I remember a time when musicians could pretty much guarantee applause by simply reminding fans to vote. As soon as we started registering voters at concerts in 2004, we made the “stage shout-out” an integral part of our playbook.
For the 2010 midterms though, the whole tenor of things has been different, and most of the musicians we work with are understandably a bit more reticent – even when it comes to nonpartisan calls to simply cast a ballot.
That’s why it stood out as courageous and inspiring when Jay-Z took to the stage at Bonnaroo last June and told the audience of 70,000 that “our generation changed the world” by voting.
Within his words I heard a powerful call for youth voter participation itself, regardless of ideology or party. And now, almost four months later, I am very proud to introduce HeadCount’s “Vote Again 2010” public service announcement starring Jay-Z himself.
Culled directly from footage at Bonnaroo, this 30-second spot aims to illicit pride in the fact that more Americans under 30 voted in 2008 than any election in history. That fact appears on the screen followed by Jay-Z’s impassioned plea to “fight for what you believe in.” It ends with a simple call to “Vote Again 2010,” a slogan adopted by various youth voter organizations.
We thank Jay-Z and his management for having the courage to not only say what he said, but also approve our use of the footage for this purpose. We hope the PSA proves as inspiring as his performance.