At this point last week, the Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale beach was still just a dream. Its success, based on location and a sterling lineup, seemed like such a natural, but who could be sure how it would fly? By the end of the remarkable weekend, the word-of-mouth among locals and out-of-towners was unanimous: We gotta do this again.
Before the first note was even played at last weekend’s inaugural festival, its Nashville-based promoters said they had already taken calls from “major talent” interested in playing next year’s Tortuga Music Festival. No names are being named as yet, but we’ve got our own ideas for the 2014 Tortuga lineup.
Here’s our two-day dream bill for 2014, with the same number of acts (22), and an attempt to achieve the same musical balance struck this year with high-powered country stars (Kenny Chesney and Eric Church), indie heroes (Avett Brothers), blues (Gary Clark Jr., Ben Harper), reggae (Michael Franti, the Wailers), rock nostalgia (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and homegrown talent (Jake Owen).
This lineup may be a little ambitious, and we might need to kick some people off to keep the ticket under $100, but we can dream, can't we? No doubt you’ve got better ideas. Please share.
Headliner: Kenny Chesney
Pretty much everyone agreed that Chesney’s easygoing, beach-friendly vibe was perfect for Tortuga. That he’s also a superstar, ticket-selling machine doesn’t hurt. Tortuga should be Chesney’s signature annual event.
Indie: Jack Johnson, Ryan Adams
Country: Florida Georgia Line, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle
Blues: Gary Clark Jr. (to make up for his no-show last weekend), Bonnie Raitt
Reggae: Jimmy Cliff
Nostalgia: Brian Wilson
Homegrown: Cassadee Pope (a little pop, but she’s versatile)
Headliner: The Zac Brown Band
The laidback country style and rabid fan following for Brown (pictured above) and band make them a perfect bookend with Chesney.
Indie: Les Claypool and Dean Ween (the Primus leader and his fishing buddy love the waters around Fort Lauderdale), the Felice Brothers
Country: Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Joe Ely
Blues: Buddy Guy
Nostalgia: ZZ Top, Allman Brothers
Homegrown: Iron & Wine
Again, you've got better ideas, quibbles, comments. Talk about it.
Photo: Getty Images