Almost 500 snorkelers and divers submerged at Looe Key Reef in Florida to attend the 30th Annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival on Saturday.
Each year, the underwater concert draws hundreds of snorkelers and divers from around the U.S. and the world, and this year’s event was no different.
With the theme “Diving with the Stars,” the underwater concert took place from 10 am to 2 pm. The 4-hour concert was broadcasted by a local radio station through a set of underwater speakers to provide commercial-free live music from down under to the listeners above the water.
Coordinator and event co-founder Bill Becker said that they started the project three decades ago, not thinking that it was going to be an annual event.
“We started this as an arts and cultural event 30 years ago and thought it would be a one-time thing. It’s the only place we know of where music is put underwater for divers, snorkelers, and the marine life.”
Through the years, the underwater concert’s playlist has always consisted of ocean-themed songs such as Donovan’s “Atlantis” and Jimmy Buffet’s “Fins.” This year, ABC News reports that the playlist included themes from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and music from the movie Flipper, as well as The Beatles’ “Octopus Garden.”
One of the snorkelers who attended the event, Uli Clef from Germany, said that he was impressed with the underwater concert. “I’ve seen colors from red to blue to white, and even the shades of the sun coming from the water line. All these colorful fishes—that’s perfect,” he said.
Attending an underwater concert is truly an incredible and one-of-a-kind experience, especially for first time attendees who were able to experience what the annual event is all about.
Some divers and snorkelers even attended the underwater concert in bright and colorful costumes. They pretended to play underwater metal instruments such as guitars, trombones, and trumpets that were created by August Powers, a renowned Florida Keys artist. The participants described the underwater as otherworldly and clear, with visibility of around 50 feet.
The annual underwater concert was not just created for fun. According to My Sun Coast, the broadcast also incorporates diver awareness announcements encouraging all snorkelers and divers to enjoy the reef while taking care of the environment.
“We try to get divers to be aware of their impact on the coral reef so that they lessen that impact and this reef can be here for generations to come,” Becker said.
[Images via Reefs]