Participation Row Pays Off

Today in Charlottesville, VA, reps from more than half-a-dozen non-profits were handed checks for $2,688 each, just for being part of the Participation Row non-profit village at the Lockn' Festival. Other groups not in Virginia got checks by mail.

The occasion marked the culmination of HeadCount's first ever venture in running the non-profit activity at a festival, and we can honestly say it was a massive success.

5,752 actions were taken at the various non-profits. And $50,000 was raised to support the various organizations.

There were a lot of pieces and players behind Participation Row, including the sponsor Qello, which made it all possible, and Gibson's Epiphone brand, which hooked us up with some guitars. But the real heroes were the non-profits themselves.

Conscious Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, ONE Campaign, and Appalachian Voices were among the many non-profit organizations that set up booths where specific actions could be taken. So did two area schools, the Nelson County Tourism Bureau, the Instrumental Giving Fund, and Wild Virginia.

To back their efforts, artists such as Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio, Grace Potter, Zac Brown and dozens of others signed a small set of guitars and posters.

One of the guitars was given away through a free drawing. To enter the drawing, you had to take an action at any four non-profit booths, and get stamps on a card. When they turned in your stamp card at the Qello Lounge, you also got a free 30-day trial subscription to Qello just for entering. 1,438 stamp cards were submitted, translating to nearly 6,000 separate actions. The guitar was won by Pamela Lemmons of North Carolina.

lockn winShe wasn’t the only one to go home with a guitar. Signed guitars and posters were also sold to the highest bidders, with all proceeds split among all the non-profits that formed Participation Row. With one guitar going for $20,000, the total ended up at $49,800. Then festival promoter Peter Shapiro kicked in a couple Ben Franklins to make it an even $200.

In addition, about 1,500 pounds of food were collected by Conscious Alliance, all donated to the Nelson County Pantry. And Wickles Pickles made a $5,000 donation to the Pantry via the FATE organization.

At HeadCount, We’ve been part of literally hundreds of non-profit villages at festivals. We incorporated all the knowledge we've accumulated into creating the best possible experience for everyone. All the pieces just clicked.

We can't wait to do it again.