The Tortuga Music Festival

For who enjoyes country and roots music

2 JULY 2016,
The fourth year of Tortuga was the biggest yet, attracting fans from 47 states and 16 countries
The fourth year of Tortuga was the biggest yet, attracting fans from 47 states and 16 countries

While there are many different music festivals that you can visit around the country, if you enjoy country and roots music, then the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale should definitely be on your radar. Held in April every year, this annual event has gone from strength to strength, offering some big names on the bill, along with smaller and more intimate performances, such as this one with Kip Moore. Fort Lauderdale also has plenty of other things to draw visitors in too, including the stunning South Florida beaches and the network of canals that trace routes across the city.

The Festival's History

Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival, to give the event its full name, began as a way for the Rock The Ocean Foundation to raise money for their work, which includes supporting local and international conservation projects. Originally a two-day festival held in 2013, Tortuga drew over 25,000 people, and the number of visitors coming to the festival has grown every year, expanding to a three day festival with nearly 90,000 fans present in 2016. There is also a Conservation Village area which has been on the festival site every year, and features educational displays, particularly looking at the work protecting sea turtles around this area of South Florida.

Major Acts To Have Played Tortuga

2016's line-up was arguably the best yet for the festival, with Tim McGraw being an international country star to headline the event, while veterans Lynyrd Skynyrd also performed, along with Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton. Over the last three years, there have been plenty of big country and rock names that have played to the crowds at Tortuga, including Kenny Chesney, The Doobie Brothers, Hank Williams Jr and Sheryl Crow.

Conservation Work At The Festival

A portion of the proceeds from each ticket that is purchased for the festival goes to fund the various projects that are supported by the Rock The Ocean Foundation. The Conservation Village has plenty of games and interactive displays that are designed to engage people in a fun and interesting way, while one of the key partners here is the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program, which aims to protect the sea turtle nesting areas around Fort Lauderdale, which account for over two thirds of the total nesting grounds in the country for these sea turtles.

Travel To Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has its own airport that is served by several budget and national airlines, including JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United, although international flights here are limited. Miami International Airport is around twenty five miles away, and has a greater range of flights, including connections to Europe, South America and the West Coast. If you are planning to come in by public transport, you will find Amtrak has good train connections up the Atlantic Coast, while there are also several coach services served by Megabus and Greyhound.

Accommodation At The Festival

One of the key things to remember about the festival is that there is no camping due to its beachfront location, and there is no parking either, so you should be looking for accommodation near the water taxi or shuttle stops. The water taxi options run from the Las Olas Riverfront or the Galleria Mall, while the Park N Ride shuttles run from North East Ninth Street, behind the Galleria Mall. Make sure to book your accommodation early, as this growing festival has seen increasing numbers of people pouring into the city for this April festival, although those driving to the Park N Ride could look for accommodation north or north west of the city, and travel in.