Registering voters at concerts may be our “bread and butter,” but it’s not the only way we spark positive social action. Here are some of the other HeadCount initiatives & projects from over the years…
HeadCount organizes “Participation Row” social-action villages and charity auctions at major live music events, with help from sponsors Qello and Clean Energy Advisors. The results – tens of thousands of actions taken, and nearly $1 million raised for 35 non-profit organizations. At the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary concerts in 2015, a signed guitar fetched over $500,000, making national news.
Connecting music and community activism, HeadCount partnered with The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY to run regular charity auctions that support local initiatives and artist-chosen causes. The Presidential Box (overlooking the stage) is auctioned for most shows at the theatre. Proceeds have been directed to Sandy Hook Promise and are also used to send area teachers to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Summer Teacher Institute. By embedding philanthropy right into the venue’s business model, we make it easy for fans and musicians to get behind things they believe in.
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#SoundOff is HeadCount’s new online platform that makes it easy to tweet directly @ Congress. It gives individuals and advocacy organizations an easy way to use social media to create a public dialogue with lawmakers — driving legislators to respond less to special interests and more to the people who elected them. Visit www.soundoffatcongress.org and #SoundOff today.
We installed solar panels at and elementary school via “The Bisco Power Mission,” a unique partnership with the band The Disco Biscuits (whose bass player, Marc Brownstein, is HeadCount’s co-founder). The band played a special benefit concert at the Brooklyn Bowl, and proceeds went toward the first solar panel installation at a public school in Philadelphia.
HeadCount helped create a sort of national holiday for voter registration, now endorsed by the Association of Secretary of State and the White House. Over 200 musicians, comedians, and celebrities (including Dave Matthews, Linkin Park, 50 Cent, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart) have been photographed holding HeadCount “Register to Vote” clipboards, and then posted their photos via social media with a ink to an online voter registration form. We’ve already registered more than 50,000 voters through our NVRD activations.
We’ve created original Webcasts and concerts such as “The Bridge Session,” which combined political discussion with a live musical performance by The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and members of The National. Clips of The Bridge Session have been viewed over 2 million times on Yahoo!
The “Music for Action” climate change campaign generated 100,000 emails to Congress by giving away a free “Best of Bonnaroo” compilation album with exclusive tracks from Pearl Jam, Wilco, Dave Matthews Band, Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket and a dozen others.
icitizen is a free civic engagement smartphone app. Users can learn about their elected officials, get news on issues they care about, and take regular polls. HeadCount has helped promote icitizen at concerts and festivals. To download icitizen for Android or iOS, look in the App Store or visit icitizen.com.