AOC at Orlando music festival: ‘Ron DeSantis, you should be scared’
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The vibe was laid back with a political twist.

Democrats had one clear message as they rallied in Orlando at the U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost-fronted MadSoul music festival: Don’t give up on Florida.

Frost, the first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress, announced he is running for re-election at his musical festival, which included cameos by U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and entertainer Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“What we’re showing not just our city and our state, but the entire country, is: Don’t give up on Florida,” Frost told the crowd. “Don’t give up on the South. Don’t give up on us. We’re not defined by Donald Trump and fascist Ron DeSantis.”

About 3,000 people gathered at Loch Haven Park, a grassy field just north of downtown Orlando. The vibe was laid-back with a political twist and included food trucks, alcohol for sale, and voter sign-up booths.

Some wore Orange County Democrat and abortion rights shirts instead of concert T-shirts. Indie band Muna, the night’s main act, stopped performing at one point to have a lengthy conversation with pro-Palestine protesters who demanded to be brought up on stage.

Frost and AOC told the crowd that the festival was meant to bring people together and show liberals are fighting together in the state.

“They will not keep us down. You can cut down every flower, but you can’t stop Spring,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “You’re never going to let them take this state because we’re taking it back for all people. Ron DeSantis, you should be scared.”

It was the first big music fest Frost had organized. He and his friends had started their own event that drew no more than 50 people in years past. Frost played drums with the band Venture Motel during the festival as the crowd held up phones and took pictures of the country’s youngest Congressman.

Festival ticket sales went toward the MadSoul Victory Fund to support Maxwell Frost for Congress and a Love Supreme PAC. “Both will donate a portion of proceeds to local abortion funds, LGBTQ+, and community organizations,” according to the event website.

Miranda made a cameo at the festival to push young people to get involved and vote in November.

“Democracy is on the line and we really need you to vote,” said Miranda, who didn’t perform his popular Hamilton songs. “If you’re not old enough to vote, make sure you volunteer. Make sure you work in a campaign. Do something. There’s no shortage of ways to do good in this world.”

Frost brought on stage Democratic hopefuls, including Monique Worrell, Orlando’s former State Attorney whom DeSantis ousted last year. She is running again in the November election.

Not everyone was thrilled with the festival.

Alan Grayson, who previously lost to Frost in 2022 and is now challenging U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, complained to the city that the event should be shut down because he said it was an inappropriate fundraiser on public property.

The festival had gone through the proper process to get a permit.

“When the city receives a permit request, each permit is reviewed and issued based on objective criteria set forth in city code,” according to Orlando spokesperson Ashley Papagni. “Special Events Permits are issued by the Orlando Police Department after approval by the City Council. This permit went to the Council on Feb. 19, 2024.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Petri Dish Peninsula

    March 3, 2024 at 11:31 am

    Florida is swamped by disease outbreaks as quackery replaces science
    Richard Luscombe
    in Miami
    The state is in the grip of a measles outbreak, yet Joseph Ladapo, the surgeon general, continues to ignore medical science to stop it
    Sun 3 Mar 2024
    Shortly before Joseph Ladapo was sworn in as Florida’s surgeon general in 2022, the New Yorker ran a short column welcoming the vaccine-skeptic doctor to his new role, and highlighting his advocacy for the use of leeches in public health.

    It was satire of course, a teasing of the Harvard-educated physician for his unorthodox medical views, which include a steadfast belief that life-saving Covid shots are the work of the devil, and that opening a window is the preferred treatment for the inhalation of toxic fumes from gas stoves.

    ‘Not a disease you want to relive’: why is the US seeing outbreaks of measles?
    Read more
    But now, with an entirely preventable outbreak of measles spreading across Florida, medical experts are questioning if quackery really has become official health policy in the nation’s third most-populous state.

    As the highly contagious disease raged in a Broward county elementary school, Ladapo, a politically appointed acolyte of Florida’s far-right governor Ron DeSantis, wrote to parents telling them it was perfectly fine for parents to continue to send in their unvaccinated children.

    “The surgeon general is Ron DeSantis’s lapdog, and says whatever DeSantis wants him to say,” said Dr Robert Speth, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at south Florida’s Nova Southeastern University with more than four decades of research experience.

    “His statements are more political than medical and that’s a horrible disservice to the citizens of Florida. He’s somebody whose job is to protect public health, and he’s doing the exact opposite.”

    • Smallpox

      March 3, 2024 at 7:46 pm

      Your an idiot

  • Rick Buell

    March 3, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    The leftists are wanting our country to become socialist.
    The central and South American countries that have succumbed to the Marxist ideologies have all gone down the toilet.

    We don’t want the likes of AOC and the squad trying to ruin our state.

    Give up the hype for Measles.
    We all got measles and it’s already not an issue in Florida. The people are not unsafe from Ladapo’s stance on measles.. Vaccines have caused a lot of injuries. That is completely up to the individual. The parents have the right to keep their children home or to send them to school. It’s their right. .

  • Hung Wiil

    March 3, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    This AOC chick has a Florida fetish . . . she’s back again at this loser fest. Democrats will lose to Rick Scott and will not make any major pickups in the state legislature. Also, Florida is not voting Democrat for president.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      March 3, 2024 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you to my newest and bestestest “New Besty” Hung Will.
      I knew our excorsim of Dook 4 Brains Leftyness would be a 100% success. Welcome Sage Patriot Hung Will.
      Please read my public service announcement on the recent rip in the “Spacial/Time/Continuiam” of the universe due to AOC setting her cloven devil foot down on Holy Florida Soil.

      • Hung Wiil

        March 3, 2024 at 3:27 pm

        You can’t Hang with Hung.
        I don’t like Sage Douche Bags.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 3, 2024 at 2:10 pm

    Good afternoon Florida,
    So that explains the rise in “Dook 4 Brains Leftism” which I, Earl Pitts American, was recently feeling.
    Thats obviously the reason my sphincter would not relax: TOTALLY due to AOC & her “Gang Of Nare-Do-Wells” having invaded and setting their “Cloven Devil Feet” upon our “Sacred and Sage Florida Soil”.
    They must have departed for “Parts Unknown” to bother the sphincters of “Sage Patriots” in another part of our Great Nation as my sphincter is finally begining to relax.
    So I know that other Sage Patriots have also had problems with “Painfull Sphincter Lock-Up”. Reports of Sphincter Lock-Ups have been flooding into our Sphincter Emergency Center (The SEC).
    So at least you now know the reason for Your Painfull sphincter lock-up which should subside to the point you can sit on the pot and take a Sage Squeeze.
    This “PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO YOU BY ME along with the Earl Pitts American’s “Institute of Sage Spincter Health”,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      March 3, 2024 at 4:56 pm


      • MH/Duuuval

        March 4, 2024 at 5:35 pm

        For once, Mr. Pitts was outdone by a cadre of Red-baiting, science deniers.

        Score one for the befuddled Earl.

        • Dont Say FLA

          March 5, 2024 at 1:16 pm

          Earl usually makes more sense than the commenter(s) who showed up right after Rhonda staffers returned from Iowa

Comments are closed.


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