North Carolina music and culture festival Moogfest is the latest to throw its hat in the ring of varied responses by musicians to the state’s highly controversial anti-LGBT bill HB2.
The bill is know as the “bathroom bill” and essentially bans people from using public toilets that don’t correspond to their sex listed on their birth certificate.
So far Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! announced that she would play a protest show in North Carolina, while Pearl Jam has cancelled their show following the lead of Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr in efforts to boycott the state.
Now Moogfest has shown that there may be another way of dealing with the issue, with Adam Katz of Imprint Projects – the company behind Moogfest announcing that the laws won’t get in their way of holding Moogfest. “The law is a burden but an incredible opportunity to take an active role in something that goes beyond the music,” said Katz.
Moogfest will provide gender neutral bathrooms on site during the festival, and organisers are also working with Equality North Carolina, an LGBT rights organisation – to provide booths and tables with information about HB2.
“There was never a question about if it was something we would engage with,” said Katz. “There are very few cultural events that happen in North Carolina that are watched by the world. Rather than people’s perception (of North Carolina) be shaped by news of this legislation, we want people to see Moogfest as part of the future of the region which I know to be very diverse and inclusive. Creating a place for that conversation to happen is important.”
Moogfest is set to welcome headliners Grimes and ODESZA, Yo Gabba Gabba’s Lance Rock, as well as to host talks by transgender Sirius radio-founder Martine Rothblatt and philosopher and critic Jaron Lanier.
Katz hopes that by going ahead Moogfest will help to continue the education of people about LGTB issues. “We’re not educating people who don’t have any idea, This is about changing the perception for people outside of North Carolina and helping people in North Carolina continue to be proud to be part of a diverse community of music and art lovers.”
Watch: Announcing Moogfest