What It’s All About…
Editors note: This will be our last HeadCount column for the near future. Reports and commentary will resume early in 2008 as HeadCount gears up for the election
The word on HeadCount is pretty much out. With over 60,000 voters registered since 2004 and more and more artists throwing their hat into the ring, it’s becoming harder to run into someone within the live music scene who hasn’t at least heard of HeadCount and it’s non-partisan mission to register voters. What’s infinitely easier, however, is talking with somebody who doesn’t understand what HeadCount is all about. I can’t blame them- I had no idea either.
In August, I roamed around Camp Bisco with a clipboard and dozens of voter registration forms. When people would ask me why I was doing this or what the organization was trying to accomplish, I regurgitated any number of explanations we’ve all heard or read time after time. Very vague stuff that you’d expect to hear…like…from a hippie, brah. "People in the live music scene, my friends and other folks like me, are so disenfranchised by the system." "We have to do something, this community could be a force but instead everyone is overwhelmed with apathy." "People don’t realize how easy voting is or what a difference they can make with just their vote or by being involved." All of these things are true, and very important to HeadCount and its purpose. These are all logical conclusions to draw when first thinking about the organization. But when you have a chance to really contemplate what HeadCount is doing, these ideas barely scratch the surface of the young non-profit.
HeadCount, on a very large scale, is going to become the community organizing arm of the live music scene. If this is only clear to those close to the organization at this point, that will change very soon. We all know that the community many of us are a part of was once a socially conscious powerhouse- capable of being heard, changing minds, and making the text books. Look around us today. As much as you or I may love it, a "raging Basis" isn’t going to make the next edition of any popular US history book any time soon. So what will?
Things are changing though. More and more people are becoming socially conscious. When they do, HeadCount hopes to be an outlet for their passion. In 2008, you’ll see HeadCount out in the community- A LOT. With goals that include registering 200,000 voters in this election cycle, the organization will field regional teams in addition to sending teams on tour with many artists. Volunteers will gain first-hand community organizing experience, for a weekend, a summer, or a lifetime.
Over time HeadCount will turn loose hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced, socially conscious members of the live music community into the world of activism- all with their own passions and goals. And it’s only beginning. You and your friends have the potential to be influential. And in a big way, the live music community will be heard again.