HB2 costing North Carolina thousands in lost revenue

- The hits just keep coming to North Carolina, and not in a good way. The agency promoting tourism in Raleigh released new numbers on Tuesday saying the losses have reached $3 million because of event cancelations prompted by protests of North Carolina's HB2. 

One of the latest, an artist canceled an event that was supposed to happen in Charlotte at the AvidXchange Music Factory. 

The band Boston was supposed to perform at the Music Factory Amphitheatre, but now that's not happening, and the presidents of the company that owns the venue said they do not have time to get another act to replace them. 

Boston joins a growing list of artists canceling shows in North Carolina because of controversial House Bill 2, stating the law has the appearance of being discriminatory and oppressive. 

"Usually you lose an act, it's not replaceable," Noah Lazes said. 

Noah Lazes is president of the Ark Group, which is the owner of AvidXchange Music Factory in Charlotte. That's where the ban was set to play on May 4, 2016. 

House Bill 2, which goes beyond requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, but it also prevents cities from putting in protections against discrimination of the LGBT community at restaurants, shops and hotels. 

"This one is a little painful because it's a circumstance that's beyond our control," Lazes explained. 

He said a band like Boston cancelling its show not only has a spin-off effect on sponsors, promotions, and restaurants, but it also effects local employees. 

"There's a lot of production that goes in particular at an outdoor venue, clean up, security, concession. You've got a lot of people who work under Live Nation that operates these shows here," Lazes said. 

The latest numbers from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority show more than half a dozen events have canceled in the Charlotte area alone because of House Bill 2. 

The organization said that adds up to more than $220,000 in projected direct spending that now won't be coming to the area. 

Live Nation released the following statement:

Some of Live Nation’s artists have decided to cancel shows in North Carolina in light of their opposition to the discriminatory law recently passed in the state.  Live Nation supports our artists’ efforts to take a stand against this exclusionary and unfair law.

 

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