Rocking Out on the Reef

By: Terry Gibson


Did you know that sound is much louder and travels farther underwater? No need to get close to the speaker at the upcoming Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival. Those decibels will be flying through the water column around Looe Key Reef, about six miles south of Big Pine Key.

Set for Saturday, July 14, the concert and "offbeat" underwater reality show includes participants costumed as contestants and judges from “Underwater Idol,” “Dancing with the Starfish” and “Subsea Survivor.” Festival attendees might spot iconic former “Idol” judge “Simon Coral” and current judge “J. Lo Tide” or previous “Survivor” winner “Richard Hatchery.”

Only in the Keys...

The playlist typically includes "ballads" from humpback whale recordings, as well as ocean-themed songs such as Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins,” Donovan’s “Atlantis” and the Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden.”

The festival also broadcasts a serious message of reef preservation. It incorporates diver awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing impacts on the underwater environment.

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