July 22nd, 2008
08:34 AM ET

The Disco Biscuits and your vote

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/art.headcount.jpg]
Kay Jones
AC360 Editorial Producer

Music festivals are always an interesting mix of people, sounds, and food. This past weekend at Camp Bisco in Mariaville, New York, was no different.

With artists like The Disco Biscuits, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Bassnectar and Snoop Dogg taking the main stage, there was ample opportunity to dance and mingle with new friends while soaking up the hot sun. But just off the main stage, was an opportunity to do something that will last long past the three days of nonstop music: Voter Registration.

Many concerts and music festivals have voter registration tents. But at Camp Bisco the organizers of HeadCount made the most of their opportunity, making their tent the first you pass while leaving the main stage area. HeadCount says it is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that was created in 2004 by a group of artists, music professionals and fans who wanted the music scene represented at the polls. They have traveled around to various concerts and festivals over the past four years and are seeing record numbers this year.

While Camp Bisco isn’t the biggest festival they’ve been at, HeadCount co-chair Andy Bernstein told me that percentage wise, this was the most successful mid-size festival this year with 366 of the roughly 7500 in attendance registering. The music fans at this particular festival were mostly fans of the event organizers, The Disco Biscuits, and those who came to the tent early in the day Thursday and Friday got a real treat as Marc Brownstein, the bass player for the band, came out to talk to those interested in HeadCount.

Brownstein is the other co-chair of the organization and is doing all he can to make sure people know what to do to get their voice heard, even mentioning HeadCount during Thursday night’s Disco Biscuits show.

HeadCount will be out and about at many more concerts and festivals this summer, encouraging young people to get involved in the political process. And while every election cycle has stories about how the youth vote will set records, after seeing how many people were interested in our voting process in this short three-day span, I am inclined to think this year’s election actually will set records.

Filed under: 360° Radar • AC360° Staff
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. alexbrsdy

    The process of registering to vote is fraught with red tape and mystery, that's why so many busy people, disenfranchised people and also healthy happy kids who would rather live life then wade through paper work, don't vote. HeadCount is great organization that gives the service of registering all many people painlessly and incredibly efficiently, whether or not these people are partying or not when they register, when they get that registration card in the mail they will be grateful they get to participate in democracy.

    August 12, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  2. marge brownstein

    Needless to say, I am so proud of my son, Marc for spear heading this wonderful organization, Headcount. I was recently at Camp Bisco and saw the dedication and exuberance of the volunteers. Maybe every parent, friend, mentor can get their voter age son or daughter to the Headcount.org website and if they are not registered, have them register there. Then get educated. This is your country and each of us has to exercise our right and privilege to vote. Congratulations to Headcount and all the dedicated volunteers out there. They are working selflessly to make this election, an election where everyone, young and old participate.

    July 29, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Sharon from Indy

    The HeadCount program sounds promising for registering young people to vote. But what will get any over 18-year old registered voter out to vote this year is the overall lack of trust we have in the economy, the Bush Administration and Congress.

    I too feel the election will be recording breaking and probably controversial especially if it comes down to something like the "Florida incident" in 2000. I believe the American people will not tolerate the Supreme Court getting involved again.

    I hope the election precincts will be ready for very long lines. Printing enough ballots, extended voting hours or electronic malfunctions need to be addressed before Election Day.

    Now we just have to get through the conventions and the VP picks.

    July 22, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  4. Larry

    What documentation do they provide when they register?

    July 22, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Marc Brownstein

    As the co-chair of HeadCount, I can tell you that, yes, indeed, these kids do vote once they are registered. Over 8 in 10 registered voters between the ages 18-29 actually make it to the polls. Getting them signed up to vote is 8/10th's of the battle. I can't tell you how many of these kids thank us for making it easier for them to step into this process!

    Marc B
    Disco Biscuits/HeadCount

    July 22, 2008 at 11:06 am |
  6. deborah, OH

    I have heard about this organization.
    Most of the younger ones I encounter (my son's & granddaughter's 'circles'), think politics is a waste of time, as is voting. I have talked myself red, white, & blue to change their minds. lol.
    Hope HeadCount can help this younger generation to sit up & take notice of their amazing world.

    The exception to these younger ones is the bloggers I encounter on AC360 every night. Never a dull moment there!! Keep up the GOOD work.

    Good Luck to HeadCount!

    July 22, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  7. Michelle, CA

    That's great! I've been at several events in the last couple weeks where I saw booths for voter registration-LatinoExpo in San Diego, the Pride Festival, and a naturalization ceremony, and the booths were busy. Hopefully you're right and record numbers will come out to vote.

    According to the US census bureau report in the 2004 election, out of 32 million people who were not registered, 5% said it was because they didn't know how to register. That's a lot of people! Events like this can help bring those numbers down and voter turnout up!

    Now... it's just about getting them to the polls in November...

    July 22, 2008 at 9:32 am |
  8. Cindy

    I've been to several concerts and music festivals in the past that were registering people to vote. I think that it is a good idea but really will these people vote? And honestly will they even remember registering!? LOL I mean really a lot of them are high as kites when they register! LOL Just being honest....


    July 22, 2008 at 8:59 am |

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