Building on the momentum of registering more than 100,000 voters last year, HeadCount has launched a new campaign called “What’s Your Issue?” that encourages fans of live music to take the next steps beyond voting to become more informed, active citizens. Anyone who answers a brief issue survey – either at a concert or online at www.HeadCount.org – will be entered in a drawing to win two free VIP tickets to Outside Lands Music Festival, held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park August 28-30, 2009, plus round-trip airfare for two on Southwest Airlines from anywhere in the U.S.
The campaign will visit concert tour stops this summer by Dave Matthews Band, Phish, The Fray and NINJA (Nine Inch Nails and Janes Addiction). Festivals such as Bonnaroo, ROTHBURY, High Sierra Music Festival, All Good Music Festival, Camp Bisco and Gathering of the Vibes will also host the “What’s Your Issue?” campaign.
“We started HeadCount five years ago because we wanted to make sure the voice of our community was heard in government,” said HeadCount co-chair Marc Brownstein, bass player of The Disco Biscuits. “This is a continuation of that. There are so many more ways to participate and get behind the things you believe in. You can make your voice heard every day.”
HeadCount continues to offer voter information and registration services at its concert tables and at www.HeadCount.org. The organization also provides a wide range of resources that facilitate civic participation. The HeadCount blog (www.HeadCount.org/blog) is a one-stop online community updated daily with news on “Music, Politics and Everything In Between.” HeadCount street teams are partnering with local nonprofit organizations, such as Save the Bay, and creating joint volunteer outings. HeadCount makes it easy to write to members of Congress, with pre-printed letters available at concerts and online at www.HeadCount.org. It’s all part of an effort to give music fans the tools to be involved, active citizens, while creating a real community of fans who are bound by shared ideals.
The “What’s Your Issue?” survey serves as the gateway to the HeadCount community. It lists six issues that, according to a recent online poll, are particularly important to fans of live music. They are:
– Food and Farm Policy – Health Care Reform – Personal Liberty
– Gulf Coast Recovery – Human Rights – Sustainability and Conservation
Once someone identifies the issue most important to them, they are sent a link to an area of HeadCount.org devoted to that issue. Users will find a blog, background information, artist interviews and links to related websites. Most important, they’ll also find a “Take Action” area that enables them to volunteer for a related organization or email their Congressional representatives.
Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir, a member of HeadCount’s Board of Directors, hosted the “What’s Your Issue?” campaign at multiple stops on The Dead’s recent national tour.
“It was great to have HeadCount back out with us,” Weir said. “We’re really building some momentum here, as an organization and as a country. There was a time not too long ago where it seemed like most people had checked out – just didn’t feel that their vote counted or that anyone was listening. I think that’s totally changed to a point where there’s a widespread belief among all of us, whether it be artists, DeadHeads, or fans of any music, that we can play a role in driving the new agenda. HeadCount’s job is to foster that belief and put real action behind it.”
HeadCount is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to registering voters and inspiring participation in democracy through the power of music. Since its inception in 2004, the organization has registered over 150,000 voters. It is now taking a step forward, motivating members of the music community to be involved, active citizens. HeadCount’s board of directors includes Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, other well known musicians, and the very top managers, promoters and media publishers in the live music industry. More information can be found at www.HeadCount.org.