WATCH: Luke Bryan Makes Special Announcement After Governor Ron DeSantis Surprises At Jacksonville Concert

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a surprise appearance at Luke Bryan’s Jacksonville, Florida concert on Friday evening (Oct. 28). The…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 29, 2022


3:12 pm

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Luke Bryan, Ron DeSantis; Photos via TikTok

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a surprise appearance at Luke Bryan’s Jacksonville, Florida concert on Friday evening (Oct. 28). The Governor was on hand as Bryan revealed plans to donate proceeds from his upcoming Estero, Florida concert to the Florida Disaster Fund in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. 

Luke Bryan, Governor DeSantis; Photo by Ethan Helms
Luke Bryan, Governor DeSantis; Photo by Ethan Helms

Fans attending the concert were surprised when Luke Bryan simply walked onto the stage rather than make a grand entrance.  

Bryan then proceeded to welcome DeSantis to the stage. The “Country On” singer went on to share the news that he will donate all proceeds from his upcoming Estero show to the relief fund. 

“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 ass to Estero.’ So, we’re doing a concert,” Bryan shared from the stage. “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.”

Because the concert was on the eve of the annual Florida-Georgia rivalry game, Bryan used the opportunity to support the Georgia Bulldogs by gifting Governor DeSantis with a Brock Bowers jersey. 


Luke Bryan gave Governor DeSantis a Georgia Bulldogs jersey after bringing him out tonight in Jacksonville ❤🖤 #lukebryan #jacksonvilleflorida #georgiabulldogs #desantis #vystararena #raiseduprighttour #godawgs @lukebryan

♬ original sound – Kati

DeSantis then addressed the crowd: “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. 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.” 


Thank you @LukeBryan for raising money for our great state of #florida and those affected by #hurricaneian ❤️ Amazing show tonight in #jacksonville 🇺🇸#desantis2024 🤷🏼‍♀️#floridacheck #concert #countrygirl #fyp #foryou #whowasthere ? #floridagirl #hurricaneseason #hurricanerelief

♬ original sound – Tiffany Johnson Dzerve

Following the show, DeSantis took to social media to thank Bryan for allowing him to share his stage. 

“Thanks for letting me crash the party last night, @lukebryan!” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

The news comes after Hurricane Ian postponed three of Luke Bryan’s Raised Up Right Tour dates. The country superstar’s rescheduled shows will now take place later this week: Nov. 2 in Estero, Nov. 4 in West Palm Beach, and Nov. 5 in Tampa.

Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28 in Southwestern Florida as a high-end category 4 storm. The hurricane left many homes and businesses destroyed and also took the lives of at least 89 people, according to The Washington Post. It will likely take years to rebuild. 

To date, the Florida Disaster Fund has raised more than $50 million from corporate partners like Walmart, Publix, Home Depot, Amazon and more. 

The fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible. 

Luke Bryan, Peyton Manning; Photo Courtesy Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan, Peyton Manning; Photo Courtesy Luke Bryan

Following the rescheduled Florida concert dates, Bryan will co-host the 56th Annual CMA Awards alongside NFL icon Peyton Manning. The three-hour show will air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena 8:00-11:00 PM/EST on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.