In the last week to register to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, Rumba Cafe is making sure that Columbus music lovers are prepared to cast their ballot on Nov. 6 in the grooviest way possible: with live music and drinks.
On Friday, volunteers at Rumba Cafe will be registering as many people to vote as they can while featuring an empowering lineup of bands that exclusively feature women, femmes and nonbinary people, including BABS, Corey Landis & the Finer Things, WYD and Lowlights.
“We want to make sure that the people that we love and know and that support local music are also utilizing their voice when it comes to voting,” said Sarah Nocar, vocalist and guitarist for BABS, and head organizer of the show. “Being politically involved is very important to us.”
Carly Fratianne, vocalist for WYD, said her and bandmates Courtney Hall and Maddy Ciampa were all set to play after Nocar reached out to them with her idea.
“We can all kind of see what is happening here and it is not too great for a lot of people,” Fratianne said. “We are trying to make sure everyone feels empowered to use their voice to elicit some change from the higher-ups.”
Volunteers in the crowd will be instructing people on how to properly fill out the registration form and double-checking that forms are filled out correctly, Nocar said.
Nocar and bandmates Devin Copfer, Lissa Reed and Liz Fisher are all activists in different regards. Their collective experience with volunteerism helps to give their music an empowering vibe.
“Activism kind of colors everything that we do, because it is such a large part of all of our lives,” Nocar said. “Music is both a platform for activism in a more creative and fun way, and also just a release from the difficulties of dealing with this stuff on a daily basis.”
Nocar said BABS and WYD similarly hope this show empowers women and gives them a space to feel their feelings loudly and collectively while wearing their “baddest” outfit.
“Our music is a lot of the things I think that we don’t really get to say as women in the public sphere,” Nocar said. “So, we get on stage and yell about it.”
BABS also played at a previous voter registration show to get people registered for the primary presidential election back in 2016 at Rumba Cafe. Nocar said the atmosphere of the show was one of a kind.
“We actually sold out and registered 85 people to vote, which is a lot in one night. It was great,” Nocar said.
The show is open to all ages with a $5 fee and an extra $2 charge for those under 21. Doors open at 9 p.m. on Friday.