There are many reasons why 2016 was an notable year for me and HeadCount. The year was bookended by the passing of David Bowie and the election of Donald Trump, but so much more happened. Not to compare myself or my life to any importance of either of those men, but I did have two major events happen myself. First, I lost my ZZ Top beard and second I took on a brand new job. Without getting too much into the nitty-gritty of joining HeadCount during an election year, here are some my favorite highlights from my first year with HeadCount, partnering with an incredible team that helped set the organization record for most voters registered in a year.
I was in the HeadCount office for all of 30 mins before I was in a meeting with Jon Fishman the drummer of Phish. We discussed Bernie Sanders, Voter Reg at Phish shows and Ben & Jerry’s. Then he played the drums for us. Pretty freaking awesome to kick off 2016!
First festival of the year with HeadCount staff down to Florida for Okeechobee. Met a ton of our amazing national volunteers who registered a mind-blowing 1,000+ voters, and hung with supporting musicians. Even had a Mac Miller video go viral. That was radical!
Uhhhh, FREE Ice Cream all day long? YES PLEASE!!! On this day James Salazar and I visited 5 Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops in New Jersey in celebration of Free Cone Day. HeadCount had teams in 17 different stores across the country registering voters – maybe next year we can visit the rest of them!
My coworker Aaron Ghitelman and I headed down to Atlanta, GA for the Sweetwater 420 Fest to register voters, do some press and compete in a charity cornhole tournament. We didn’t win the cornhole competition but hanging out with The Roots totally made up for it.
Bucket list check! Got to meet my music hero (and HeadCount Board Member) Bob Weir! Summer tour with him and his band was outstanding. We registered voters, hosted Participation Row, made a short film, gave away limited edition VOTE pins and auctioned off $200,000 worth of D’Angelico guitars for charity!
HeadCount hosted two amazing parties for the RNC & DNC this year featuring Robert Randolph, Dawes & Grace Potter. Everyone was in great spirits both weekends and the musicians were stoked to support HeadCount’s biggest events of the year. Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes hung out all day with our staff & even jammed in the hall of the Electric Factory for a few of us and Grace Potter was all about “Overthrowing the Government”
Returning to one of my favorite music festivals was a real treat. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is Floyd Fest with its beautiful landscape and amazing line up. This year’s festival was highlighted by our 2 great interns Larkin & Taylor who worked from sun up to sun down each day. We met a ton of new folks together but spending quality time with Nahko was the highlight!
Face melting set from My Morning Jacket at LOCKN. I really have no words to describe how they much they crushed it. Epic covers of Bob Marley, David Bowie & Prince with long jams and a light show that sent us to Mars! You can watch the full set HERE. Best show of the year by far!
By far one of the most rewarding day’s this year was working towards building the most successful National Voter Registration Day online activation in HeadCount history. Hundreds musicians + celebrities posted their photo that HeadCount had on file asking their fans to register to vote that day. We ended up registering over 20,000 new voters thanks to our NVRD campaigns.
Election Day was what we had spent all year working towards. We were hosting another event, this time at one of our favorite venues – the Brooklyn Bowl. Our entire HeadCount staff was working all day & night with Magic Hat to make sure our guests were having the best election night party experience ever. I really don’t remember seeing results as they were coming in and it didn’t really hit me until the next day. Thank god I have this photo from a moment of happiness and awesomeness to refer back to when thinking about that night.
Holy shit a year went by fast, and what a year it was. Unreal to think of all the new amazing people I met during this first year. You know who you are. THANK YOU for all the support and showing me the ropes.