Get the most out of the Tortuga Festival with this survival guide

When Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival began five years ago on the sand in Fort Lauderdale beach, its organizers dreamed of creating an annual event that marries music and environmental awareness. Their dreams became a reality. Five years later the two-day festival with 20 bands has grown to three days with over 35 acts on two stages including Kenny Chesney, Nelly, Chris Stapleton, Alan Jackson, Dustin Lynch and Darius Rucker. This year’s ultimate beach bash runs from Friday to Sunday and features some of country’s (and some of non-country’s) hottest acts.

Want to maximize your Tortuga Festival experience? Here are some tips.

1. Leave your cars at home

The Island Queen is one of many water taxi services that offers ferrying services

Water taxi, use a ride share company or stay close by. Visit Tortuga’s Getting Here tab for information on water taxis, the festival shuttle and a bus program that picks up at different South Florida locations.

2. Divide and conquer

Drake White and the Big Fire performs on one of three stages at the 2015 Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Named for the turtles that nest on that beach, the two-day event continues Sunday, April 12, 2015. Since its 2013 debut, the event has raised nearly $200,000 for marine conservation organizations.

Because concerts are at different stages that might be far away from each other, the best way to make sure you get anywhere close is to have a friend save your spot. That way you can take turns going back and forth. Warning: It’s not easy getting back and forth on the sand, so it may be best to pick and choose your favorites.

3. Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen

Thousands attended the Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival on Ft. Lauderdale beach on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

You may want an umbrella as well, because it has rained at least two out the past five years. It’s a long day out in the sun, and you can’t go in the ocean to cool off.

4. Communication is not easy

Mike Lank and Angela Williams, from Virginia, have their photo taken with Guy Harvey in the Conservation Village at the Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival on Ft. Lauderdale beach on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

With so many people in one place cellphone service isn’t the best. Always have a meet-up spot for you and your buddies, just in case. If you are one of the lucky ones and your phone works, keep in mind it is a long day and a backup battery plan is not a bad idea.

5. Stay hydrated

Spray fans are a good idea, and because the festival is geared toward conservation, there are water stations to fill up your water bottles.

6. Wear comfortable shoes

The sand gets hot, and walking back and forth in flip-flops may not be ideal.

7. Lights out by 10: The festival is called Tortuga after all

All activity stops at 10 because the lights are too bright for the turtles.

If you go

What: Tortuga Music Festival
When: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 7-9
Where: Fort Lauderdale Beach, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd.
Cost: $229 for regular three-day general admission and $999 for three-day VIP. There are single day tickets available for $99 for regular admission and $399 for VIP.
For more information: Visit www.tortugamusicfestival.com

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