Ariana Grande has an astronomically huge fandom of passionate, loyal followers, and with that power to influence, comes great responsibility. No stranger to speaking up about social and political issues, Ariana is now using her Sweetener/Thank U, Next World Tour to galvanise her young fans into getting politically engaged.
Ariana has partnered with Head Count to run the campaign #ThankUNextGen on the ground at her tour concert venues with the intention of registering young voters.
Ariana called out on Instagram encouraging her unregistered fans to visit the booth or register via text.
“so excited to partner w @headcountorg to bring voter registration & participation to all of the US stops on the @sweetener tour. visit the headcount booth at the show to use your voice and get your ‘thank u, next gen’ sticker ?? If you can’t be there to register on-site, text ‘Ariana’ to 40649 ? each and every one of you makes a difference. #thankunextgen ?”
Head Count have partnered with a bunch of musicians from Beyoncé to Harry Styles to get fans on the ground registered to vote. It’s an initiative that grows the representation of young people when it comes to voting time.
There was a big push to get millennials registered before last year’s US midterm election, and the impact celebrities can have was exemplified in the surge of new voters registered after Taylor Swift broker her political silence and backed a candidate.
Now the push continues as America comes up to its 2020 presidential election, because getting young people politically engaged is a powerful way to incite change.
While Head Count is an American organisation, the use of fame and fandom to get people politically engaged is something that translates to any country, including ours.
Not all young Australians are registered to vote, although there was an extraordinary 90,000 new voters – mostly young – who joined the electorate leading up to the marriage equality postal vote in 2017. It goes to show that sometimes it takes a call to action to get people engaged.
Artists have an opportunity to do that, and these kinds of initiatives that Ariana, Beyoncé, and even Taylor Swift are standing for, should be industry standard.