Tortuga Music Festival 2016 Reopens After Severe Storm Evacuation

Tortuga Music Festival — the country music version of California’s Coachella music festival — kicked off with a slight hitch on Friday, April 15. There was inclement weather in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The 2016 Tortuga Music Festival was overcome by severe weather in the southern part of Florida. The country music festival added a third day this year to accommodate attendees who have missed out on Day 1. The weather in Fort Lauderdale on Friday was sunny and warm. But as the day went on, dark clouds rolled in and severe thunderstorms were predicted.

Severe winds and lightning strikes were also predicted in the forecast, causing HUA Entertainment, the production company behind the Tortuga Music Festival, to announce the first-ever evacuation for the event, according to a press release.

Fans were obviously upset to leave the festival. According to Local 10 News, there was confusion on the concert grounds as attendees originally assumed that the event was canceled for the whole night, but festival organizers took to Twitter to announced that the shows would continue after the storms left the area. Severe storms and heavy rain were predicted to continue for most of the evening, just hours after the festival started. The gates opened at 9:15 p.m. and Dierks Bentley was expected to take the stage at 9:45 p.m.

Attendees were happy to return to enjoy a performance from Dierks Bentley later that night. The opening day was still a huge success, according to several media outlets. Tortuga reopened its doors with an all-star lineup that included Billy Currington, Chris Janson, Kip Moore, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett, and A Thousand Horses.

Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw are expected to headline the other nights of the music festival. But it looks like this isn’t the end of the storms. According to weather reports, storms could still affect Tortuga Music Festival for most of the weekend. The National Weather Service predicted a 60 percent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms for Saturday night, April 16.

If you’re heading down to Tortuga this weekend, then you should know what to bring before you arrive. Luckily, there’s free parking available at the garages located at the Galleria Mall, where shuttles will then transport you to and from the beach for most of the weekend. You want to take advantage of the shuttles since walking from the Galleria to Tortuga is two miles, according to the Broward Palm Beach Times.

The shuttles will run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A single-day shuttle pass will cost you $25 plus a $6.67 service fee, while an advanced shuttle pass for all three days will cost $45 plus a $7.27 service fee.

Fort Lauderdale’s Water Taxi service is also available from the Las Olas Riverfront/Briny Pub and Gallery ONE DoubleTree/Galleria Mall, with single-day and three-day passes available. If you’re not interested in paying for shuttle service or water taxi service, Lyft and Uber are both affordable options.

The official Tortuga website has a complete list of approved items to bring to the festival. The following items are allowed.

  • Blankets and beach towels.
  • Prescription medicine in a marked bottle, along with proper matching ID.
  • Baby strollers, small wagons for toddlers.
  • One empty water container up to two liters in size.
  • Factory-sealed water bottle (one per person, up to 1 liter).
  • Small backpacks (school backpacks).
  • Camelbacks, but they must be empty.
  • Personal cameras.
  • Umbrellas (small, hand-held only).
  • Low-rise beach chairs are allowed; however, they must be set up in the designated chair zone.

The following things are prohibited on the festival grounds.

  • Weapons of any kind.
  • Outside food and drink (except your factory-sealed water).
  • Glass containers.
  • Animals (with the exception of service animals).
  • Fliers, handbills, posters, stickers (no unauthorized solicitation or vending allowed).
  • Large chairs, beach umbrellas, or tents.
  • Skateboards, bicycles, motorized vehicles, or scooters.
  • Coolers of any size.
  • Professional recording devices or cameras (no detachable lenses).
  • GoPros or selfie sticks of any kind.
  • Drones (with or without cameras) or any unmanned flying vehicle.
  • Glowsticks or laser pointers.
  • Items to obstruct other fans’ views (kites, flagpoles, large signs, etc.).

For the complete schedule and set times in case of the inclement weather, click here.

[Photo by John Parra/Getty Images]