+1theVote, MTV’s first-ever midterm voting initiative, has been been working around-the-clock since its launch in August to use the power of friendship to get young people—and their friends—to the polls.
And on Tuesday, Nov. 6, MTV brought that initiative to life in Miami, hosting an “Election Afterparty” to celebrate those who exercised their right to vote during a particularly tough election season.
The event brought a star-studded guest list—which included Ashanti, Fifth Harmony‘s Lauren Jauregui, the co-founders of March for Our Lives, and more—free food, good music, and plenty of photo-ops to Miami-Dade College’s Kendall campus shortly after Florida polls closed on Tuesday.
DJ Nasty was the resident DJ for the night, getting the audience energized from the moment the doors opened. He played everything from current chart-toppers like Sheck Wes’s “Mo Bamba” to major throwbacks like Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On” to Latin classics like “Suavemente.”
“Are you feelin’ good?” Liza Koshy asked the crowd as she and co-host Charlamagne tha God took the stage for the first time. The crowd screamed and cheered, letting her know that they were, indeed, feeling good.
“If any of you didn’t vote today, we won’t yell at you. We’ll just direct you right over there to register,” Charlamagne added, referencing the voter registration stations that MTV had set up inside the venue.
Boy band PRETTYMUCH was the first to take the stage—eliciting passionate screams from their love-struck fans from the second they stepped on stage—followed by LGBTQ+ rights activist Jazz Jennings and Tyah Roberts, John Barnitt and Delaney Tarr—co-founders of March for Our Lives.
“There’s no age limit on making sure your voice is heard,” Barnitt began.
“We’ve been underestimated for so long. They don’t think we matter. We matter!” Tarr added. “We aren’t just the future leaders of America—we’re the current leaders of America!”
Tarr didn’t stop there. Before leaving stage, she got the whole crowd involved, yelling “Show me what democracy looks like!” to which the audience responded “This is what democracy looks like!”
Next was Miami Native Lauren Jauregui, who electrified the stage with her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics.
“I wrote this song a couple weeks ago, and after I wrote it, I was like ‘sh*t, this would be really good for the MTV thing,’ ’cause this has a lot to do with it,” she said of her song “Freedom,” which she performed for the first time at the event. “Freedom—we’re all searching for that. We’re all trying to find that space where we feel accepted and fully loved for what it is that we are.”
“I’m so f*cking proud of every single one of you,” Jauregui said before leaving stage.
Even at 9 p.m.—two hours after its kickoff—there was no sign that the party would be wrapping up anytime soon.
The audience only seemed to get more excited, dancing and waving their pink, yellow and blue pom poms as Ashanti and rapper Fat Joe teamed up to perform and Amara La Negra took the stage with Charlamagne.
Gen Z-ers and millennials alike enjoyed the night, feeding off of the energy of their peers who seemed to be as passionate about change as they were.
“It was fun and enlightening to see so many young people that are passionate about the state of our country in one place,” said Andriana Gibson, a University of Miami sophomore.