The Tortuga Music Festival brings together a wild combination of rock, country, and roots music to Fort Lauderdale, Florida every year for a three-day concert event. It has become known for featuring the top selling artists in these genres, and big names always headline each day of the festival. What's even better: it takes place in a beach setting, which enhances the rocking party atmosphere with a fun ocean vibe.
Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, open from 5 a.m. to midnight, is certainly one of the nicest beaches in Florida. The stunning views of blue sea and sandy beaches go well with the recreational vibe of the beach which features basketball and volleyball courts, grills, picnic tables, outdoor showers, and multiple ADA accessible sites and services.
It's no wonder Tortuga chooses this location. It has a good amount of amenities and stunning views. The festival takes advantage of the beach's good weather by usually having it in the middle of spring, usually during spring break.
While the artist lineup usually features souther roots rock or country, the occasional hip hop and pop act are thrown in as well. Artist who have appeared or are set to appear in the next festival in 2018 include:
- Keith Urban
- Snoop Dogg
- Darius Rucker
- Florida Georgia Line
- Alan Jackson
- Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Lee Brice
- G-Love & Special Sauce
- Russell Dickerson
- Luke Bryan
- Chase Rice
- Kenny Chesney
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Dwight Yoakam
- Kip Moore
- Blake Shelton
- Sister Hazel
- Dan & Shay
- Eric Church
- Cheap Trick
- The Cadillac Three
Cost, Logistics, and Future Dates
The costs range from about $125 for a basic single day pass to about $1,750 for a three-day "Super VIP" pass. The good news is the cost of tickets goes to a good cause. Tortuga gives a portion of proceeds to the Rock the Ocean Foundation, a non-profit that works to conserve oceans worldwide.
There is no special parking set aside for the festival, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early and use water taxis or ride shares.
The next three-day festival takes place April 6 through April 8, 2018.
The Tortuga Music Festival, while generally a very popular and in-demand festival, has received mixed reviews depending on which site you check.
Average user rating of 3 stars (with some highly negative one-star reviews) out of 5 stars out of less than 20 reviews. The worst reviews of this festival seem to be on Yelp.
- Common complaints on Yelp include exorbitantly high prices for beer, too few water stations that were not well maintained, poorly stocked bathrooms, and overcrowding issues.
- Common praises on Yelp: the music is consistently superb, and the beach is kept very clean and welcoming.
Local Newspaper Reviews
The Broward Palm Beach New Times gave the festival's music and logistical operation a good review while the Miami New Times also gave a good overall review but with the admission that many of the attendees they spoke with had an evenly split reaction. In these local reviews, many people felt it was too big of a festival in too small of a space with too many people on the sand, while others felt everything was perfect. The Miami New Times, like Yelp, also noted how pristine and clean the beach was.
A Thundering Ode to the Ocean
What sets the Tortuga festival apart from other festivals is its ocean theme. Both the entertainers and the attendees have stunning views of the turquoise sea at all times of day, complete with breathtaking sunsets to accompany the music. When you combine that with the festival's good-hearted charitable angle, it makes Tortuga stand out.