Is caucus season the new festival season? As music festivals around the world are releasing their artist lineups, the hottest ticket this year might just be Bernie Sanders’ caucus rally. The presidential hopeful just announced two rallies in Iowa with musical guests Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend. Flower crowns are not required, though we are sure glitter and busting out your best festival 'fits would be welcomed.
Luckily, it’s not during Coachella weekend, Governors Ball, or during Reading and Leeds Festival or else we would be in big trouble trying to choose. Bon Iver will play the first night on January 31 at Horizon Events Center in Clive, IA at 6 p.m. and Vampire Weekend is playing an acoustic set on February 1 at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA, also at 6 p.m.
At each, Sanders will address his supporters and speak about his plans should he be elected president. He has been a consistent frontrunner since he announced his presidential bid in March 2019. Both shows are free and open to the public with special VIP seating for anyone who has volunteered for Sanders’ campaign and knocked on 150 or more doors in Iowa.
The competition is stiff among Democratic candidates and as the primaries draw closer, and polls have the top four running a very tight and unpredictable race. Aside from Sanders, that includes Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But, Sanders, who despite reports is actually a political favorite, is definitely appealing to young voters. Choosing “Harmony Hall” over a traditional town hall, Sanders clearly knows his voter base. He even opted for a festival lineup-style promotional poster to announce the rallies designed by artist and activist, Molly Crabapple.
Bon Iver shouted out the event on their Instagram and Twitter. “I believe, unequivocally, that all people deserve support, love, and the freedom to choose how to live their own lives,” said Justin Vernon of Bon Iver in a statement.
“There are promises in our constitutional language that are being superseded by money and greed in this country; I believe that Senator Sanders is the only one that has the pedigree, the experience, the courage, and the undying spirit to begin to put these obstacles of freedom to rest.” Bernie, if you’re reading this, please use Bon Iver’s song “Blood Bank” to transition into talking about the need for affordable healthcare for all. Just a suggestion.
Both bands are longtime supporters of Sanders. Vampire Weekend performed at Sanders’ rallies in Iowa and New York during his 2016 campaign. Vernon supported Sanders at his April 2016 Wisconsin rally. So, you could say, they were “feeling the Bern” before it was cool.