Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival: Preserve Coral Reefs In The US

Divers and snorkelers can promote reef protection and explore the only extant coral reef in the continental United States in one of the only underwater concerts in the world, the Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival.

The shifting sands of the Florida Keys ocean floor, 20 feet below the surface, would seem like an odd venue for a music festival. That does not discourage enthusiasts from playing rock music underwater, though. The Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival is an annual festival that takes place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival is a special opportunity for nature lovers to appreciate and protect the benefits that precious natural heritage such as corals have brought to human life. Held with a scale of about 400 attendees, the underwater music festival promises to bring unique and colorful music performances that visitors cannot always see.

Taking place in Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary situated approximately 10 km south of Big Pine Key, the Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival also featured environmentally aware diving. The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce and the local radio station 104.1 FM organized the four-hour musical event.

Photo: Destination Florida Keys

The 9,800-square-kilometer sanctuary was created in 1990 to save the seas surrounding the 201-kilometer-island chain, which includes the barrier reef. The event offered a unique underwater experience in addition to its main goal of promoting reef preservation. Adding distinctive visual components to the audio-visual presentation on a portion of the sole surviving coral barrier reef in the continental United States were “mermaids” and other costumed figures.

The event takes place at America’s only living coral reef, aiming to raise awareness about protecting coral reefs by not touching coral or not littering in the sea, using mooring buoys when rowing boats, and other ways to reduce environmental impact.

The underwater music festival carries a meaningful and humane message

The underwater music festival was first held in 1984. A local radio station organized the event to promote ecologically conscious diving and advocate for the preservation of coral reefs worldwide. Donning mermaid or diving outfits, the guests submerged themselves in the azure waters while savoring ageless tunes and observing schools of vibrant marine life.

Ocean-themed music is piped undersea through waterproof speakers suspended beneath boats above the reef. Several well-known pieces were played, including Yellow Submarine by The Beatles, Stars on the Water by Jimmy Buffett, and even several songs from Walt Disney’s adorable animated The Little Mermaid. Diver awareness messages on how to minimize environmental effects on the world’s coral reefs, which are known as the “rainforests of the sea” due to their immense biodiversity, were strewn throughout the tunes.

Photo: Florida Keys News

The males dressed as sea monsters, and the girls transformed into vibrant mermaids. With virtual musical instruments, everyone plays music underwater. For every individual, dressing up, taking in the music, and seeing Looe Key’s vibrant kingdom will always be treasured memories that contribute to the conservation of the maritime environment.

Specifically, the Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival 2020 edition includes statements aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sign of ‘Wear a Mask’ is displayed by a mermaid wearing a mask while swimming in the ocean. While the festival’s primary goals are to raise awareness of eco-conscious diving and the preservation of coral reefs, it also evokes special feelings among attendees. Organizers have described the experience of listening to music underwater as particularly ethereal, as sound travels four times faster in water than in air.

The Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival’s creators claimed to have seen colorful schools of fish moving beneath the surface of the water to the tunes of musical instruments. The values of marine creatures will be honored throughout this unique celebration. They won’t get many opportunities to hear and see music.

Through the Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival, the value of marine creatures is even more enhanced and precious. This meaningful program has inspired many campaigns to protect the marine environment in the journey to realize the preservation of coral reefs and other marine creatures.

Photo: Destination Florida Keys


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