By Laura Hertzfeld
August 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM EDT
Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The Democrats may have a more party-hardy reputation than the Republicans, but that doesn’t mean the right isn’t planning to get down with some celebs this week. Speaking from experience (I covered both conventions in 2008), I’d like to note that regardless of the celebrity special guest performing — be it or Willie Nelson — convention parties are pretty boring compared to Oscar parties or SXSW parties, or even say, your niece’s third birthday party. Most of the attendees at the DNC and RNC alike are delegates in uncomfortable suits, dancing uncomfortably to some band they’ve never heard of.

But I’m not that blasé — it can be exciting to catch John McCain shaking it up to Big & Rich or Jon Voight getting down with Kid Rock. So if you’re at all curious about what’s going down when the sun goes down in Tampa, here’s a list of the musical and entertainment acts scheduled to appear during the RNC. If you’re planning a trip to Tampa, however, don’t expect to get in – most of these events are for donors and range from hundreds to thousands for a ticket.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t mean the artists are necessarily part of the party’s platform just because they are attending – some events are hosted by non-partisan groups like Rock the Vote (who have parties at both conventions) and are more about engagement than party affiliation.

In Tampa, the city’s hip Ybor City area is planning to be the hub for hot parties. And it’s not just music – there’s even a Back to the Reagan 80’s party with an invitation mimicking the Back to the Future poster – for those hoping Alex P. Keaton-as-Marty-McFly may magically appear.

For a complete list of events, check out Politico’s convention calendar. Next week, we’ll give a rundown of the Dems plans — you be the judge of which VIP invites sound like a better time.


DJ Steve Aoki (Rock the Vote)

Gavin DeGraw (Musicians on Call)

Robert Earl Keen and Drive-by Truckers

Cheap Trick and Trace Adkins


Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker (Got Your 6 non-partisan event)

Kid Rock



Back to the 80’s party

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