Following former President Donald Trump’s snub at his Florida rally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) made a surprise appearance at Luke Bryan’s Jacksonville concert.
Bryan was in Jacksonville as part of his “Raised Up Right” tour. Three previous tour dates in Florida had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Ian. The venue had also been changed.
The country music star didn’t enter the stage with his usual fanfare; instead, video footage of the concert shows Bryan walking onto the stage with the lights on and no music playing, talking to the crowd about Hurricane Ian before introducing DeSantis.
DeSantis, who was throwing hats into the crowd, was welcomed with cheers. The Governor also queried whether concertgoers were “excited to be in the free state of Florida?”.
DeSantis, who is mounting a reelection bid for Governor, praised what Florida had accomplished since being ravished by Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis began, “The state of Florida had to deal with the major hurricane last month, and it’s not easy to deal with. It’s hurt a lot of people,” adding, “Though I can tell you this, show me any other state that can rebuild bridges in three days. I don’t think you can find that.”
DeSantis then encouraged attendees to vote, prompting the crowd to chant “USA.”
The Governor praised Bryan for his generosity contributing to the Florida Disaster Fund, to which the country music replied he intended to give more – the proceeds of his rescheduled Estero show to the fund.
Bryan also acknowledged the venue change, saying the previous venue was being used to shelter those displaced by the hurricane but explained those in Estero, Florida, wanted him to come.
“Because of the hurricane, they had to use the venue that I was performing in as a shelter. Well, we’ve been going back and forth, we didn’t know if it was too soon to play or not but the area of Estero said, ‘Get your a** to Estero,’ so we’re doing a concert,” Bryan said.
He added, “So, what we’re going to do is give a large portion of the proceeds in Estero, Florida … to everybody that’s bought tickets, kept the ticket, and spending the money … I’m donating that money to the great state of Florida.”