As strange as it may sound, on the weekend of the 10th July in Florida, the stage was set for one of the most unique underwater events ever, the 26th annual Underwater Music Festival, at Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.
Each year as many as 600 enthusiastic divers and snorkelers gather at the Looe Keys National Marine Sanctuary, an area of the reef located approximately six miles south of Big Pine Key to take part in this one-of-a-kind event where underwater musicians “perform” music which is broadcast underwater using Lubell Laboratory underwater loudspeakers suspended beneath boats. While actual underwater instruments aren’t used, divers dressed in costumes instead of wetsuits with mock instruments designed after underwater creatures “play” along to the tunes much to the entertainment of the snorkelers and divers gathered. All of the music played at the festival is water themed such as “under the sea” from the little mermaid, or “Octopuses Garden” by the Beatles and songs are chosen based on how well they sound acoustically underwater as well.
Looe Key is known as the most spectacular living reef in North America for its diverse population of corals and its colorful array of tropical fish, and the Music Festival celebrated each year carries with it a serious message of coral reef preservation and diver awareness built into the entrainment.
The 26th annual Underwater Music Festival was held Saturday, July 10 and each year a different theme is given to the event. Last year was the Silver anniversary celebration or the 25th Annual Music Festival and was themed in honor of the Beatles Yellow Submarine.
The 2010 festival this year pays homage to the classic children’s tale “Alice in Wonderland” with the festivities dubbed “Alice in Waterland”, and will feature divers dressed up in costumes from the story ranging from the Mad Hatter dubbed the “Mad Haddock” the “March Herring” and several other memorable characters from the recently released film.
Divers and snorkelers eager dive in to in the 2010 Underwater Music Festival just need to grab their scuba gear and reserve space aboard boats run by private charters from Lower Keys dive operators, or launch their own boats and participate. Where else in the world can you spend the weekend diving in pristine coral reefs of the Florida Keys and unwind by attending an underwater music festival.