Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival Returns March 9

Florida AIDS Walk & Musical Festival in 2023. Photo by JR Davis.

A morning walk along the beach is great. Add in a few thousand friends and a concert, and you have a great Saturday, and you’re still home (or out on The Drive) by noon.

The Florida AIDS Walk & Music Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale Beach March 9 with a trio of top entertainers. R&B superstar Eric Benét will headline the post-walk concert. A lifelong musician, he’s been recording for 30 years and won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance of his song "Spend My Life With You."

The “I Wanna Be Loved” singer is well-known for not just his music, but his activism as well. He co-founded Mission Save Her, a nonprofit that fights human trafficking, slavery, and sexual abuse of women and girls.

He will be joined by Todrick Hall. After grabbing our attention on “American Idol,” the musician-influencer has gone on to publish viral videos and collaborate with icons old and new including Taylor Swift, Gwen Stefani, RuPaul, and Chaka Khan.

An out and proud part of the LGBTQ community, he supports the entire acronym, encouraging everyone to rebel, think for themselves, and use their voice to make change.

The honor of getting the crowd pumped up and into the groove is DJ Citizen Jane. She plays everything from AIDS Walks to Fashion Week events to music festivals Down Under and Madison Square Garden.

Every Step Matters

For the 19th year, the AIDS Walk will raise money for organizations who work in HIV/AIDS care, research, and prevention. The walk raises about $2 million annually.

HIV/AIDS has been pushed from the headlines, in large part to HIV suppression and prevention (PrEP) drugs. However, the disease still rages around the world, including Florida. About 100,000 people in Florida are living with HIV, and about 1-in-8 have no idea.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) sponsors the walk, and has spent 35+ years working in the HIV community. Its mission has evolved to meet the changing needs of patients. Originally a hospice organization that cared for patients that many people, including health professionals, treated as radioactive.

Top Team Steps Up

Many teams are formed and walk for a particular organization. This year, several are walking for Broward House.

“This will be my second AIDS Walk with Broward House,” Nicole Burrell, Broward House’s new Executive Director, said. “It’s right around the corner. We’re still building our teams. We’re getting anyone who would be willing a team for Broward House. When you build your team under Broward House, it’s where support for Broward House comes into play.”

They serve people with chronic illnesses, including HIV. Among their services is a sprawling campus in Fort Lauderdale that includes an assisted living facility.

In April, all of their facilities were destroyed by floods. Repairs and renovations are nearing completion. However, debt from the damage is staggering.

What You Need To Know

AIDS Walk Saturday gets started early. Check-in at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park (near B Ocean) starts at 8 a.m. with DJ Citizen Jane spinning at 8:45. Opening ceremonies start at 9:45 and the walk steps off at 10.

Benét takes the stage at 11 a.m. followed by Todrick at noon.

Parking is limited, and taxi/rideshare/friend drop off is highly recommended. Nearby hotels and businesses may offer parking for a fee.

Organizers are very emphatic on what is and isn’t allowed.

Allowed/Recommended: Sunblock, sunglasses, ID, comfortable shoes, your fully charged phone and/or camera, and a credit card for food & drinks.

Prohibited: Wagons, pets, coolers, beach umbrellas, and picnic baskets.

STRICTLY PROHIBITED: Weapons, glass, outside alcohol, and drones.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

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Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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