Performance at the Polls

Oct 30, 2020

On Election Day 2020, musicians across the state shared joy and thanked voters with socially distant performances at the polls. 

Illinois performers from a wide range of genres provided socially-distant outdoor performances for voters at polling places across the state, including Chicago, Rockford, Springfield, Bloomington, Sparta, Evanston, and Carbondale. While Illinois artists and arts organizations are struggling with the financial crisis and closures brought on by COVID-19, they are more determined than ever to be civically engaged this election season, thank voters for their participation, and encourage everyone to make their voices heard.

Partnering organizations include the Chicago Independent Venues League, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, Porchlight Music Theatre, Rockford Symphony, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, the South Side Jazz Coalition, the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.

If you’re an artist who wants to add a performance at your own polling place in the future, check out the Artist Guide below for best practices and social media assets to join in offering your talents. Find our talented performers by searching the hashtags #SpreadCivicLove and #LiftEveryVote. 

An Artist’s Guide

So you want to spread some civic joy on Election day? Well you’ve come to the right place! Below are some helpful tips to keep your performances safe, legal, and joyous on Election Day.


We recommend choosing a polling place with enough outdoor space that you can be safely away from voters as they wait. You can find your local polling place here. If you’d like to see additional polling places, you can search your county’s website for a full list.


Polls are open 6AM – 7PM on Election Day with peak hours projected for the morning and evening. Feel free to get set up at any time during these polling hours, and boost morale with 30 minute or less set.


  • Bring your PPE!
      • Wear a mask and/or face shield when performing at all times. If wearing a mask is not possible then please place yourself at least 25-50 feet away from voters.
  • NO Campaigning or Smack Talking.
      • In Illinois, no one is allowed to electioneer or solicit votes within 100 feet of a polling place. You may not make any statements about any candidates on the ballot. You can let voters know why you’re there, to support the democratic process and thank folks for voting!
  • Maintain Social Distance.
      • Stay 100 feet away from the polls, but also stay at least 12 feet away from any voting lines! Because of limits to how many people can be in a polling place at a time, there may be more outdoor lines than normal this Election Day.
  • Be Perceptive.
      • Tensions are high these times of year, and not everyone will be in the mood for a song while they wait in line. If voters seem bothered or ask you to stop, please respect their wishes, and try again at a different time.
  • Post about your performance. 
      • If you post about your performance, be sure to tag @ArtsAllianceIL and use the hashtag #LiftEveryVote, so we can amplify your work and track the impact around the state!
      • Follow us on social media to see other performances at polling locations across the state!

Check out the 2020 Poll Performances!