For the seventh year in a row, thousands of fans gathered in Fort Lauderdale for the biggest country music party on the beach, Tortuga Music Festival – about 90,000 die hard country music fans to be exact. With booze in hand, cowboy hats on, and the sizzling sun kissing the skin of many, the weekend was yet another unforgettable one. Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Kenny Chesney headlined to a sea of people, oceanside.
With three stages this year, there was a little something for everyone. The likes of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Flo Rida, Sheryl Crow, Maren Morris, and Midland are amongst the few performers that graced Tortuga this year. People of all ages showed up this year with Coronas in hand and one goal: to party like never before.
Vendors lined the festival, offering everything from margaritas, cocktails, falafels, build your own guacamole, burgers, and even sushi. You could even pick up some Tortuga merch, buy some jewelry, or even get spray tattoos.
The best part about the festival, like each year, is their goal to keep beaches clean. This year, water was served in recyclable cans, and most food vendors were labeled as sustainable. On top of that, any leftover food was donated. Fans could also pick up a reusable cup for their booze and water, and bamboo straws to pair.
The music of Tortuga was outstanding, like always. The new stage, Next To Nashville, was planted in the middle of the Main and Sunset stages, like a pit stop. It was also conveniently next to the rentable lockers for attendees personal goods. The stage offered fresh, lesser known talent in a shaded area with some of the best acts of the day.
Some of our favorite sets this year came from Flo Rida and Midland. Flo Rida performed a variety of his top 40 dwelling hits, like Right Round and Low (he even brought a fan up for that number.) During just the first three songs, Flo got the sea of country fans to get off their feet, threw out real money to the crowd, and invited his dancers to give a champagne shower to those near the end of the catwalk. It was a crazy set that left fans blown away. Midland offered a twangy, energetic set that too was unforgettable. Walking out with red solo cups and Coors Light in hand, the trio delivered a colorful set to the biggest crowd of the day on Saturday. Prior to their set, the crowd was scarce, but it was clear that South Florida country fans showed up to Tortuga for their dose of Midland.
All three headliners delivered something unique each night, and fans were nothing but satisfied at the end of the weekend. On Friday, Jason Aldean played to a large crowd of shoulder sitting, American flag waving fans. Aldean played a great mix of new and old for the crowd, including the timeless “Big Green Tractor.”
Saturday, Thomas Rhett emerged to a smaller crowd than Aldean, which was seemingly because many fans dipped out after Flo Rida’s exhilarating set. Those who stuck around, however, got a stacked set from Rhett, a surprise duo with Maren Morris, and a cover of “Low Places,” by Garth Brooks where Kenny Chesney emerged a night early.
Sunday, Kenny Chesney graced No Shoes Nation for an incredible closing night of Tortuga Music Festival. Just like the others, Chesney also curated a setlist that was a perfect mix of new and old. “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem” and “When the Sun Goes Down” are just two of the classics that he performed for thousands.
The best thing about Tortuga is how exhausting yet relaxing it is all at once. You come home, ready to crash, but the next day you’re ready to do it all over again. Then reality hits on Sunday that you have work tomorrow, but you give it your all, one last time with no regrets until you can do it all over again next year.