Music can move people to action, but with COVID raging, online performances have replaced large concerts. Virtual events are tailored to local audiences. Turnout increases as streaming technology lets organizers host more get-out-the-vote events with less lead time, cost and effort.
GOTV Concerts is organizing three non-partisan, online concerts with musicians in Georgia to get out the vote in the Senate Runoff Elections on YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and BigStage. The concerts have links for audience members to request absentee ballots, find early voting locations and other helpful voting resources.
COVID-19 has disrupted the traditional political music concert model. Large events with mega stars that fans would drive miles to see have been replaced by streamed events watched on phones. Artists cope with a loss of income from concert sales and sales of their merchandise. Technology vendors like YouTube and Twitch stream events for free, but profit from selling ads during the performance and by collecting information on viewers. Organizers like GOTV Concerts are adapting to this new landscape with online concerts that benefit both voters, artists and democracy.
The concert features an all star cast of musicians from Georgia
D.R.E.S. Tha BEATtnik - A pillar of Atlanta's hip-hop and nightlife communities. He launched the SMART IS THE NEW COOL Radio & The FOLLOWTHEHAT Movement. [Support]
J. Nolan - Independent Hip-Hop artist, songwriter, event curator, and co-founder of Fresh & Local ATL, an initiative dedicated to educating independent artists. [Support]
Ke Turner - A hip hop artist, preserving the golden era sound of emceeing over boombap tracks while giving you the new wave. [Support]
Keeyen Martin - A North Carolina native who's sound is said to be a perfect blend of soul and RnB. [Support]
Eli - Rhythm and blues artist Eli is a quiet storm of cool. While she is a self-taught guitarist, her voice is an instrument within itself. [Support]
Nini Nicole - A songwriter and hip-hop recording artist who was born and raised in Atlanta. [Support]
Derrick Worsley - Actor, director, producer and Brand Ambassador for International Companies K Michael Collection and Sweet Sweat. [Support]
Morissa Jeanine - An all rounder in entertainment whose music career and YouTube sensation. She is a music creator; with her natural talent, education, and experience she has been able to accomplish many projects creating an independent movement of her own. [Support]
Music for political activism
"In 1990 Rock The Vote, a new, non partisan non-profit was founded to promote voter registration among America’s youth. Their marketing snazzy blend of big name band and artist endorsements and political activism. In 2004 Marc Brownstein and his friend Andy Bernstein founded the nationwide non-profit, non-partisan HeadCount that took registering to vote to the people, by setting up shop at concerts and festivals around the nation." - Live For Live Music
COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to online events. Control and revenue has shifted from in-person concert venues to online streaming platforms. Artists struggle as revenue from event ticket sales shrinks and video-streaming platforms keep most of the profit from selling ads on their online performances. Artists apply their talents for democracy by getting out the vote and experimenting with BigStage online events where they directly benefit from donations and collect information on their fans.
Profits from video streamed events
"Facebook has been pushing live broadcasting on the social network hard. Folks who have over 2,000 followers and can get at least 300 people to watch one of their live broadcasts concurrently. Facebook will share 55% of the ad revenues with live broadcasters. If you do meet Facebook’s qualifications, the company will reach out to you and invite you to have ads inserted into your live video via a notification. Your first 15 second ad, from the Facebook ad network, could run 4 minutes into your broadcast, momentarily stopping your live stream. The second break will come 5 minutes later. You don’t have to run the ad in your live show if you don’t want, and viewers can’t skip through ads.
YouTube, has been paying folks a 55% share of ad revenues for years, in exchange for making videos that post on YouTube. You need 10,000 subscribers to qualify for live mobile streaming and the 55% share of ad revenues." - excerpted from article Jefferson Graham in USA Today
The move from large concerts to thousands of video streamed events is the equivalent of running an ad on national TV vs advertising on regional TV channels. It costs less and messages can be targeted locally. Groups such as GOTV Concert have recognized the power of having local artists who relate to their communities are a powerful force to get out the vote - especially with young voters and communities of color. Apply to use BigStage at no charge for events related to voting rights, social justice and non-profit cause.
Get Out The Vote...To Music... Join DRES tha BEATnik online for a free live concert on Friday December 18th at 8 PM EST as he hosts a group of cutting-edge artists to help Get Out The Vote for the upcoming Georgia runoff election. More info at GOTVConcerts.org.
A special thanks to Reclaim Our Vote, Blue Future and DemCast for sharing this GOTV Concert.