Apparently some people actually care what we think and say and for that we are most grateful. We have been a constant force for pushing solutions to the political and social issues around the arts in urban settings. We have lobbied vigorously for music, for clubs, for festivals, and for artistic freedom. We will even shout out a specific politician when they do something that protects or enhances the arts (as we did for Scott Weiner when he sponsored the City’s first ever Nightlife Economic Impact Study). But when people ask HUSHconcerts to back a specific political candidate in an election we typically reply “The Watch takes no side…” (see Game of Thrones reference). People often ask us why, when (in their minds at least), the issues seem so obvious and the answers so clear. Here are our reasons.
First off, we think politics, including local politics, are anything but obvious and clear. We have been face to face with mayors, supervisors and state legislators and have been consistently surprised by them often pleasantly. Sometimes the one who we think will support the arts will have a different agenda or vice versa. For instance, the recent 10B reform that we joined with CMACsf to support, was sponsored not just by (typically described as progressive) supervisor David Campos but also by (typically described as conservative) supervisor Mark Farrell. Gavin Newsom, who was certainly not the darling of our set was probably our most vehement supporter in the fight to save North Beach Jazz Fest. In our office itself, our own outlooks reflect the incredible diversity that make the Bay Area such an amazing place. There are people on the HUSHteam who identify as independents, republicans, democrats, and anarchists. Given these factors, for us as a company, to stand behind any one candidate would be short sighted.
What we DO support are the values that make the Bay Area an incredible place to live. HUSHconcerts supports racial, sexual, and gender diversity, and is fully committed to pay equality on all lines. In 2015 we initiated a company-wide commitment to booking more female artists which culminated in our first-ever all female Silent Disco HUSHcast at Ocean Beach. We support environmental sustainability and work constantly to fulfill that commitment with rechargeable headphones, solar powered events, and leave no trace policies. We constantly search for solutions to the immense challenges facing the arts in urban settings and support specific movements, groups, and organizations that provide them.
Yeah, we play politics. You have to or politics plays YOU. But we play it by our own set of rules.
We encourage you to VOTE TOMORROW and then come dance with us tomorrow night at Whomp The Vote.
As James Brown would say “GET UP, GET INTO IT, GET INVOLVED, GET INVOLVED, GET INVOLVED!”