Music Votes: First-Ever Industry-Wide Voter Engagement Coalition Is Launched!

Article Contributed by Vicious Kid PR | Published on Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A coalition of the music industry's preeminent nonprofits have joined forces to increase voting participation while seamlessly integrating advocacy into the busy lives and careers of artists and music business professionals.

The new coalition, MUSIC VOTES, has designed a low-lift, high-impact nonpartisan program that's customizable and easily deployed at scale by artists, music companies, venues and record stores with the goal of turning out all who music touches to vote in November’s U.S. elections.

With less than five months to go until Election Day, there are three keys to increased voting: registration; ensuring that voters have an accepted form of ID to cast a ballot where necessary; and turning out to vote. By creating simple solutions for the industry to ensure these three steps, the group seeks to increase the participation of all voices, particularly in areas where voter suppression raises a significant risk to voting participation.

Among the members of MUSIC VOTES are voter registration mainstays HeadCount and Rock the Vote; VoteRiders, which provides free help to secure one’s ID; and turnout gurus #iVoted Concerts. These organizations are joined by leading cause-based organizations including Black Voters Matter, Environmental Voter Project, Grounded, Hip Hop Caucus, Music Declares Emergency US, NOISE FOR NOW, Pizza to the Polls, Propeller, Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities, REVERB, ShowUp, Support+Feed, The Ally Coalition, TradesForce and Well Dunn Foundation.

MUSIC VOTES was assembled and is led by the Music Sustainability Alliance (MSA). (See Appendix for more information about each organization.)

The project began when a group of professionals “came together to support each other's efforts with a focus on simplifying and streamlining how the music industry at large can have the most impact in this high stakes election,” according to Kurt Langer of MSA. “MUSIC VOTES is the result and we invite the entire industry to join our nonpartisan coalition.”

The coalition was designed to enable artists and music industry professionals to opt-in for each step of the process and to choose a level of involvement that works for them:

Involvement can be as simple as posting voter registration links.

Beyond that, an artist or their team can post or create activations for fans and employees with VoteRiders to check their ID status, where necessary, ensuring they’re ready to vote.

To increase turnout participants can align with #iVoted’s election night concerts that fans enter by showing a selfie taken outside their polling place or at home with a blank and unmarked ballot–with entry options for future voters, non-citizens and those ineligible to vote to ensure all are included.

For those looking to engage with specific causes, MUSIC VOTES provides direct resources to non-partisan issue-area expertise in such topics as Climate Change, Disability Culture, LGBTQIA+ rights, Racial and Reproductive Justice.

Additionally the project offers custom data optimization to increase participants’ effectiveness throughout each of Music Votes’ 3-steps, developed with Johns Hopkins University’s SNF Agora Institute whose mission is to strengthen global democracy. Says #iVoted CEO Emily White: “We’re able to analyze the data on the top trending artists in any location to determine which artists have the largest civic impact unique to each city and state. By comparing the artists’ fan demographics with local voter files, we can show which artists will increase voter registration and turnout the most.” The group is also developing a tool to show where any artist can have the largest civic impact by location.

One goal of MUSIC VOTES is to show not just how to vote, but why.

“Why does voting matter? I simply believe that your voice shapes the future,” said recording artist and Hip Hop Caucus Artist Relations Director Dawn Richard, formerly of Danity Kane. “When you vote, you're participating in democracy, ensuring that your opinions, values, and concerns are represented. It's a fundamental right and responsibility that empowers you to hold leaders accountable and to contribute to the collective direction of society. Your vote is not just a mark on a ballot; it's a powerful tool for change and progress.”

Head to www.music-votes.org for all info and resources.

Contact: [email protected]

APPENDIX

MUSIC VOTES Coalition Partners

#iVoted Concerts - #iVoted increases turnout by producing data-driven concerts on election night and during early voting periods that the public enters with a selfie from outside their polling place or at home with a blank and unmarked ballot. The org books the top trending artists by location & optimizes this data with the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University to show which and where artists increase civic impact the most.

Black Voters Matter - Black Voters Matter goal is to increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. We believe that effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. We agree with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Environmental Voter Project -  Environmental Voter Project turns non-voting environmentalists into consistent voters.

Grounded.org - Grounded.org unites culture, philanthropy, nonprofits, brands, and other mission-aligned organizations to accelerate climate solutions through high-impact campaigns.

HeadCount - HeadCount is a non-partisan non-profit organization that harnesses the power of music, culture and digital media to register voters and inspire participation in democracy.

