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Netroots Nation is launching the Netroots Music Project to bring protest music back into progressive activism nationwide. Next July, Progressive activists from across the nation will gather in Phoenix, Arizona, at Netroots Nation, the largest progressive convention in the country. Along with speeches by Progressive leaders, activists, Members of Congress and candidates, there will be protest music to power Progressive activism both on stage and in the conference rooms.

Netroots Protest Music Project

Today the Netroots Foundation launched the Netroots Music Project (NMP) to link culture change with political change and help create the soundtrack of Progressive activism for the 21st century. The NMP will consist of a rock concert at the convention, a Music Track of panels and workshops and music showcases, and an online meeting place for bands and activists. An Indiegogo campaign goes live Thursday, 9/25/14 to underwrite the project. Donors to the project will receive special perks such as photo ops with rock stars, reserved tables at the concert, T-shirts autographed by the bands.

The NMP’s annual “Unity Concert” will feature artists from many musical genres and time periods – including the 60’s - whose lyrics and actions support Progressive social change. Each year the Unity Concert, which will be globally streamed and possibly nationally televised, will reflect and support the issues of the city and the state Netroots Nation is in; the theme next July in Phoenix will be immigration reform.

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The Music Track will offer two days of workshops, panels and showcases dedicated to bringing artists, labels, producers and political activists and organizers together to develop innovative ways to link music and change and to provide a national audience and national media for today’s artists and today’s protest music.

All of this will be enhanced by an online progressive activist/artist community where bands and artists can link up with activists and organizers in a social network supported by the state-of-the-art organizing platform Netroots Music Project staff and artists will also work with an alliance network of local and national activist organizations to bring national media and Netroots pressure for local change. The Phoenix concert next year will focus on changing America’s immigration laws and deportation policies.

Netroots Nation’s long term objective is to embed music in the Netroots organization, in the Netroots Nation convention and in Progressive activism nationally. To this end, it plans to evolve the Unity Concert into a Progressive Music Awards, broadcast live on national television and streamed live on the internet to promote bands and music in the Progressive movement.

The Indiegogo fundraising campaign is designed to underwrite the first stage of the Netroots Music Project, the staff needed to make it happen. Progressive leaders, organizers, artists and bands have come together to help the Netroots Foundation raise the first $25,000 of what is estimated to be a $125,000 cost to launch the project next year. Additional funds will come from sponsors, major donors and the thousands of progressive activists and music lovers around the country who want to support those who speak lyrics to power.


Patrick O'Heffernan