The HeadCount Participation Tour, a four-city pre-election concert series intended to inspire voter turnout, raised over $12,000 for City Harvest’s efforts to provide meals to New Yorkers most affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The tour featured New Orleans veterans Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk and Anders Osborne, as well as a long list of special guests including Questlove, Bela Fleck, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, Eric Krasno and members of Lettuce, Keller Williams and John Kadlecik of Furthur.
It was all part of HeadCount and Magic Hat’s quadrennial partnership to inspire political participation, and included stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City. When Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast just days before the first show, the tour took on a new dimension. Organizers HeadCount, CEG Presents/NOLAFUNK.com, Blue Note Entertainment Group and Magic Hat pledged every penny of the net proceeds to Sandy relief, and chose City Harvest as the recipient.
Within days after the storm hit, City Harvest served 400,000 meals in the most effected neighborhoods. As recently as Wednesday they delivered 25 skids of pantry bags, fresh fruit, and canned goods to six locations in Far Rockaway Queens, one of the hardest-hit areas in all of the Northeast. Anyone wishing to make a personal donation to City Harvest can click here.
“It feels great to be able to give back,” said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s executive director. “Participation is about more than voting. It’s about being an active member of your community. So this is the truest representation of what we’re about.”
On Election Day, the day after the Participation Tour finale, a record number of young voters turned out to the polls. Millions of these voters were reached by HeadCount, Magic Hat and hundreds of affiliated musicians through social media and other messaging. More than 100,000 Americans also registered to vote through HeadCount this year.
Bernstein added that the Participation Tour and the contribution to City Harvest is a perfect segue into 2013. “We’re always thinking beyond elections and voting, and about how to work with musicians to serve the greater good,” he said. “You’ll see a lot more of this kind of thing from us next year.”