Josh Tillman, the singer-songwriter better known as Father John Misty, has announced that he will donate proceeds from his upcoming concert in Charlotte, North Carolina to charity. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Tillman said he’ll direct profits from the April 27 gig to Time Out Youth, a Charlotte-based pro-LGBT organization, to protest the state’s anti-LGBT law, HB2.
“The bill is obviously bulls–t,” Tillman said. “[If] I thought playing a show for my fans in North Carolina was in any way some tacit endorsement of this fearful, petty, ignorant nonsense, I wouldn’t. … This show represents a start in investing in the plight of other Americans.”
Earlier this month, Bruce Springsteen ignited a widespread rebuke among the music community of North Carolina’s controversial Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2) when he canceled his performance in Greensboro, writing that “some things are more important than a rock show.” Major acts including Ringo Starr and Pearl Jam joined Springsteen in canceling their North Carolina concerts in protest.
But like Tillman, others have opted to use performances themselves to protest the law. Cyndi Lauper wrote that “the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4 into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2.” And Laura Jane Grace, the transgender frontwoman of Against Me!, vowed to facilitate activist groups at the band’s May 15 show in Durham, adding that she’s “even more eager to play North Carolina ’cause of the bill!”
As the Oscar-nominated musician Anohni, who is a transgender woman, told EW earlier this week, musicians are “doing the right thing,” whether they cancel concerts or use them to protest the legislation. “They’re all having their own responses and deciding their comfort levels.”
Tillman also told Rolling Stone that he performs in states with other “huge systemic problems” including “oppressive drug laws,” sexist policies, lack of gun control, and “opportunist readings of archaic documents written by land-stealers who never intended political privilege to extend past their buddies.”