Huka Entertainment, producer of country music's most unique beachfront event, today announced that attendance at the Tortuga Music Festival, a Pollstar Top 20 worldwide festival, topped last year's record-breaking count. More than 100,000 people donned sunscreen and sandals for the fifth annual event, which featured an impressive array of talent, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Alan Jackson, Nelly, Slightly Stoopid, and Maren Morris.
The festival, held annually at Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, attracted fans from all 50 states and 22 countries with more than 50 percent traveling from outside Florida, further solidifying Tortuga as country music's biggest beach party.
"It's a tremendous feeling to see Tortuga grow it's fifth year in a row," said Evan Harrison, CEO, Huka Entertainment. "The energy from the artists and fans fueled by our festive beach setting truly create a magical experience."
"We kept the music going" said A.J. Niland, Chairman and Chief Experience Officer, HUKA Entertainment. "We really stepped up our crowd flow this year, from VIP to Super VIP to the new staging, to the newly created Reef viewing area allowing our GA fans an intimate experience with our headline artists."
Highlights included: Kenny Chesney being joined on stage by members of Old Dominion for "Save It For A Rainy Day," Chris Stapleton debuting four new songs from his 'From A Room: Vol. 1' album, Alan Jackson's "5 O'Clock Somewhere," Darius Rucker's solo material, Hootie and the Blowfish classics and cover of Prince's "Purple Rain," Nelly bringing his #1 fan onstage, the crowd singing every word to Maren Morris' "My Church," and Daya.
Millions also tuned in on Facebook Live to watch surprise pop-up performances curated by Tortuga and Grand Ole Opry. These "Opry Circle Throwdowns" featured performances by Drake White, Granger Smith, Michael Ray and others.
In addition to the music, an intricate part of Tortuga Music Festival is conservation awareness, and Huka works diligently to leave the beaches in immaculate condition once the music ends. Several beach clean-ups were completed before the Tortuga Music Festival with organizers removing hundreds of pounds of debris from Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park, now in better condition than prior to the festival.
"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.