HeadCount is an organization that seeks to empower all Americans and make sure their voices are heard. We try to make sure everyone feels like welcome participants in the democratic process. That creed directly conflicts with the fascism, Nazism and violent thuggery we saw on display from the white nationalists who marched on Charlottesville, VA this weekend. We are heartbroken by the death of Heather Heyer, no one should be killed for trying to make their voice heard.
As the city closest to LOCKN’, Charlottesville will forever in our minds be tied to the Participation Row activism village. It’s something we created at LOCKN’ back in 2013, and have since brought all over America. Participation Row has helped thousands of American concert and festival-goers take actions to better our world and be active participants in an egalitarian society.
So for us, the Charlottesville area is sort of sacred ground.
JR Wotring, a HeadCount Regional Coordinator who runs the HeadCount team at every LOCKN’, had this to say about the rally this weekend:
Every year I travel to the region in an effort to spread the love of our live music community, promote democracy, and help engage thousands of people with all kinds of fantastic non-profit organizations. 2 years ago when a storm obliterated the venue, C’ville was one of the many communities that opened its doors, parks, and businesses to help house thousands of displaced festival goers (myself included). Throughout the years I have been absolutely blessed to expand my circle of friends with several C’ville posse peeps, and they all make me a better person for knowing them.
My journeys to Central Virginia are nothing short of religious experiences for me. The people, the mission, the music, the glorious vibe that is our community is an enigmatic congregation of love. I KNOW that the events of this past weekend in no way represent the Central VA & C’ville community. The evil that descended upon Charlottesville is beyond unacceptable not only in our community, but in our nation. As I’m about to head through Charlottesville yet again to my late summer Lockn retreat, and I assure you that I and those coming with me bring LOVE. And while we bring this love every year, we will make sure to bring even more. Our light will drown out the hate.
To the many Americans who are in fear, in terror, reeling from the events this weekend we want you to know central Virginia is a wonderful and loving place. No matter what your background, race, religion or sexual orientation, who will always be welcomed by HeadCount, and by the many wonderful people we’ve come to know in the Charlottesville area.
As they say, Virginia is for Lovers.