Country chart-toppers Luke Bryan and Eric Church, Grammy winner Sheryl Crow and reggae favorite Ziggy Marley lead a diverse lineup of performers announced Monday for the second annual Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale beach April 12-13.
Early-bird Tortuga tickets that went on sale in October at $145 for a two-day pass quickly sold out, but another allotment of advance tickets will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., beginning at $155 for a weekend pass. Get them at TortugaMusicFestival.com.
The unenviable task of filling the headliner's boots worn by Kenny Chesney at the inaugural Tortuga festival in April goes to Bryan, whose recently released fourth album, "Crash My Party," includes the No. 1 singles "That's My Kind of Night" and the title track.
This has been a dream year for the 37-year-old Bryan, who took home a CMT Artist of the Year award in Nashville last week, to go with the Favorite Country Male Artist award he won last month at the 2013 American Music Awards and the Entertainer of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April. Bryan was recently named a host (with Blake Shelton) of the 2014 CMAs airing live a week before Tortuga.
The ocean-friendly Tortuga Music Festival is a partnership between the Rock the Ocean Foundation's Chris Stacey, a former Fort Lauderdale diver and music-industry veteran now living in Nashville, and New Orleans-based HUKA Entertainment. This year the partnership picked up an influential sponsor, basic-cable channel CMT (Country Music Television).
Other music on the 2014 bill include the streetwise funk-punk of SoCal's Slightly Stoopid, country crooners Billy Currington and Brett Eldredge, NoCal folky Brett Dennen, roots rockers Delta Rae, former "Survivor" star Chase Rice, Cole Swindell ("Chillin' It"), Nashville heartthrob Frankie Ballard ("Helluva Life"), and the pure indie craftsmanship of the Revivalists (New Orleans), White Denim (Austin) and the Brothers Osbourne (rural Kentucky). More performers are still being rounded up, organizers say.
"We set out to build on last year's foundation by putting together an … incredible group of country, rock and roots acts. We feel we've done exactly that," blurbed HUKA Entertainment co-founder and CEO A.J. Niland.
More than 25,000 locals and a sizable number of tourists turned up for the first Tortuga festival on the sand north of the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. Three stages were positioned around the Conservation Village, which included educational displays from leading local ocean conservationists such as the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
Ticket proceeds and donations at the 2013 festival raised more than $70,000 for the marine conservation organizations.