Music City will welcome the eyes of the nation Sept. 22 with “Rock the Vote at Belmont University: Nashville Colleges Celebrate Democracy,” a 90-minute concert event to promote voter registration prior to Belmont’s Oct. 22 hosting of the third and final presidential debate. Set to broadcast on National Voter Registration Day, performers will include student and alumni acts from Belmont University, Fisk University, Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University, as well as special guest Bren Joy and a headlining set from Moon Taxi, both Belmont alumni.
“Belmont is committed to hosting a presidential debate because our mission as educators doesn’t stop at the classroom doors,” said University President Dr. Bob Fisher. “This debate—and all of the exciting programs we’re offering leading up to it—will serve to provide our students and citizens across the country key insights into important issues impacting our nation. We are so proud to partner with Rock the Vote, fellow Nashville universities and our valued alumni to host this concert to celebrate democracy and promote voting.”
Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. will serve as the presenting sponsor for the concert, which can be viewed beginning at 7 p.m. Central Thurs., Sept. 22. Rock the Vote, which is dedicated to building the political power of young people, is set to host the event on the organization’s YouTube channel and it will also be viewable on Belmont’s YouTube channel well as the Rock the Vote and Belmont University Facebook pages.
"For 30 years, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the use of culture and technology to reach young people where they are with messages that inspire and empower them to get involved in the political process,” said Carolyn DeWitt, president and executive director of Rock the Vote, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Belmont University and young Nashville artists to celebrate National Voter Registration Day and mobilize young people to take action by registering to vote.”
Alternative rock band Moon Taxi, whose members met as students at Belmont, will headline the evening. Lead singer Trevor Terndrup, a 2007 Belmont graduate, said, “We are happy to be playing such an important show for our alma mater. College is a place where you learn about truth, justice and equality. The voting booth is where you put those ideals to the test. We all must all do our part in this upcoming election. College students have the ability to change the world and I think it’s important to remind young people how much power they have by casting a ballot.”
Doug Howard, dean of Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, said, "I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the upcoming Presidential Debate 2020 on Belmont's campus and to prepare for this year's national election than to join with Rock the Vote to encourage all students to engage in their civic duty and register to vote!"
The concert, which is being produced live by Nashville-based video production companies TNDV Television and Stereophonic Films with assistance from Curb College Showcase students, is intended to showcase a spirit of collaboration and celebration among local college musicians and artists. The event will take place at Belmont’s Curb Event Center, the arena which will also host the Oct. 22 presidential debate. Participating acts include:
Spoken word artist Sommer Jade (Tennessee State University)
Acapella group The Melodores (Vanderbilt University)
R&B soul singer/songwriter Lauren McClinton (Fisk University)
Pop/rock band Shelter Cove (Middle Tennessee State University)
Indie rock/pop artist Annie DiRusso (Belmont University)
Between performances, clips will provide information on both how to register to vote, important deadlines and resources for learning more about the upcoming election. Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, there will not be a live audience, and strict guidelines will be adhered to in terms of health screenings, social distancing and sanitation for those performing and producing the event.
For more information, visit belmontdebate2020.com/rock-the-vote.