Why CPAC Is Playing Mumford & Sons and One Direction

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At the Republican National Convention this summer, breaks in the action were generally filled by country songs and ballads about the greatness of America. CPAC has been going with a different approach so far. To the surprise, confusion, and even consternation of some of those in attendance, walk-on and walk-off music has skewed young and pop-y, with songs from the likes of Mumford & Sons, fun., and One Direction. 

 



But it's all part of a deliberate plan: CPAC may not be ready to appeal to young conservatives by treating gays as equals, but it is ready to play music that they might enjoy.

"We're trying to ensure that the conference reflects our focus on youth and looking forward and looking at the future of the conservative movement," Laura Rigas, the national communications director for the American Conservative Union (which runs CPAC) told us. "We wanted to make sure there was music they would like."

But that doesn't mean they just lazily opened up a pop hits Pandora station and called it a day.

"In a lot of cases [the music choices] are very tailored and purposeful," Rigas said, although no speakers, as far as she's aware, have requested a specific song.