Music & Nightlife

Country fans flock to Fort Lauderdale for the fifth year of the Tortuga Music Festival

Music fans enjoy Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, April 8, 2017.
Music fans enjoy Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Sun Sentinel

Ali Parrish came to Tortuga Music Festival on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach Saturday to get her fill of music, but took a break to help plant sea oats in the festival’s conservation village.

“I love that there is humanity mixed in with the music,” said Parrish, 26, who came in from Orlando for the three-day festival, which runs through Sunday.

Country music singer Dustin Lynch talks about the three-day Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival on the sands of Fort Lauderdale beach on Saturday, April 8, 2017.

The festival, which marries music and ocean conservation, is now in its fifth year and has grown each year, according to the organizers. Last year more than 90,000 people came during the three-day stretch, and this year — with blue skies and a light breeze — even more are expected.

Evan Harrison, CEO of Huka Entertainment, which produces the show, said the festival is a “destination location.”

“It’s a magical environment,” he said. “There is just an energy about it.”

On Saturday, scantily clad revelers plopped themselves in the sand to catch some rays and listen to music from the two main stages. Saturday’s acts included Maren Morris, Dustin Lynch, Nelly and Chris Stapleton. On Sunday, Kenny Chesney was set to headline.

“This is the coolest — one of the coolest — music festivals in the world,” said Dustin Lynch, who flashed his signature smile.

Besides the music, guests were encouraged to visit conservation village and learn about ways to protect the ocean. The festival pledges every year to leave the beach in better shape than it was before the festival.

Chris Stacey, founder of Rock the Ocean Foundation and the festival, said it has gone beyond expectations and really helped raise money and awareness for the cause.

“My favorite part about the festival is how the artists have really become involved and become advocates for ocean conservation,” he said.

Priscylla Oliva, 26, who drove in from Naples, said she loved the idea of the conservation village and was really excited that there was “something for everyone in the lineup.” Oliva and her crew went Friday to see Luke Bryan and Brett Eldredge.

“There isn’t one thing I’d change,” she said.

If You Go

What: Tortuga Music Festival

When: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Where: Fort Lauderdale Beach, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd.

Cost: $99 for regular admission and $399 for VIP.

For more information: Visit www.tortugamusicfestival.com.

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