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Underwater Music Festival Stars Keys Coral Reef and Costumed Divers

4,658 views 9 months ago
LOOE KEY REEF, Florida Keys -- The marine life in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is famed for its color and variety, but it usually doesn't include divers costumed as mermaids and rock stars. Except, that is, during Saturday's Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival.

The 29th annual event took place at Looe Key Reef, lying about six miles south of Big Pine Key. Staged by Keys radio station WWUS 104.1 FM, it attracted about 200 divers and snorkelers to enjoy the sound of music beneath the sea.

The 2013 festival was themed "Salute to the Rolling Stone Crabs," in offbeat recognition of the Rolling Stones' 50-year career. Costumed divers portraying the Stones' band members "performed" takeoffs of their hits on underwater instruments sculpted by a Lower Keys artist.

"Music underwater has a really strange sound, strange feeling, because you're not hearing it through your ears," said festival coordinator Bill Becker. "You're hearing it through your whole body and through your head and your jaw."

Commercial-free music was broadcast underwater for four hours via speakers suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef.

"Normally underwater is very silent," Becker said. "But you put the music underwater, and it gets those divers dancing."

The ocean-inspired playlist included the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," Jimmy Buffett's "Fins," the theme from the film "The Little Mermaid" and some Rolling Stones' classics.

Candy Mausser of Sarasota, Fla., who snorkeled during the festival, said humans weren't the only ones who seemed to appreciate the quirky concert.

"I do think the fish were enjoying it too," she said. "There were about 100 angelfish and they were all kind of going back and forth underwater with the music."

As well as providing undersea fun, but the festival had a serious purpose: promoting preservation of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, running parallel to the Florida Keys. The broadcast incorporated diver awareness public service announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing environmental impacts.
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LOOE KEY REEF, Florida Keys -- The marine life in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is famed for its color and variety, but it usually doesn't include divers costumed as mermaids and rock stars. Except, that is, during Saturday's Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival.

The 29th annual event took place at Looe Key Reef, lying about six miles south of Big Pine Key. Staged by Keys radio station WWUS 104.1 FM, it attracted about 200 divers and snorkelers to enjoy the sound of music beneath the sea.

The 2013 festival was themed "Salute to the Rolling Stone Crabs," in offbeat recognition of the Rolling Stones' 50-year career. Costumed divers portraying the Stones' band members "performed" takeoffs of their hits on underwater instruments sculpted by a Lower Keys artist.

"Music underwater has a really strange sound, strange feeling, because you're not hearing it through your ears," said festival coordinator Bill Becker. "You're hearing it through your whole body and through your head and your jaw."

Commercial-free music was broadcast underwater for four hours via speakers suspended beneath boats positioned above the reef.

"Normally underwater is very silent," Becker said. "But you put the music underwater, and it gets those divers dancing."

The ocean-inspired playlist included the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," Jimmy Buffett's "Fins," the theme from the film "The Little Mermaid" and some Rolling Stones' classics.

Candy Mausser of Sarasota, Fla., who snorkeled during the festival, said humans weren't the only ones who seemed to appreciate the quirky concert.

"I do think the fish were enjoying it too," she said. "There were about 100 angelfish and they were all kind of going back and forth underwater with the music."

As well as providing undersea fun, but the festival had a serious purpose: promoting preservation of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, running parallel to the Florida Keys. The broadcast incorporated diver awareness public service announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing environmental impacts. Show less
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