The Democratic National Convention this year is completely online, already making it the first of its kind. Though some of the Democrats participating are among the most liberal the convention has featured, the musical lineup of millionaire superstars comes to no surprise.
Performers include artists like Billie Eilish, who has a net worth of $53 million; John Legend, whose net worth is at $75 million; Jennifer Hudson, who clocks in at $25 million; Billy Porter, whose net worth is at an estimated $4 million; and even “indie” artist Leon Bridges, whose estimated net worth is between $1 million – $5 million. It’s enough to make you wonder—is this a serious political assembly, or just a star-studded music festival where high society gets to flaunt their wealth while they try to convince the rest of the world that they’re woke?
You’d hope politicians who claim to support the working class would try to find local favorites from their own states (or even just the swing states) to feature at the DNC. That would be a simple expression of solidarity and local pride, and maybe they’d even help to put a couple of dollars in those beloved-yet-struggling artists’ pockets.
Instead, we see rich politicians surrounded by rich pop stars (virtually, that is) while the rest of the nation struggles. At this point, it’s surprising we didn’t see a rich Instagram influencer streaming about their overpriced virtual DNC outfit.
Huge pop stars serve to garner more attention for the convention. However, that probably would’ve played better with an in-person DNC. With the entire event streaming online and people getting to pick and choose what they watch, it’s a wonder why there’s even an entertainment portion of the convention at all.
iVoted, a platform that arranges concerts to encourage voting turnout, would’ve been a better approach for the DNC. iVoted targets smaller, yet wildly popular local acts from swing states to play shows for those who can prove they voted—encouraging voter turnout. This year they’re doing just that, but, of course, it’s completely online. They’ve even already announced some of BTRtoday’s favorite underground artists like Max Pain & the Groovies, Citizen Cope, High Waisted, and gobbinjr.
Fans and artists who help cultivate thriving music scenes in their communities can only dream that one day our government will take action and do more than just express their support for the arts. Maybe Democrats can lead that charge. For now, though, is anyone really surprised that the DNC packed their virtual stage with millionaires?