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Published: 2008/04/30

Wilco, MMJ, Santana and Jack Johnson Partner with HeadCount

HeadCount has added a diverse mix of musicians to its current voter registration campaign, including Wilco, MMJ, Santana and Jack Johnson. The nonpartisan voter registration group, which was co-founded in 2004 by Pharmers Almanac scribe Andy Bernstein and Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein, will stage voter registration drives at over 1,000 concerts this year, with a goal or registering at least 100,000 voters. While HeadCount got its start in the jamband scene, teaming early on with bands like Phish, The Dead and Dave Matthews Band, the organization has recently partnered with a diverse mix of bands of bands, including John Mayer, Foo Fighters, Megadeth, Ani DiFranco and The Decemberists.

The non-profit group will have a presence at every U.S. concert on the Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson and John Mayer summer tours. I believe we all have a responsibility to make our voices heard where we can, and encourage others to do the same, said Dave Matthews. We have worked with HeadCount since its beginning, and are very glad to see that other artists are now supporting the organization. HeadCount registered 12,161 voters at Dave Matthews Band shows in the summer of 2004, an all-time record for a single concert tour.

I cant think of a better reason to put on a concert than to bring people together to create positive change, said Jack Johnson, who recently launched his own social action campaign called All at Once.’ Registering to vote is a key component to our All At Once message and we are very excited to have HeadCount on tour with us.

HeadCount is the only national organization focused on registering voters at concerts, and will stage the largest event-based voter registration drive in the U.S. Theres a deep connection between music and politics that we are trying to harness, said Andy Bernstein, Executive Director of HeadCount. Youth turnout more than doubled in the primaries. The same young people who go to concerts are turning out to the polls in record numbers.

HeadCount will also have a strong presence at a number of music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Virgin Festival, Farm Aid, All Good and 10,000 Lakes.
Weve seen this develop from just being an idea to something that has widespread support across the entire music industry, said Brownstein. Were working with small acts, huge acts, and everything in between, but the common thread is that all of them have very strong connections with their fans. Thats something we tap to get entire communities thinking about voting and registering to vote.

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