Hip Hop Caucus - Hip Hop Caucus uses the power of our cultural expression to empower communities who are first and worst impacted by racial, economic, and environmental injustices. Through our Respect My Vote platform, we help BIPOC communities and returned citizens, often overlooked, get educated, mobilized, and registered to vote on the issues that matter to them, as spoken to by the artists and influencers they follow.

Music Declares Emergency US - Music Declares Emergency US’s mission is to inspire artists, music industry professionals and organizations to stand together and declare a climate and ecological emergency, and call for an immediate governmental response to protect all life on Earth. We believe in the power of music to activate fans to accelerate the cultural change needed to create a sustainable future.  

Music Sustainability Alliance (MSA) - MSA is the music industry’s green business alliance, working toward a more sustainable, effective and invested music industry for a greener planet. MSA acts primarily as a convener, bringing together community members to reduce waste and emissions within the industry, and to provide tools and resources for the industry to increase climate awareness and action among its fans.

NOISE FOR NOW - NOISE FOR NOW is a national initiative that enables artists and entertainers to connect with and financially support grassroots organizations that work in the field of Reproductive Justice, including abortion access. By organizing benefit events and campaigns, NOISE FOR NOW provides opportunities for artists and entertainers to use their talent to raise money and send a clear message that Reproductive Rights are human rights.

Pizza to the Polls - Pizza to the Polls is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to deliver free food to people who are participating in civic life. From long lines at polling places to nonpartisan events focused on voter education, registration, and turnout, Pizza to the Polls aims to bring joy back to the democratic process.

Propeller - Propeller exists to inspire activism and help build movements for change. As a leading digital platform building fan communities around causes, Propeller connects individuals with meaningful actions and issues, amplifying their voices to create measurable impact. By leveraging partnerships with influential artists, brands, and nonprofits, Propeller engages millions in campaigns that drive social progress and empower communities. With a commitment to fostering civic participation, Propeller is dedicated to mobilizing voters to not only register but show up and make their voice heard in the 2024 elections

RAMPD (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities) is a professional platform equipping the music and live entertainment industry with disability inclusive tools, programming and strategy. RAMPD also connects the industry to a global directory of peer-vetted music/sound creators and industry professionals with disabilities, neurodivergence and other chronic or mental health conditions, to find source and hire—bringing competitive opportunities, visibility and community to our Professional Members while offering disability inclusion to Industry/Venue partners.

REVERB - Leading the green music movement since 2004, REVERB partners with artists, festivals, and venues to reduce their environmental footprint while empowering millions of fans to take action on today’s most pressing environmental and social issues.

Rock the Vote - Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to empowering young people through voter registration, education and mobilization. For over thirty years, we have revolutionized the use of culture and technology to drive civic engagement and break down barriers to participation.

ShowUp - ShowUp is a platform created to help drive and support activism in the music industry. Working directly with artists, labels, distributors, promoters, and partners across the industry ecosystem, ShowUp is designed to help artists integrate activism into release and touring strategies and create strategic partnerships that amplify the reach, engagement, and fundraising capacity of an artist’s advocacy. ShowUp's partnership base includes The Orchard, ADA, Downtown, EMPIRE, and Symphonic.

Support+Feed - Support+Feed combats the climate crisis and food insecurity by working toward a global shift to an equitable, plant-based food system.

The Ally Coalition - Founded in 2013 by Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff, TAC is committed to bettering the lives of LGBTQ youth through tours, campaigns and partnerships, providing support to organizations serving LGBTQ Youth. TAC partners with artists and uses their platforms to raise awareness of the systemic inequalities facing the LGBTQ population and activate prominent members of the creative community and their fan bases to engage with these issues in meaningful and impactful ways.

TradesForce - TradesForce is on a mission to recruit one million new clean energy workers across the U.S. by partnering with artists to register workers for high-paid skilled trades jobs. Through tours, festivals, and powerful storytelling, join us in raising the profile of trades heroes, connecting more workers to paid training, and increasing access to high-paying jobs in America's booming clean energy economy.

VoteRiders - VoteRiders is the nation's leading nonpartisan organization focused on the increasingly crucial issue of voter ID. We provide voter ID education and free ID assistance to ensure every eligible voter can cast a ballot that counts.

Well Dunn Foundation - The Well Dunn Foundation provides inclusive and equitable professional experiences and financial assistance to students from socioeconomic and diverse backgrounds through mentorship, job shadowing, internships, and job placement opportunities.

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