Tortuga Fest 2017-Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL
April 7-9, 2017
Eye On South Florida – Lisa Sussman

Crowds exceeding 100,000 people watching Old Dominion Live on Tortuga Stage

Crowds exceeding 100,000 people watching Old Dominion Live on Tortuga Stage

Well it happened right here on our local beaches ya’ll! Some of the biggest country music talent played to over 100,000 people. Sunrise to Sunset fans of country music poured into and onto the beach of Fort Lauderdale to hear acts like Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Alan Jackson, Maren Morris, Brooke Eden, Slightly Stoopid, and many more!

This annual festival, held at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in Ft. Lauderdale, attracts fans from other countries as well as all 50 states, solidifying Tortuga as country music’s biggest beach party. This was the first year the venue was a SOLD OUT status and Evan Harrison, CEO , Huka Entertainment says, ” It’s a tremendous feeling to see Tortuga grow it’s fifth year in a row, the energy from the artists fueled by our festive beach setting truly create a magical experience. The Magic happens for all whether you are on the 1 day or the 3 day pass for this down home country get together. Boats anchored off the beach, folks wandering from one stage to the next, and friends meeting and finding one another in a sea of people to celebrate conservation and live music in the most beautiful backdrop of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Come as you are seems to be the status quo at this laid back event.

Luke Bryan. - Tortuga Saturday Night Closing Act

Luke Bryan. – Tortuga Saturday Night Closing Act

This is my 2nd year covering Tortuga and in the last year alone many changes are visible. The VIP section set up is worth the money spent at the proceeds go to conservation. Food Trucks, pool, hammocks in palm trees and access to the talent is likely as the “pop up” concerts are happening around the venue. The area to roam is immense in general admission and access to food, drinks, and education on the conservation efforts put forth by Rock The Ocean are easy and accessible to all. Either way, Tortuga has grown by leaps and bounds and the energy surrounding this music event is growing every year.

Kenny Chesney - Tortuga Closing Act of the Festival 2017

Kenny Chesney – Tortuga Closing Act of the Festival 2017

Millions also tuned into Facebook Live to watch surprise pop-up performances curated by Tortuga and Grand Ole Opry. These “Opry Circle Throw downs” were so fun to watch and performances by Drake White, Granger Smith, Michael Ray and others made the crowd feel inclusive in the Tortuga Experience. Swirled into the action the underlying message of Tortuga is Conservation. Huka Entertainment works tirelessly to pick up hundreds of pounds of debris off the beach every day of the 3 day event and leaves the beach park in better condition than prior to the festival.

Maren Morris - CMA New Female Vocalist of the Year 2017

Maren Morris – CMA New Female Vocalist of the Year 2017

“I love that there is humanity mixed in with the music,” an attendee told the Miami Herald. At the 2017 Rock the Ocean Conservation Village, festival goers learned about marine life and ocean conservation efforts by engaging with more than 30 non-profits and businesses, including the Guy Harvey Foundation, Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (S.T.O.P.), University of Miami, Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation, and Surfrider Foundation.

Chris Stapleton - Tortuga Closing Act Friday Night

Chris Stapleton – Tortuga Closing Act Friday Night

Tortuga talent ranges from the brand new sounds of Delta Rae, Maren Morris, Dustin Lynch. The Sunset Stage was where you could find the up and coming. Like the straights of Florida you had to make your way across the sand to Tortuga Stage where the larger talent performed. The walk back and forth afforded all to take in the culture of Tortuga. Easy going, relaxed, and inclusive to all this festival ranges in ages, styles and backgrounds. Open areas to claim your “real estate” on the sand to rest, recharge, then get up and do it all over again. Many say it is the line up that draws them to this event, some say the ocean but new comers to this event say it’s the love fest that takes place over 3 days that they had to come feel for themselves. Tortuga is quickly becoming known as one the best events of the year, a can’t miss, certainly a “bucket list” item going forward. See ya’ll next year!



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