Recap: Day One of Tortuga Music Festival
Twelve hours on the beach sounds impossible, especially when it's pretty much standing room only. However, day one of Tortuga Music Festival has come to a close and we all had a hell of a time (even if our legs are a little sore now).
After a little rocky start at the beginning of the day (including prepaid parking spots being overbooked). Tortuga had the whole beach jamming. Old Dominion opened the day at the Tortuga Stage and the fun went on from there. Texas cutie Chase Bryant broke some hearts over at the Sunset Stage, followed by the Doobie Brothers (who proved they've still got it after all these years) right next door at the main stage.
Florida native Jake Owen took the party to a whole new level when he hit the stage, playing fan favorites and even pulling a lucky birthday girl onto the stage. But the main event really stole the show. At 8 p.m., the crowd for headliner Kenny Chesney extended from the Tortuga Stage all the way the back to the Sunrise Stage, covering the entire stretch of beach reserved for the festival. At least 200 people had blankets and towels stationed by the stage all day in preparation for Kenny Chesney, and hundreds more jockeyed for good spots.
At first, it was a little overwhelming. People were pushing and shoving to get the best spot to see the country superstar, but once Mr. Chesney hit the stage, the whole crowd became one in his "No Shoes Nation."
With an amazing stage presence and badass band, Kenny Chesney knows how to wow a crowd. The music was nonstop during the two hour set. He played songs from his newest album, "The Big Revival," as well as old favorites like "Summertime" and "Beer In Mexico."
The end of the day was bittersweet. As tired as we were, we wanted to a bask in Kenny's awesome vibes forever. Our only consolation was that we get to come back for day two and do it all again!
Tips for tomorrow (because I'm a veteran now):
- Stay hydrated. The festival offers free water refills stations, so bring a container (I suggest a full 2 liter bottle) and fill'er up throughout the day.
- Be aware of the sun. Make sure you have your hat, sunglasses and sunblock on and reapply multiple times. That Florida sun is brutal and there is very little shade on the beach.
- Stay chill. Maybe it's the heat, or maybe folks just get really riled up about their favorite artists, but sometimes they can get a little feisty especially when the crowds get larger. Make sure to smile on that face and remember you're all there to have a good time!