On Sept. 15, 2018, on a beautiful afternoon at Curtis Hixon Park, passionate individuals graced the stage to bring the all so relevant and important topic of gun violence and voting to the audience’s attention. Every minute filled with amazing music and powerful messages, the Tampa “Bands and Ballots” event organized by “March For Our Lives” was nothing short of informative and entertaining. The event showcased young and upcoming local performers and passionate young activists who came together to make sure that all of Tampa’s young voters would work to put gun sense candidates into office next Nov. 6.
The event was intimate and well organized and placed the focus on gun control and voting by putting booths sponsored by political candidates and youth organizations to talk to people that were visiting the event and answer important questions about voter registration. Many bands performed that afternoon, each followed by an activist or activist group giving a short public service announcement or speech in between. The night began with the talented all-girl cover band, “76 Cut Short,” which is made up of girls still in middle school. They started off the night on a bright and inspiring note with their covers of the Beatles and more.
Many other artists performed but the most memorable were Gabriella Rose, Nathalie Hernandez, and “Tomorrow’s News.” First off was Gabriella Rose, a 10-year-old girl with a powerful voice and natural talent. She got up on the stage an played multiple different songs, just her and her ukulele. She belted out the notes with no fear or hesitation and proved her talent and stage presence. Nathalie Hernandez presented something unique to the audience, with her reggae covers and original song about her own experience at the tragic shooting on the Las Vegas strip in 2017. The song brought the audience to tears and inspired many to take action and use the power of their vote to put gun sense candidates in office. Finally, to close out the show, local favorite band and upcoming stars Tomorrow’s News brought energy and excitement back to the stage with covers of modern alternative music. Lead singer Alina and her ensemble of talented musicians gave off incredible stage presence and talent for all of them still being high school students.
Overall, Bands and Ballots was an inspiring event that gave a call to action to many to get registered to vote and use their power to vote in candidates that represent similar views on topics they care about. The event was amazing and it helped to show the power of young people in today’s society when they come together to work on issues they are passionate about.
Check out a highlight video of the event here:
Links to all the artists who performed at the event:
76 Cut Short:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/17213314″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
The John Clark Band:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/69022524″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/405056724″ params=”color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Grace Beilman // Staff Writer