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Dave Matthews Band, HeadCount Rally Music World Around National Voter Registration Day Tuesday

Dave Matthews
Charles Reagan Hackleman

Tomorrow — Tuesday, Sept. 22 — is National Voter Registration Day and the HeadCount non-profit organization is leading a coordinated music industry effort involving hundreds of artists, concert venues, and digital platforms.

For starters, more than 300 notable musicians will post messages and photos on their social media wearing “VOTE” masks and a call for followers to register to vote or check their voter registration status. John Mayer, Kesha, Herbie Hancock, Bob Weir, Disney channel star Laura Marano and RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Miss Peppermint got an early jump on the campaign, also wearing VOTE t-shirts provided by American Eagle Outfitters.

“Even in difficult times for the music industry, everyone seems to recognize the gravity of this election and wants to contribute,” said concert promoter Peter Shapiro, who serves as chair of HeadCount’s board of directors.

Shapiro’s Brooklyn Bowl locations are among the many concert halls across America putting “Register to Vote” messages on their marquees. Live Nation Entertainment venues such as The Wiltern in Los Angeles are also sharing messages of support as part of the company’s larger voter engagement activities including utilizing many venues as polling places. AEG Presents venues and members of the nascent National Independent Venue Association are also adding “Register to Vote at HeadCount.org” messages to their marquees.

Other elements of HeadCount’s National Voter Registration Day campaign include:

· Dave Matthews Band is bringing back the DMB Drive-In series, with a special Tuesday evening livestream featuring messages and information about voting along with an archival performance from last summer.

· Dave Matthews is also featured in HeadCount and Global Citizen’s Just Vote campaign, through which fans can receive rewards just for checking their voter registration status. Global Citizen recently announced additional artists to the campaign, with Shawn Mendes, Lenny Kravitz, Meghan Trainor, and more joining a list that includes Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, DJ Khaled, and many others.

· Atlantic Records artist Wallows are offering a free download to a previously unreleased song to anyone who checks their registration status on National Voter Registration Day. Fellow Atlantic artist Why Don’t We surprised fans last week by unveiling a ‘Why Don’t We Vote’ mural on Melrose Place to promote voter participation.

· Other HeadCount music industry partners Spotify, SoundCloud, The GRAMMY’s, Rhino Records, and Eventbrite all have special online voter registration hubs powered by HeadCount, which they’ll be promoting heavily on Tuesday.

HeadCount will also stage 40 in-person voter registration drives throughout the week, at locations ranging from record stores to community centers to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Norfolk, VA.

In most election years, HeadCount runs as many as 2,500 on-site voter registration drives at concerts and events. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the organization to pivot to a mostly digital approach. That, however, led to innovation and a record-breaking summer where online voter registration totals shot up ten times compared to 2016. The National Voter Registration Day efforts are expected to lift HeadCount past its goal of registering 200,000 voters for the 2020 election.