Pack your bags and head to Fort Lauderdale for the fourth annual Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival, a three-date event that kicks off on Friday April 15. Take part in the ultimate beach-concert experience with stages set directly in the sand. Grab a spot next to the ocean, and watch your go-to beach playlist come to life with performances by some of the biggest names in country, rock, and roots music. Headliners include Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley along with up-and-comers like Cam, Kelsea Ballerini, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Surf, sand, and three days packed with feel-good tunes to support a meaningful cause—what more could you ask for?
Tortuga Music Festival collaborates with Rock The Ocean Foundation, which dedicates itself to raising public awareness and supporting scientific research for ocean conservation. Since 2013, the sold-out festival raised over $250,000 in ticket sales and donations for marine research, education, and conservation. This year’s festival will also feature a Conservation Village, where attendees are encouraged to explore various exhibits to learn about Rock The Ocean Foundation, its mission, and more information on how to protect and preserve our oceans and marine life.
Southern Living spoke with performer Billy Currington about the upcoming festival and his current tour.
On what the Tortuga Music Festival means to him and why he decided to return this year:
“The main reason I love playing this festival is, number one, what they do for conservation. Number two is that the stage is right next to the ocean, which is my favorite place to be. And number three, we’ve played this gig before, and I’ve deemed it one of my top five favorite gigs. The energy is hard to even explain to you. I think it comes from people just being in the sunshine right there on the beach—the place you go to have a good and relaxing time. It creates a great atmosphere for music. I think those guys [at Tortuga] have done an excellent job of putting the festival together and growing that event. I’m very thankful to be a part of it. We’re super excited to be coming. I can already say that you can call me up anytime to play this event.”
On his current Summer Forever tour:
“It’s been one of the greatest tours that I’ve been a part of. It’s nice to be a headliner and create your own tour that you’ve been dreaming about for years. Everything panned out just like I had hoped. Actually, it was even better than I had hoped—especially with [opener] Kelsea Ballerini. She’s awesome and has brought some great new fans to the table that have never seen us play, and we’ve brought a lot of fans that have never seen her play. It’s been a great combination.”
On which songs he’s looking forward to performing at Tortuga:
“I love playing the songs we’ve had on the radio and the songs we’ve had for a while now. We always get great responses. But it’s the new songs that the band and myself have the most fun playing. You can look out at half the people or more in the crowd that don’t know the new songs, and it’s ok with us. Even though they’re not singing along to the new songs they haven’t heard, we can see that they’re feeling them, and it makes us happy to introduce new music to people. I’d definitely say everything off the new album, Summer Forever, I’ll be playing at Tortuga. But, no doubt, I can’t wait until we kick off the show with ‘Good Directions.’ We love playing that song; it seems to be the one.”
On what’s next:
“We’re going to be touring up until November, but pretty soon I’m going to be writing a lot for the next album. Whether or not all the songs I write make the album or not, I’m definitely getting ready to start the process of gathering songs, writing songs, and getting a jump start on the next album.”
Catch Billy Currington live at the Tortuga Music Festival on Sunday, April 17.
Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival is April 15-17 in Fort Lauderdale. For tickets and more information, visit tortugamusicfestival.com.