“This year was like a $40,000 cesspool,” Sarasota’s Harvey Milk Festival President Shannon Fortner says, nearly two months after the festivities meant to honor the San Francisco (and global) legend of gay rights activism. This year’s party, featuring electro-pop emotion-driver Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas), who recently opened for Elton John out west, was practically ruined by Florida’s fantastic flirtations with precipitation deluges. Though raw estimates of attendance were somewhere in the 2,000 to 5,000 range in its sixth year, inclement weather hindered the nonprofit from making up its financial losses, Fortner says.
“This is our sixth year and we’ve never had a rain problem,” she says. “And we already had our first protesters this year. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing … That, and the rain was a distraction.”
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