BELMONT UNIVERSITY AND CMT ONE COUNTRY TEAM UP TO HOST ‘YOUR VOICE YOUR CHOICE’ CONCERT EVENT
City-wide Initiative Pushes Voter Registration in Advance of Presidential Debate
NASHVILLE – August 12, 2008 – Make a decision. Have it heard. Belmont University and CMT One Country will host the “Your Voice Your Choice” concert event at the Curb Event Center on Wed., Aug. 27, including free food, voter registration and outdoor performances beginning at 5 p.m. The community-wide event, encouraging voter registration in advance of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont University, will include performances by Eli Young Band and Randy Rogers Band along with a Student Battle of the Bands featuring acts from local universities.
Tickets, which are free to students with a college ID or $5 for the general public, go on sale today at 10 a.m. at the Curb Event Center box office on Belmont’s campus and all Ticketmaster outlets. In addition to the Curb box office, student tickets will also be distributed at the Sarratt box office at Vanderbilt University, the Office of Student Life & Diversity Initiatives at Volunteer State, at the Student Services office at Tennessee State and at the Student Life office at Nashville State Community College.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the local nonprofit partners of CMT One Country, the pro-social initiative of cable network CMT, which include Hands On Nashville, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. In addition, students picking up tickets by Aug. 25 will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes offering front row tickets, meet and greet passes and other prizes. Additional details and rules are available at YOURVOICE.CMT.COM.
Belmont Associate Provost and Dean of Students Dr. Andrew Johnston said, “We’re convinced that Belmont’s opportunity to host the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate is also a Nashville opportunity. It presents a valuable and unusual opportunity for colleges and universities in Nashville to draw their students’ attention to the privilege and responsibilities of citizenship. The ‘Your Voice Your Choice’ event kicks-off Belmont’s year-long celebration of debate-related programming under the theme ‘the Art of Being Free,’ and it also marks the beginning of focused student voter registration campaigns and collaborative programming at educational institutions across the city.”
“CMT One Country is proud to partner with Belmont University to urge students and Nashville residents alike to register to vote and make their voices heard with this ‘Your Voice Your Choice’ concert,” said Lucia Folk, director of public affairs for CMT. “We are pleased to have the Eli Young Band and Randy Rogers Band lend their voices to this great cause that benefits not only attendees, but also our non-profit partners in the Middle Tennessee area."
HeadCount, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to voter registration and inspiring participation in democracy through the power of music, will be on site at the event with the means of registering voters from all across the country. Volunteers from the organization will complete registration applications for participants on the spot and forward them to the respective state election boards. This event is open to the entire community, and any citizen who will be 18 by election day will be eligible to register to vote. The last day to register to vote in Tennessee for the presidential election is Oct. 6, the day before the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate at Belmont University. College students are allowed to register and to vote based on either their home address or their school address.
The event begins at 5 p.m. with free food, voter registration and outdoor performances, and the Eli Young Band/Randy Rogers Band concert is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the indoor performance.
CMT One Country, CMT's pro-social initiative, was launched in the fall of 2005 to promote civic participation and inspire CMT viewers to take action and bring about important change in their communities. CMT One Country partners include America’s Second Harvest, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Network and the USO (United Service Organizations). Led by Advisory Board members President Jimmy Carter, Maya Angelou and General Colin Powell, whose combined service to America is legendary, CMTONECOUNTRY.com aims to offer tools to help anyone start making a difference immediately. For more information: www.CMTONECOUNTRY.com.
CMT, a unit of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 87 million homes in the U.S. CMT and its website, CMT.com, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.
Belmont University, host of the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, is a fast-growing community of 5,000 students who come from almost every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 75 areas of study, 12 master’s programs and three doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit www.belmont.edu.
Named by Rolling Stone as one of “the MUST-SEE tours of Summer,” the Randy Rogers Band takes the stage over 220 dates a year, playing to sold-out crowds night after night. The buzz out on the road has helped the band to develop a cult following of college students across the country. That combined with a focus on viral and online marketing landed the band its first No. 1 album when they surpassed country super group Rascal Flatts as the No. 1 most downloaded country album on iTunes. The band has recently opened for the likes of The Eagles and Willie Nelson and will release its sophomore album on Mercury Records Nashville this fall.
With one of the fastest growing fan bases in the country, the Eli Young Band grossed over $1.7 million, sold over 100,000 tickets and played well over 200 dates in 2007, including Austin City Limits Music Fest in Austin – all without being signed to a major label. The band has performed a number of sold out shows throughout the region and caused a stir among concert promoters from Chicago to Kansas City and Denver by drawing up to 500 fans on a first-time play in these markets. That, coupled with tour media and an ability to market themselves online, enabled them to make the leap from regional success to industry buzz band. Eli Young Band’s debut album, Jet Black & Jealous, on Universal Republic/Universal Records South is due in stores on Sept. 16.
HeadCount was created in 2004 by a group of artists, music industry professionals and fans, all determined to make sure the live music community is well-represented at the polls. HeadCount has registered close to 100,000 voters at more than 1,000 concerts and also produced nationally televised public service announcements. For more information, visit www.headcount.org.
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