SPRINGSTEEN Deliberately Hurt Fans, Workers by Cancelling NC Show in Stand Against Law Banning Men From Women’s Bathrooms
Millionaire rock star Bruce Springsteen deliberately chose to ‘hurt economically’ fans, workers and small businesses by his last minute cancellation of a concert in Greensboro, North Carolina set for Sunday in protest of a state law known as HB2 that bans men from using women’s bathrooms. Springsteen cancelled the date Friday afternoon, just two days before the April 10 show which would have featured the complete playing of his 1980 album, The River.
Rolling Stone reported Springsteen guitarist Steve Van Zandt said backstage Friday night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that Springsteen and his band, The E Street Band, chose to hurt the people of North Carolina to punish them for the state’s new law protecting women and girls from ‘transgender’ men using women’s bathrooms.
“We just felt the issue was just too important,” Van Zandt said. “This really vile and evil discrimination is starting to spread state to state and we thought, ‘We better take a stand right now and catch it early.'”
…“It’s unfortunately the only way people understand. You have to hurt them economically in order to have them do the right thing morally, unfortunately,” the guitarist said, adding that he hoped Springsteen’s efforts in the state would “set some kind of example for others.”
Springsteen, Van Zandt and the E Street Band perform the title song from The River at a concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, January 31, 2016.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported on the ‘economic hurt’ Springsteen and the E Street Band are putting on workers and small business in and around the Greensboro Coliseum. Workers will not get paid for the cancelled show and the Coliseum itself estimated it would lose about $100,000 from concessions and parking.
“Cancellation of the Springsteen concert is the first major economic blow to Greensboro as a result of the law.
Roughly 15,000 tickets were sold for the event, half of them to people living outside of the city.
“You would have had thousands of people coming from other parts of the state and from all over the East Coast,” said Andrew Brown, a spokesman for the coliseum, who estimated that it would lose roughly $100,000 because of the cancellation.
“Where we lost revenue is from people coming into the building — from parking, concessions, that kind of thing. It’s a major concert. It would have been one of our biggest events of the year.”
City officials did not have a dollar estimate for the lost revenue from foot traffic in restaurants, shops and hotels. Mayor Nancy Vaughan said it would be difficult to quantify as some concertgoers could have become repeat visitors to Greensboro.
“We had so many people that would have been able to see Greensboro, many for the first time, and now we won’t have that hotel and restaurant revenue,” she said. “My other concern is that acts we are currently in negotiations with could look at other venues. People we don’t have contracts with can just automatically take us off the list.”
The cancellation also means lost wages for some workers. At the coliseum, several hundred employees were scheduled to work the concert, according to Brown.
Hotel employees and food service workers also stood to lose money, said City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said.
“It’s the underlying economic impact for the people who count on these events to make extra money to add to their households,” Hightower said. “This is a huge, devastating economic impact to lower economic people who count on utilizing these types of jobs. It’s serious business. We are impacting people’s lives who did nothing wrong to anybody to deserve this.”
In addition to the cost to workers, Springsteen fans spend great amounts of money traveling the country and the world to see “The Boss” as he is known to fans. Some will have spent thousands, if not over ten thousand dollars to attend the now-cancelled concert with no chance for refunds for travel and hotel costs. Springsteen is generously offering to refund the cost of the tickets which ranged from $68 to $150.
With about 15,000 tickets sold, the show was far from sold out which may have played a part in the decision to cancel. The Journal reported Springsteen’s previous two shows averaged 19,000 tickets sold. The attendance record for the Coliseum is held by Phish with over 23,000 in 2003.