OK. A lot of people don’t want their kid to be gay and will fight it at all costs. But I’ve got news for you – it’s a losing f------ battle. The more you fight it, the more f----- -up your kid’s gonna be. You’ve just got to embrace it from the beginning. That’s the only way to deal with it as a family.”
Maroon 5 was last in Charlotte on Sept. 11, 2013, when it co-headlined at the former Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre with Kelly Clarkson.
HB2 sets a statewide class of nondiscrimination that does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. It also requires people in government facilities to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate. The bill, which overturned a Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance, was signed into law March 23.
Since then, several high-profile acts – including Bruce Springsteen (in Greensboro), Pearl Jam (in Raleigh) and Ringo Starr (in Cary) – have canceled performances in North Carolina to protest the legislation.
In Charlotte, the boycott has been particularly noticeable at Time Warner Cable Arena, which now has lost three big summer shows: Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas’s “Future Now Tour,” Cirque du Soleil’s “oVo” show, and now Maroon 5.
Maroon 5’s fall tour begins on Sept. 3 in San Antonio. Now, the closest it will come to North Carolina is Knoxville on Sept. 14; that’s a nearly four-hour drive from Charlotte.