The stars aligned in Minneapolis as Fall of this election year approached. The Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) HeadCount team had not been strangers to First Avenue in 2016; having had a great time registering voters at a variety of shows this spring and summer. Then as summer was fading into fall, as Election Day was drawing nearer, First Ave extended an open offer to the MSP HeadCount team to set-up shop at any show we wanted to come September and October.
The task of selecting shows was daunting – how would we reach the maximum numbers of people? While we would have loved to be at every show, work schedules and life did not make that a possibility. We wanted to be strategic and reach out to fans across the musical spectrum. Again, the stars were in our favor as fall booking at First Ave was a smorgasbord of musical genres. The MSP team was able to register and engage voters at a variety of shows from The Record Company to Opeth to Jack Garratt and many more. We were able to engage with many people who were on the fence about registering. Our table at shows created a forum where we could have conversations with these folks and help them see how much their vote truly does matter. We had countless conversations, with the registered and non-registered alike, discussing critical voting topics such as how to vote early or absentee, how to see their ballots, and voting deadlines. The MSP HeadCount volunteer squad was dedicated to making a difference at each and every show.
As we wrap up this voter registration cycle, we would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the fine folks of First Avenue! Their gracious offer allowed the MSP HeadCount team to reach a broad swath of Minnesota music fans that we likely would not have encountered otherwise. Also, another HUGE thank you to the very engaging musicians who not only embraced HeadCount individually but also shared your support of voter registration and democracy to your fans. Nothing felt better than getting an on-stage shout out that resulted in a steady stream of music fans coming to check out our table and see what HeadCount and voter registration is all about. The dedication of First Avenue, visiting musicians, and fans to civic engagement and democracy in action absolutely warmed the hearts of the MSP HeadCount team! We look forward to seeing you all in the coming years!