Tortuga isn’t just the lush Haitian island that pirates visited in Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s a massive music festival for people from all walks of life to gather and jam out to their favorite artists.
Haven’t heard of it? It’s not as “big” of a name as some of the more popular festivals, but it’s a blast and you should be putting it on your list for your next festival season.
But what do you need to know before dropping into Tortuga Music Festival? We’ve got you covered.
From location and accommodations to a “what not to bring” list, we want to take you through what insiders know about Tortuga. Keep reading to learn more, and be sure to take notes!
Location and Accommodations: Where Are We Going?
Tortuga gathers its crowds in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in late autumn to help avoid the summer heat. It’s a great addition to your festival season because it isn’t part of the standard “one after another” schedule. Take a break and get back to the music in the fall!
It’s a 3-day festival with ticket prices (historically speaking) that range from $135 to $239 for the basic one to three day passes. VIP passes are also available for an extra price.
There are plenty of hotels in the surrounding area and you’ll have the pick of the best of the best. You have the standard favorites such as the Hilton and the Best Western, but you’ll also have the option of some Ft. Lauderdale specialties.
If you go through the Tortuga Music Festival website, they partner with Hotels for Hope which allows them to donate some of the proceeds to Rock the Ocean. Pick from standard stays or VIP options. There’s something for every budget.
How Are We Getting There?
A lot of Ft. Lauderdale is walkable, but the heat and humidity might dissuade you.
There isn’t reliable parking around the event, and what little parking there is will be filled up by the time most concert-goers arrive. Instead, take advantage of one of the coolest public transportation options that the city has: the Water Taxi.
You can also use the standard ride-sharing options, such as Uber, or the public transportation system consisting of buses and a rail system.
In other words, there’s no need for you to bother yourself with the traffic. Let someone else do the driving!
What’s on the Playlist?
Tortuga is mostly a country festival. While there are some outliers (Snoop Dogg has made the odd appearance in the past, and Pitbull and Vanilla Ice have been on the schedule as well), it’s geared towards those who love country music.
Checking out the lineup for the coming year is a great way to prepare yourself and get an idea of the musicians at Tortuga, even if you aren’t planning it for the current festival season. This is a more niche festival than some of the others you may be used to.
Keeping Safe and Secure
One of our favorite things about the Tortuga Music Festival is its locker system. You can rent a locker to keep your things safe and secure with a staff member. This helps you avoid the pickpocket problem.
Bonus: They let you charge your phone in there.
The event staff begins closing off and securing the area in the days before the festival takes place, ensuring that all potential entrances are covered and prepared for security staff.
State and local law enforcement, as well as private security, stay close to festival-goers to help prevent any accidents. There are no metal detectors (to this date), which may alarm some potential visitors, though there is security at the gate to search bags.
As always, pay attention to your surroundings and keep any first aid tents in mind in the case of an illness or emergency.
How’s the Weather?
Florida has a reputation for being warm and humid, and November does not disappoint in those areas. Because the event is so close to winter though, the weather is unusually temperate.
You can expect anything from a breezy 60 degrees to a balmy 80 degrees, a far cry from the high temperatures of summer.
While Florida is known for its frequent rain, November isn’t part of the rainy season so precipitation isn’t expected.
What to (and Not to) Bring With You
First and foremost, pack for the weather. Always keep an umbrella or rain poncho on hand just in case the weather takes an unexpected turn. Bring sunscreen to protect your delicate skin, but make sure it isn’t in an aerosol container.
You can (and should) bring an empty water bottle that you can fill at the venue. You can bring small bags and seats (such as beach chairs) but no blankets.
You can bring snacks if they’re in a single gallon-sized bag, and one sealed one-liter water bottle per guest. Beyond this, you can’t bring any outside food or drinks.
You’re going to want to leave any skates or skateboards at home, as well as any large bags, coolers, or unsealed water bottles. Weapons (even toy weapons) of any kind are prohibited, as well as any illegal substances.
While children can go to the festival, stuffed animals can not.
You can bring a camera, but avoid bringing anything that resembles a professional camera. This includes DSLRs, even if you’re an amateur.
For a full and comprehensive list, check out Tortuga’s FAQ page in case there are updates to the rules.
The Inside Scoop
When you’re going to the Tortuga Music Festival, you need to be careful about leaving the venue. You can only re-enter once per day, meaning that if you choose to leave for a meal or to get something that you forgot at the hotel, you’re committing to the rest of the festival or losing your spot.
You can forget lounging in the warm Florida waters while listening to your favorite artists. There’s no ocean access at the festival.
A special secret: if you see someone with a professional-looking camera that isn’t being hassled by security, they might be the official candid photographer. You might find your photo online after the festival!
Stay photo-ready, friends.
Are You Prepping for Tortuga Music Festival?
We’re so excited for the next Tortuga Music Festival. The awesome weather, awesome artists, and awesome location combine for a three-day event that won’t disappoint.
Start making your festival plans and checking out the maps so you’re ready to go!
Want to know more about some of the top music festivals? Are you preparing for festival season? We’ve got you covered.
Visit the rest of our site to learn all about our favorite music festivals. We’ve got the inside scoop so you can arrive prepared.