The Dave Matthews Band has officially quashed any speculation that it might cancel its Charlotte concert in response to House Bill 2.
On Monday morning, the group issued a press release stating that a portion of the proceeds from Friday’s show at PNC Music Pavilion will be donated to five charitable organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC and Time Out Youth.
The ACLU, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of North Carolina are challenging House Bill 2 in federal court; Equality NC is an LGBT rights group; and Time Out Youth’s mission is to create a safe place for young LGBT people in Charlotte.
The Dave Matthews Band typically plays Charlotte’s largest amphitheater every summer.
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Matthews, 49, has been a longtime supporter of gay rights and in 2009 was one of 100 celebrities who participated in a marriage equality advocacy project.
When asked in a 2012 interview with pop music critic Gene Stout about gay marriage, Matthews said: “I (don’t understand why) we feel the need to allow some people the right to do things and deny other people those rights. There’s no way that I can figure out that somehow my morality trumps someone else’s morality.”
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 nondiscrimination ordinance, was signed into law March 23.
According to Monday’s announcement, the Dave Matthews Band identified the organizations they’ll support with the assistance of NC Needs You, which “encourages artists to keep their dates in North Carolina in order to bring awareness and resources to the fight for equality in response to House Bill 2.”
Since March, several high-profile acts – including Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and, most recently, Maroon 5 – have canceled performances in North Carolina to protest the legislation.
But others have chosen this other way to take a stance against HB2: Mumford and Sons, for instance, donated all of the profits from its April 14 concert at Time Warner Cable Arena to an LGBT-focused fund that the group said will benefit Equality NC, Time Out Youth and the Equal Justice Initiative, a civil rights campaigning group based in Alabama.
Friday night’s Dave Matthews concert is nearing a sellout. Tickets are still available here.