Entrepreneur and long-time artist manager, Emily White has launched the #iVoted campaign to encourage music fans to participate in the midterm elections happening on Nov. 6, 2018 across the country.
Through the campaign that is also being supported by Wilco’s Pat Sansone and Madison House’s Mike Luba, fans who show a photo of themselves outside of their local polling place will be granted free entry into a participating concert.
The idea came to White after she saw the dismal turnout in some areas in the 2016 presidential election.
“I thought of it when I saw the margin of difference in Wisconsin because that is where I am originally from. I thought, that was a 22,000 difference in votes and that’s an arena. I know how to fill an arena full of people,” White tells Billboard.
White adds, “Initially I wanted to do a Wisconsin takes action concert, but then I thought, why don’t I just take the concept nationally, because then we can have that much more impact and change.”
White began reaching out to her industry connections and saw immediate results with promoters who were eager to help. Immediately, Stacie George with Live Nation committed Irving Plaza, The Gramercy Theatre, and Warsaw in New York, while Peter Shapiro added Brooklyn Bowl to the slate. Amy Corbin and Margaret Galton from C3 Presents in Austin quickly added Stubb’s, Emo’s, and Scoot Inn in Texas. Most recently, Los Angeles’ Spaceland Presents joined the campaign with all three of their venues The Regent, The Echo, and Echoplex.
Simply through word of mouth, the #iVoted campaign already has over 40 participating venues in 20 states plus the District of Columbia. Venues in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other swing states were targeted first with the goal of having an #iVoted show in all 50 states by election day.
“The music industry is my second family and I know how to activate them. I know people want to help and where it has converged and been really cool is we just confirmed Café Wha? in New York and that’s where Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix used to play,” White says. “I got pretty emotional about that. Music and concerts and artists have always been such a force for change.”
The campaign has also partnered with Revolutions Per Minute, a nonprofit agency that provides artists with strategy and support for activism and philanthropy. The nonprofit will help secure artists and industry support as well as help to inform fans about what’s on the ballot.
Long-time voter registration nonprofit, HeadCount, is also a partner in the campaign.
“If HeadCount wasn’t doing their work with fans being registered then it is almost pointless for us to be doing our thing,” White says. “We are working in conjunction with other organizations to make sure people are armed with information.”
By having fans post their photos on social media, tagging their local promoter and/or venue, and #iVoted, they will be entered into VIP offerings on election night and spreading awareness about voting day organically through their networks as well.
“The whole goal is to galvanize voter turnout across the country,” White says, adding that she plans to keep the movement going by turning the initiative into a nonprofit that will activate every election year in the United States and she hopes in Canada as well.
Each venue and promoter will build their local show with help from the #iVoted campaign. Details on individual shows will be announced closer to election day. To keep up to day with participating venues, artists, and promoters, follow #iVoted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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