Tortuga Music Festival day 2 sees the likes of Hardy, Bret Michaels, Old Dominion and more take the stage

By Dave Parsons

Concert goers were lined up more than an hour before the gates opened for day 2 of the 2024 Tortuga Festival. The minute the gates opened there was a burst of energy as festival-goers gathered around the stages, ready to soak in the sounds of country, rock, pop and reggae artists, as well as fast rising stars. 

Festival goers had the choice of an array of immersive experiences, from interactive art installations to beachside yoga sessions. Food vendors were lined up the length of the festival with everything from fresh seafood to mouthwatering barbecue, ensuring that no appetite went unsatisfied.  For a festival, the prices were a little less than usual, and with several stands handing out $10 off coupons, it was more than affordable.  There were dozens of water stations throughout the Ft. Lauderdale Beach front as well to make sure everyone stayed hydrated.

Day two of Tortuga 2024 was headlined by HARDY.  Complete with his everyday stage garb of shorts, baseball hat and glasses, top offset his full blown stage production, the crowd was on the highest energy level of the weekend throughout his set. Hardy was a bundle of energy, moving between one end of the giant stage to the other, and down the long catwalk several times in the first few songs.  The crowd on the beach swelled to the largest one of the weekend.

Bret Michaels played the Sunset Stage immediately before HARDY.  Ripping through the catalog of hits he had with Poison, to throwing in some party songs to get the crowd going, the audience was treated to an old school rock and roll show from start to finish.  He asked upcoming country star, Cooper Alan, (who had played the stage hours earlier), to join him for a duet, and that drove the energy level higher.  By the time the last notes of Nothin’ But A Good Time faded, it was clear that was just what the crowd had experienced.

Old Dominion had the early evening crowd up on their feet with their own hits and those that members of the band wrote for other artists.  You can see why this band is a crowd favorite as at least one member of the band was on the catwalk the entire set.  Their stage show, emphasized by 3 and 4 part harmonies, are a pleasure to watch, because you know they are having as good a time on stage as the audience is. 

Hitmaker Russell Dickerson turned in a non-stop set from the second he took the stage at the Tortuga festival.  Dickerson took the crowd through those hits, including Yours, Blue Tacoma and Every Little Thing, never letting up on his energy to play to the audience in every corner of the stage.  The time slot was perfect as the sun was just starting to set on a perfect Saturday afternoon, and the crowd was ready to party along with Dickerson and his band. The combination made for an unforgettable show.

In a diversion away from the country music on tap, Tortuga invited The Long Beach Dub Allstars, and their mix of dub/ska and reggae rock music to Tortuga 2024.  Put into the schedule at 4 PM, on a very hot Saturday afternoon, they were a welcome relief as their reggae twinged sound had the crowd swaying and enjoying the set.  A very well-rehearsed band, they had the crowd from the first note, and took them on a ride that was pure pleasure on both sides.

Newcomer singer-songwriter, Jackson Dean took the stage mid-afternoon and treated the crowd to a trip through his style of hard-core county, mixed with some outlaw country to boot.  Dressed in jeans, long sleeve dress shirt with rolled up cuffs, black cowboy hat and a guitar with the most unique design, Dean was as good on vocals as his band was on backing him.  Dean is one to watch in the future!

At the height of the sun baking down at 3 PM, Cooper Alan took the stage with his never stop energy and charm.  He kept telling the crowd to stay hydrated, doing the same himself between every song, and then proceeded to give it all he had for the 35 minute set.  This guy knows how to perform and will most certainly be on a more headline spot towards evening in future years.

With her combination of rock, soul and R&B music, Kassi Ashton treated the early fans to the main stage to a 35 minute set that was as much fun to watch as it was to hear.  Packaged with her vocals, Ashton has a lot of stage presence and experience behind her.  She is one to watch in the future.   

Again on Saturday, there was a stage under a tent set up that hosted the Next From Nashville Stage. The stage offered up some great music from up-and-coming acts including Greylan James, Peytan Porter, and Austin Snell.  It will only be a matter of a few years before these acts will be on the large beachfront stages at Tortuga.  

Overall, the second day of the Tortuga Festival was a resounding success, leaving attendees with many memories and anticipation for what the final day would bring. 

Disclaimer:  It is impossible, because of overlapping set times on stages 200 yards apart, to photograph and review every act at the festival.  I photographed as many as was possible each day.

Photo Gallery : Greylan James – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Peyton Porter – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Cooper Alan – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Jackson Dean – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Kassi Ashton – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Long Beach Dub All Stars – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Russell Dickerson – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Hardy – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

Photo Gallery : Old Dominion – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

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