Ali Harnell completed her first full year at the helm of Women Nation just in time for the concert industry to be shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she’s moving forward on a major election-year initiative called “All Womxn Vote.”
Intended as a celebration of women and the power of the vote, it was imagined as the largest one-day, multi-city concert event on Aug. 16 including a live broadcast. Harnell says the current conditions dictate continual adjustment.
“We’re not giving up on producing something fresh and multi-faceted that will honor all women winning the right to vote through the 19th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it’s more important than ever that we show up and use it,” Harnell says. “There are so many amazing female artists out there that can use their platforms and voices to inspire people everywhere.”
Artists who inspire Harnell, and have 2021 tours in the works include Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Sugarland and “a few other unnamed hopefuls.” She’s “obsessed with Haim and their new release, Women in Music Part III, and cites Brandy Clark, Ingrid Andress, Tenille Townes, and Lindsay Ell as special women coming from the country format.
Harnell adds, “I’m also involved with Live Nation’s commitment to equity and diversity and working on all the different ways we are showing up stronger and better.” She acknowledges, “We’ve got a long way to go but I’m hopeful. It’s clear that leadership roles need to make progress with equitable representation by women, Black people, and other people of color. I’m super focused on this and we’re developing new strategies at Live Nation and digging in harder across the board on identifying key opportunities to drive and influence change. As an industry, we have got to get diverse faces and voices in key roles.”
In the meantime, with the industry on pause for live shows, Harnell says “the shutdown has given us all time to pause and regain a newfound appreciation for the shows and live music that we love. I think we’re all ready to hit the ground running when we can get back to having shows at scale again and look forward to solving for and seeing how that plays out over the next year.”