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HeadCount Launches ‘Festival Challenge’ to Encourage Voter Registration

HeadCount, the non-profit group that promotes voter registration through music and the arts, has launched a virtual HeadCount Festival Challenge this year with participating events and organizers, including Coachella, Electric Forest, Bonnaroo and more than a dozen others.

Each festival has agreed to promote online voter registration via social media and email, directing subscribers to HeadCount-affiliated websites where people can check their voter registration status online, update their voter registration information, or register to vote for the first time. Many participating festival organizers will also be offering a chance to win VIP tickets to their 2021 events.

“HeadCount has registered tens of thousands of voters at festivals,” HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein said. “While we can’t be there in person this year, we can still register just as many voters online, if not more. We’re grateful to all the festival promoters for getting behind this effort, and especially to the team at Electric Forest, who came to us with the idea.”

He added, “A lot of festivals are down to a skeleton crew right now, so it’s the actual festival directors and lead producers who are handling social media and communications. It’s been great to see some real music industry veterans getting their hands dirty and personally making sure their festival and communities are involved.”

Other participating festivals include BUKU Music + Art Project, Camp Bisco, LOCKN’, Firefly, Governors Ball, The Hangout, The Hog Farm Hangout, Life is Beautiful, Mempho Fest, Mo Pop, Mountain Jam, Okeechobee, The Peach Music Festival, Something In The Water and Stagecoach.

As voter rolls have become an increased center of controversy, some artists have tried to amplify the effectiveness of voter registration. Pearl Jam partnered with the online fundraising platform Omaze in an effort to protect voting rights and encourage Americans to cast their ballots in the 2020 election.

“Voting freely and easily is our ultimate right as citizens of these United States,” bassist Jeff Ament said in a statement. “Please join us in pledging to VOTE BY MAIL, as early as possible, in this critical election.”

Earlier this month, The War on Drugs, Waxahatchee, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and members of Grizzly Bear took part in the Vote Ready livestream concert/voter registration drive co-organized by HeadCount.

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