AUSTIN — At the 2018 Austin City Limits Music Festival, not all things were about the music.
If you attended this year, you may have noticed festival-goers carrying hand fans and other merch that were encouraging people to vote. There was a reason.
An Austin-based activist group with the mission to encourage people to vote was behind it all. They're called Midterms Matter and one of their biggest eye-catchers was a full mural centrally located within the festival. There, they took the time to talk with music fans about why they should vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
Artist Xavier Schipani live painted the mural during Weekend 1 of the festival so that it would be fully ready by Weekend 2. Midterms Matter said it's been very well received, and festival-goers enjoyed chatting with the painter about voting as he worked.
"It’s not about whether you’re one party or another party, it’s just about if everybody in America votes," said Elizabeth Chapin with Midterms Matter. "And if young people vote, then that means you get to have power, and that means your voice is heard."
In addition to talking with young people about voting, Chapin said they also set up a hangout space in the artist village backstage. She said the mural there was also well-received by some of the festival's biggest names, some of which even took the Midterms Matter message on stage with them, delivering it to thousands of fans.