Getting Out The Vote With Jack Johnson

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I literally had the time of my life last summer while representing HeadCount on Jack Johnson‘s Sleep Through the Static Tour. In June, fellow HeadCount volunteer Johanna Nuding and I followed the tour around the Upper Midwest and Southeast in a compact car. We ran HeadCount booths at five of Jack’s shows and joined up with the HeadCount team at Bonnaroo. In August, Abby Brazina, Cassie Levine, Mike Rutz, and I traveled from Boston to San Francisco in a minivan, covering thirteen of Jack’s shows as well as All Points West and Outside Lands. (That’s our Mansfied, Massachusetts, Tweeter Center team to the left.)

With the help of 134 local HeadCount volunteers, we registered 6,173 of Jack’s fans to vote in time for the November 4 election. Additionally, 3,878 of Jack’s fans promised to go to the polls on Election Day. (You can read more about our experiences registering voters on Jack’s Tour, here.)

We couldn’t have done this without the support of the HeadCount team, our corporate partner Patagonia, or Jack’s camp. Jack talked about voter registration from the stage at three shows, usually stopped by our booth to meet our volunteers and take a group photo before the doors opened, helped us raise funds on his website, posed in a VOTE T-shirt for a HeadCount campaign photo, prepared a get-out-the-vote public service announcement for radio, recorded a go-vote phone message for fans who’d opted to receive it, and reminded fans via email to register.

Jack’s friend and filmmaker Emmett Malloy documented the tour in photos and video. The En Concert DVD captured the tour’s European leg and a live CD documents the rest of the tour. (Both are available at Jack’s website.) Moreover, all Johnson’s 2008 tour and En Concert profits will help fund Johnson’s two charities, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation to support environmental, art, and music education around the world.

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I was thrilled to see that the En Concert DVD contains an extra scene called “All At Once,” which explains the nonprofit and environmental elements of the Sleep Through the Static Tour and Jack’s online community. (You can watch another video interview with Jack about All At Once here.) The liner notes also contain this message – “To Those Who Brought All At Once To Life: … HeadCount.” (That’s Cassie, Mike, Jack, me, and Brande Jackson to the right.)

Thanks so much to everyone who made this possible – HeadCount, local volunteers, Patagonia, Jack’s team, the venues, and all of the fans who took the time to engage with us at Jack’s shows and the festivals. As Jack says, “Home is wherever we are if there’s love there too.”

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