Air Traffic Control (ATC) describes themselves as existing to "help musicians play an effective, unique and vital role in the promotion of social justice." Established by musicians and music managers, ATC provides a variety of resources related to music and activism including the recently released Special Election Edition of the 2012 Music + Activism Handbook. It's a how to guide for encouraging electoral involvement and addressing special issues of concern identified by ATC.
The 2012 Music + Activism Handbook includes a focus on five issues:
- Economic Justice
- Climate Change & Sustainability
- Media Justice
- Gay Rights
The Handbook is full of data and takes what seems to be a left/lib stance on issues and approaches. In particular they are concerned about current attempts to make it more difficult to register to vote and address such related topics as myths about voter fraud that are helping support such attempts.
Ian Rogers Interviews ATC's Erin Potts
But ATC's Handbook also offers information useful to musician/activists of any political orientation. For example, they point out legal restrictions on concerts and performances related to political issues and candidates on page 24:
"When a concert is promoted specifically to rally voters for a candidate or to communicate messages to vote for or against a candidate, the band or promoter may also be required to file a simple form with the Federal Election Commission reporting the fact and amount of the expenditures for the event (independent expenditure report)."
ATC draws on a variety of sources including a study of likely voters that finds that young people are distancing themselves from both the Democrats and the Republicans:
"Young voters hold back from both parties and are increasingly identifying as independents. Democratic identification among young people has dropped, but Republicans have not improved their standing with these voters. On our thermometer scale, we have seen a complete collapse for the Republican Party among youth since 2010."
They also draw on findings from HeadCount's Fan DNA Project which revealed some interest demographic data:
"Fans of Maroon 5, O.A.R., and John Mayer are the most likely to be Republicans. Indie rock bands like The Decemberists and The National have the highest concentration of Democrats, while jam bands like The Disco Biscuits and Sound Tribe Sector 9 have the most Libertarians as fans."
"Democrats are more likely than Republicans to attend more than 10 concerts per year (36% vs. 26%), but Libertarians trump them both, with 43% hitting a double-digit number of live music events each year."
Obviously somebody could get some great music marketing blog posts out of this Handbook.
There is a wealth of additional information and resources available in the 2012 Handbook. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you might also want to check out:
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs about dance at All World Dance. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.