Things To Do

Country music and ocean conservation converge at Tortuga Music Festival

The music is great. But the cause is greater.

At this year’s Tortuga Music Festival, scream your lungs out as country’s biggest superstars rock the stages. But don’t ignore the event’s environmental mission, to raise awareness of ocean conservation and sea turtle protection, overseen by the Rock the Ocean Foundation and New Orleans’ Huka Entertainment, the producer of Tortuga.

“At Huka, we are Gulf Coast residents,” says chief experience officer A.J. Niland. “The beaches are the playgrounds of our youth, and now. In a way, they are the cradle for who we are. What are we without them? Whose job is it to take care of them? Those are important questions we are trying to bring awareness to.”

Take time in between sets to visit Rock the Ocean’s Conservation Village and check out its fun games, interactive touch tanks, cooking exhibitions, the latest ocean technology, and learn how we can all make a difference to help to restore vibrancy to our oceans. You might even enjoy yourself.

“We wanted to avoid boring lectures and science fair displays,” says Niland. “So we make sure you can challenge big game in a fishing simulator, see inside a turtle nest, check out a multimillion-dollar research submarine up close and even plant sea oats to help dune restoration.”

Although the festival has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Rock the Ocean, Niland points out that there’s still much more work to be done.

“Are the coastal reefs restored? Do we still have endangered species fighting extinction? Do people still litter the beaches? We clearly have a long way to go, and we feel like we have a lot more to do. But we feel we are putting forth a tremendous effort that has never been attempted in a festival setting.”

For info on how to help, visit