Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ala Jambase


More than a dozen artists and promoters are backing HeadCount by agreeing to donate 50 cents from the sale of each ticket at participating concerts to support the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization's voter registration campaign. These concerts, which include six national festivals as well as events at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater, have all been branded with the banner of "Cents For Sense." This integrated fundraising and message initiative is expected to raise close to $75,000 and help HeadCount achieve its goal of registering 100,000 voters before November's election.

The festival lineup consists of Summer Camp, Mountain Jam, High Sierra, All Good Music Festival, Camp Bisco, and Gathering of the Vibes. Labor Day weekend concerts by The Allman Brothers Band and Bob Weir & RatDog (August 30) and Gov't Mule and Umphrey's McGee (August 31) are also participants in the Cents for Sense campaign.

"We set out to find a way that bands and promoters can support the cause and put a real voter participation message behind their concerts," said Marc Brownstein, HeadCount's co-chair and the bass player for the popular electronic rock band The Disco Biscuits. "We're really touched by the outpouring of support."

Brownstein's band was one of the first to participate, donating 50 cents from the sale of each ticket on their winter tour in January. STS9 followed suit with their winter tour, raising over $10,000 for HeadCount. Michael Franti and Spearhead will participate with two headlining concerts in Bend, Oregon (May 23) and Eugene, Oregon (May 24). Upstate New York rock band moe. has also made a significant contribution, raising over $5,000 through donations from ticket and merchandise sales.

Meanwhile, charities affiliated with Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson have donated an additional $70,000 to cover the costs of sending voter registration teams on the road with their respective U.S. summer tours. The Bama Works Fund, a donor-advised fund whose board of directors includes each member of Dave Matthews Band, has supported HeadCount since 2004 and is one of the organization's largest financial backers. Funding for this summer's Jack Johnson tour came from the foundation run by apparel brand Patagonia. Patagonia's "Vote the Environment" initiative is one of the key messages of Johnson's All At Once campaign, a social action network providing information, tools, and motivation to empower individuals to become active in their local and global communities. O.A.R. will donate VIP ticket packages for each concert on its summer tour, to be auctioned by HeadCount.

Efforts extend from these top-selling bands to up-and-coming ones like The Ryan Montbleau Band, which is donating 50 cents per ticket from every single one of its shows from now through November 2008. Venues such as The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado have also signed on. In addition, the Cents for Sense campaign is backed by various media outlets that have donated advertising space to promote these concerts. Cents for Sense media sponsors include Village Voice Media, which has provided advertising in various weekly arts papers, Relix Magazine, and