Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival 2023 Day 1 Review

Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach in South Florida on April 14, 15 & 16, 2023.

Fans at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Day 1 was Friday, April 14th and the festival gates opened at noon for tens of thousands of country music fans to hit the beach. Record-breaking rains left much of Fort Lauderdale flooded all week, including the FLL airport which was shut down over 2 days, causing many to scramble to make other plans. Those plans included flying to other Florida airports and catching rides, and driving as many as 25 hours just to get to the best festival of the year. Turns out that the beach and the ocean have a long-standing agreement about water, so the festival grounds were not flooded and every stage, vendor booth and fan activation was available. Despite a brief weather-caused evacuation, the show went on as planned.

Cole Swindell at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Eric Church, Cole Swindell, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Deana Carter, Wade Bowen and Dee Jay Silver performed on the Allegiant Main Stage. This stage was set on the southern end of the area, and was flanked on the street side by a massive multi-story cabana area for VIP patrons. Cole Swindell was a dynamo and really had the whole crowd moving and singing along. They were clearly ecstatic that the 1 hour evacuation did not prevent them from missing anything. Eric Church closed the night in style, with a headliner set full of hits.

Wiz Khalifa at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Brett Young, Wiz Khalifa, Lauren Alaina, Tyler Braden, Pecos & The Rooftops and DJ Rock played the Sunset Stage presented by Visible by Verizon. This stage bookended the grounds on the north end, and was truly an additional main stage, more than a second stage. Many fans claimed that Wiz Khalifa put on the best show of the night. Despite not being from the country music genre, his laid-back, party-flavored rhymes fit in well at the end of a long, hot day at the beach.

Lukas Nelson at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Ray Wylie Hubbard, Red Clay Strays, Aaron Raitiere, Pillbox Patti and Catie Offerman graced the Next From Nashville stage presented by Bacardi. This stage was placed under a tent in the middle of the grounds, providing a nice stopping point between main stages. Up and coming artists got a chance to catch some ears and hopefully gain some new fans. Some of the artists who had previously played here have now graduated to main stage status.

Fans at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Considering the logistical challenges of hosting a festival on the beach, with Florida’s unpredictable weather and the sheer number of people travelling in for the show, this was the best-run major music festival I have ever been to. The music was incredible, the amenities were top-notch and plentiful, the prices were reasonable and nobody seemed to have a bad time at all. Country fans were chill, friendly and happy throughout the day and into the night. They even walked up the beach to enjoy the after hours nightlife at the many interesting Fort Lauderdale bars and restaurants.

Fans at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos

Put Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival on your must-see list, and it just may become one of your annual traditions.

Fans at Tortuga ©2023 Johnnie Crow Photos






Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival 2023 Day 1 Review first appeared on Game On Media.