Vote for Change was a group of 41 musicians and bands whose activities were coordinated by MoveOnPAC.org (the political action committee of MoveOn.org). Its member artists performed 34 concerts in 28 cities in several key election “battleground” states — Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and Florida — during October 2004 in an effort to derail President George W. Bush’s reelection bid. Prior to 2004, many rock concerts had been organized to raise funds for such causes as curing AIDS, ending South African apartheid, opposing nuclear power, and relieving the ravages of famine. The Vote for Change tour was the first organized effort by entertainers seeking to help elect a particular political party’s candidate.
Vote for Change funneled its concert revenues into the coffers of the anti-Bush group America Coming Together (ACT). The musicians involved also used tour appearances as occasions to speak out against President Bush both during concerts and in local media interviews at each stop. Among the best known of the musicians and bands involved with Vote for Change were Jackson Browne, the Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., and Bruce Springsteen.
“We’re trying to put forward a group of progressive ideals and change the administration in the White House,” Springsteen told the Associated Press. “That’s the success or failure, very clear cut and very simple.”
The Vote for Change tour attracted large audiences, garnered considerable media coverage, and raised approximately $10 million for ACT.