Willie Nelson returned to the stage Saturday to take part in the Poor People’s Campaign march for voting rights outside the Texas Capitol in Austin.
Beto O’Rourke shared video of Nelson’s performance on social media; the gig marked Nelson’s first in-person and public concert outside of his Luck, Texas ranch since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. (“I’ve been double-shotted,” the mask-less Nelson quipped about being vaccinated prior to his performance.)
The Poor People’s Campaign’s 28-mile march toward Austin began four days ago in Georgetown, Texas and culminated in Saturday’s event outside the capitol building, with Luci Baines Johnson, the youngest daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and O’Rourke also speaking at the event, the Dallas Observer reported.
The march was in protest of the state’s controversial election reform bill, which O’Rourke said would make Texas “the hardest state in the nation in which to vote.”
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Nelson, who previously campaigned on behalf of O’Rourke during the Democratic candidate’s 2018 senate race, said in a statement ahead of his Saturday concert, “It is important that we ensure the right for EVERY American to vote and vote safely. Laws making it more difficult for people to vote are Un-American & are intended to punish poor people, people of color, the elderly & disabled…why? If you can’t win by playing the rules, then it’s you & your platform – not everyone else’s ability to vote.”
Nelson will next return to the stage with his traveling Outlaw Music Festival, as well as the return of Farm Aid on September 25th alongside Neil Young, Sturgill Simpson, John Mellencamp and more.
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