National voter awareness and participation campaign Rock the Vote will set up the stage at Mission Plaza Oct. 3. The event, which is presented by the student-run, nonpartisan organization GET OUT THE VOTE, will feature five hours of live music and speeches.
Rock the Vote, which has the support of many well-known celebrities such as Madonna and P. Diddy, has been raising voter awareness among the younger voting generations for the past 20 years.
The goal of the event is to get students, a valuable constituency in the area, active in the local voting process since most of the students aren’t originally from the San Luis Obispo area, event producer Johnny Kenny said.
With more student voters registered and participating, they can help mold and change an election, Kenny said.
“We want to show (local politicians) that we do care (about the community) and we are a demographic that does matter,” Kenny said.
Among the musical acts featured for Rock the Vote are local bands Still Time, PK and Rey Fresco, nationally renowned drummer Ricky Rocks, DJ Bayati and special guest, Kendal Naughton of the band Colorshow.
Kenny said the bands were chosen because they are musically diverse, have ties to the Central Coast and appeal to the college crowd.
Still Time, a San Luis Obispo-based band that formed in 2004, plays music that is described on its Myspace page as “groove rock with an eclectic mix of instruments.”
The band, which has released two studio albums to date, will be playing new interpretations of some of the songs on these albums, “new jams and new covers” along with a new seventh member, a saxophone player, said drummer John Vucinich.
Vucinich said the band enjoys playing events on the Central Coast because of the “community-sense” of it all.
An all-ages event like Rock the Vote is “something that brings the whole community in” because both children and adults can attend, Vucinich said.
“(At Rock the Vote), we’re gonna be bringing a lot of the energy we always bring to our live shows,” Vucinich said. “We’ll definitely talk about the (voter awareness) event during our set.”
Still Time is currently writing music for a third full-length album, which Vucinich said will be released sometime next spring. The band also has an acoustic and piano stripped-down EP coming out sometime early next year.
Templeton-based upbeat rock band PK, will also hit the stage on Sunday.
“PK has a very dedicated following (among college students),” Kenny said.
Rock the Vote will also feature acts that have garnered loyal followings elsewhere, such as the band Rey Fresco, an eclectic mix of reggae, Latin and rock which is “huge in Santa Barbara,” and Kendal Naughton, the lead singer of the electro/hip-hop/pop band Colorshow, Kenny said.
Naughton will be performing with Ricky Rocks and DJ Bayati.
In between each set, local candidates for office will speak about their campaigns and the significance of voter participation. Candidates expected to attend include a representative for Congresswoman Lois Capps, state assembly candidate Katcho Achadjian, candidates for mayor Andrew Farrell, Paul Brown and council member Jan Marx, council seat candidate Dan Carpenter and sheriff candidate Ian Parkinson.
Marx, a San Luis Obispo city council member and candidate for mayor, stresses the importance of voting because she said voting helps guide and shape the country and local community.
“I’d say it’s one of the most important lessons in adulthood,” Marx said.
English junior Andrew Bloom, who plans on attending the event, said mixing something that others may consider “lame,” such as voting, with a free, big music festival is an “interesting combination” that might be effective in encouraging more people to register to vote.
Bloom votes during every election “because if (he) didn’t, (he’d) go really bananas from watching CNN on any given day,” he said.
“I totally encourage everyone to vote early and vote often,” Bloom said.
Rock the Vote will start at 1 p.m. The free event is open to the public of all ages.