Non-partisan, non-profit voter registration organization HeadCount.org
has enlisted the help of its artist partners to generate over one million e-mails to music fans reminding them to vote.
Dave Matthews Band
kicked off the campaign on Tuesday, one week before the election, with an e-mail sent directly to the hundreds of thousands of fans on the band's private e-mail list.
"Election Day Is One Week Away," the e-mail read. "Dave Matthews Band wants to encourage everyone to let your voice be heard by remembering to vote on Election Day."
The message also contained a link to www.headcount.org, where users will find information on polling places, absentee ballots and how to verify voter registration.
The Dave Matthews Band e-mail will be followed by similar messages from multiple artists, most hitting fans in-boxes the day before the election. Former members of the Grateful Dead
, along with O.A.R.
, Gov’t Mule
, String Cheese Incident
, Umphrey’s McGee
and The Disco Biscuits
are among those expected to participate.
"This is a very simple way to use modern technology to reach millions of people," said HeadCount co-chair Andy Bernstein. "Sure, people are hearing a lot about the election this week, but when they hear about it directly from the musicians they admire, it has a different resonance. The key is the artists using their own e-mail lists and speaking with their own voices."
Bernstein noted that only 19 percent of eligible 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the last midterm election. "Many people, especially young people, need a nudge to get to the polls. Hopefully these e-mails will provide that one extra push that will be the difference between voting and not voting."
Fellow HeadCount co-chair Marc Brownstein, bass player for the popular electronic rock band The Disco Biscuits, said the e-mail campaign is a great way for his band to use its e-mail database for something other than their own promotion. "We’re constantly telling fans about our upcoming shows or new merchandise or albums," he said. "This is an opportunity for us to say something different, and something we really believe in."
HeadCount registered over 8,500 voters this year, most at concerts that were part of the multi-city "Midterms Matter Tour." Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers
, and former members of the Grateful Dead and Phish all participated in the tour.
HeadCount is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan voter registration organization founded by musicians, fans and promoters within the live music community. Run entirely by volunteers, HeadCount has registered over 50,000 voters. In 2004, the organization also produced public service announcements starring Dave Matthews and members of Phish and the Dead that aired on national television. This year, its "Midterms Matter Tour" brought voter registration and education to over 30 major concert events and festivals nationwide. More information can be found at www.headcount.org.
Get out and vote!
String Cheese Incident
The Allman Brothers Band