Update: the far-Right gathering was canceled at the last minute due to organizer Rachel Tsimmerman experiencing a medical emergency.
On the weekend of August 20-22, “76 Fest Georgia” will be held at pioneer camp site 04 of F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Harris County, Georgia. All three advertised speakers for 76 Fest have ties to the far-Right American Populist Union (APU), with one being APU’s co-founder and vice president Vince Dao.
APU is a Generation Z-centered, ultranationalist organization founded earlier this year. APU aims to push the US conservative movement even further right on social issues. In this regard, APU closely resembles the “groyper” movement of white nationalist and Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes. The primary difference between APU and Fuentes’ America First/“groyper” movement is optics: APU believes that Fuentes has acquired too much stigma from being an open racist. APU, by contrast, strives for a more respectable public face. As Political Research Associates point out, APU positions itself as being in dialogue but also in tension with Fuentes’ “groypers”. Fuentes for his part swipes at APU for being a poor imitation of his original.
76 Fest advertises itself as “bringing America First values to youth nationwide through an outdoor experience.” 76Fest LLC was registered as business in South Carolina this June, with Jackson L. Avery listed as its agent. Jackson Lee Avery is the College Republicans chairman at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. (Avery grew up in South Carolina.) Avery also helped organize a “Conservative Coachella” event held in Maryland this May, which featured APU figures Vince Dao and John Doyle as speakers. “Conservative Coachella” was a precursor to 76 Fest; following the Georgia gathering, a “76Fest Delaware” is now advertised for September.
76 Fest calls itself “uncancellable,” stating that “we do not engage in cancel culture” at its events. No matter how far-Right someone is, they are welcome at the gathering. The festival website also claims that some of the event speakers will not be livestreamed or broadcast, meaning that these speakers can freely express their racism, misogyny, and other bigotry to a receptive crowd without those words coming back to haunt them.
In addition to camping, swimming, and hiking to build bonds between festival participants, three speakers are advertised for 76 Fest Georgia: Kai Schwemmer, Blake Kresses, and Vince Dao.
Kai Schwemmer is a young TikTok influencer affiliated with the “Republican Hype House” channel, which has over 1.2 million followers. Schwemmer unabashedly supports Nick Fuentes’ groyper/America First movement. He also recently made his first appearance on Ethan Ralph’s “Killstream”, an Alt-Right broadcast which regularly features white nationalists. (Ralph is also famous for stoking misogyny through the “GamerGate” movement and was arrested last year for posting revenge porn of an 18-year-old.) Schwemmer addressed APU’s inaugural conference in July.
A replacement speaker for trans-hating “MAGA rapper” Bryson Gray who was originally scheduled, Blake Noah Kresses of Dunwoody, Georgia is described by organizers as a “paleoconservative influencer […] who is good friends with Kai [Schwemmer]”. Kresses’ Twitter account retweets APU messages and opposes vaccination measures. Like Schwemmer, Kresses is affiliated with Republican Hype House. He is also an “ambassador” for the far-Right campus organization Turning Point USA.
A recent high school graduate, Vince Dao is the co-founder and Vice President of the American Populist Union. Dao uses his Vietnamese ancestry as a shield while he promotes white nationalist themes and talking points, for example stating that “as an Asian” he agrees with the white genocide conspiracy theory. While Dao attempts to keep the American Populist Union brand distinct from Nick Fuentes’ groypers, he also casts himself as broadly an ally of that movement. For example, Dao strategically name-dropped Nick Fuentes during his APU summit speech last month, leading to chants of “Nick, Nick!” from the crowd.
Some Other Scheduled Attendees
As well as the 76 Fest speakers, three scheduled attendees deserve comment.
Arielle Early: Early is listed as a 76 Fest “influencer special guest” on promotional materials. On Instagram, Early celebrates British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley.
“One Young Patriot”: “One Young Patriot” (OYP) is a teenage streamer from metro Atlanta affiliated with Nick Fuentes and “America First”. OYP was with Fuentes and other white nationalists this year as they briefly entered the Conservative Political Action Conference, only to be kicked out by CPAC organizers.
Rachel Tsimmerman: Rachel Tsimmerman (AKA “Rachel Vera” and “Rachel V”) helped organize “Conservative Coachella” in May. Tsimmerman is the admin for the “76Fest Georgia full weekend” planning channel on Telegram and in one comment refers to “my cofounder [of 76 Fest] Jackson [Avery]”. Tsimmerman was involved in the Towson University (Maryland) branch of Turning Point USA – which co-sponsored “Conservative Coachella” – and is now listed on the Leadership Institute website as a Field Representative.
Conclusion and Call to Action
76 Fest Georgia will attract white nationalists and their allies. The Telegram channel for those who purchased weekend passes includes one account called “Florida Rhodesian,” a reference to white colonial rule in Zimbabwe. Another participant’s username is an apparent reference to Hyperborean racial theory, which is popular among esoteric Nazis and fascists.
All 76 Fest Georgia speakers are linked to the American Populist Union, a new organization which borders white nationalism and attempts to influence broader Republican politics. 76 Fest aims to help build a far-Right youth subculture, while bridging the gap between rightwing youth/campus groups and more explicit racist and fascist politics.
If you are concerned about a Georgia State Park being used for a far-Right and white nationalist gathering, please reach out to Georgia State Parks:
The main Georgia State Parks phone number is 770-389-7286. In addition, F.D. Roosevelt State Park can be called at: 706-663-4858