AUSTIN (KXAN) — Singer song-writer Ray LaMontagne is canceling his upcoming Austin show due to concerns about the state’s campus carry law.
LaMontagne was scheduled to play at Bass Concert Hall, a University of Texas venue, on Thursday.
You can’t smoke in Bass Concert Hall, so says the sign at the door. But the first concert has been canceled for what you can bring in: guns.
“I’m conflicted because I really respect that he’s stating his opinion because a lot of celebrities don’t,” said freshman theater major Audrey Loomis. She stood in line to buy tickets to the next performance. She’s glad that one is still on. Loomis opposes campus carry, but feels for the ticket holders left in the lurch.
“I really couldn’t believe he canceled it two days before,” said Loomis.
LaMontagne on Facebook wrote he tried to get an exemption and ban guns from just his concert. He says the university told him the law was the law. While some concert venues can ban guns because they sell alcohol, the Bass Concert Hall is not one of them.
Yes, the Bass Concert Hall does sell alcohol, but it’s less than 51 percent of their business, so somebody with a license can take their gun inside.
“Everywhere you look there’s some protest going on and now this. I’m sure a lot of people were excited about tickets, now it’s, ‘whelp, sorry, not coming anymore,'” said Andrew Moore, UT Austin sophomore.
Moore says it’s another example of politics coming into our lives and he doesn’t think it’ll end here.
“It seems to be more of a statement instead of fear of getting shot, so he’s just trying to make a point,” said Moore.
Almost 2,900 concert goers will get a refund two days away from showtime.
He announced the cancellation and ticket refunds via his website:
This Thursday’s show at Bass Concert Hall in Austin, TX has been cancelled due to concerns over The University of Texas’ recently enacted campus carry law, which allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns in the venue during the performance. I consider myself to be a very open minded human being, and I always try and see things from another’s point of view. I realize this is a controversial issue and there are strong feelings on both sides of it. But no matter how hard I try to understand the rationale for allowing guns on campus or more broadly, the ‘concealed carry’ law in general, I just cannot in any way support that ideology.
There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren’t one of them.
On behalf of myself and the band, and everyone involved in the tour, I want to express our collective disappointment in the decision to allow guns on campus, and within the campus venue.
All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase.
The University of Texas released a statement on the matter saying,
The university regrets that Ray Lamontagne made this decision but respects his right to do so. Under Texas state law, licensed permit holders are allowed to bring concealed handguns into many performance venues on public university campuses, including the Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin.”
Tickets started around $40 and went up from there. So even if everyone had the cheapest tickets, the concert hall will have to refund more than $115,000.
The Frank Erwin Center also hosts big concerts throughout the year but licensed gun holders cannot take their concealed handguns inside. That’s because of the unique nature of the events it holds in the arena, which can feature low lighting, loud sounds, and can include pyrotechnics. The Erwin Center also allows the sale of alcohol. That’s another reason guns are not allowed to ticketed events.
So where are guns banned on campus? Right now, they’re not allowed at the UT Elementary School, UT athletic events, child care facilities, dorm rooms, guns are also not allowed in labs and patient care areas.
LaMontagne also canceled a 2016 SXSW performance at Auditorium Shores because of an illness.