Leading By Example: The Most Sustainable Major Music Festival On The Planet
We can’t support ocean conservation at the cost of the local environment. Rock The Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival is committed to making the tough choices of sustainability. We work hard to ensure that we are good environmental stewards of our festival's coastal habitat and are conscious of managing our environmental footprint. Our festival isn't just about music, it's about creating a fan experience that respects our environment while also taking action to protect it.
Our Sustainability Pillars
Items brought to the festival by food vendors, craft vendors, and sponsors must adhere to sustainability guidelines to ensure that no single-use landfill-bound items are given to fans on site.
from the Landfill
Single Stream Recycling
Cooking Oil Recycled
Sustainability Is In The Details
Tortuga Music Festival has always been a trailblazer in large-scale event sustainability. And Rock The Ocean leads those practices, designing, implementing, and continuously building on our efforts year after year. Along with our partners at Live Nation, we were the first event to ban the sale of plastic water bottles and we continue to create circular economy products, making us leaders in not just music, but the large-scale event space in general. As a two time winner of ACM Festival of the Year & Sustainability Leadership award winner, Tortuga Music Festival demonstrates that a large event can be eco friendly & sustainable while providing an unforgettable experience for fans.
- Tortuga Music Festival was the first major music festival to ban single-use plastic water bottles. We continue to only provide water in an infinitely recyclable can to staff, fans, and artists.
- All cups and service ware served on site must be reusable or 100% compostable.
- Free water refill stations provided to encourage fans to bring reusable water bottles.
- Tortuga provides and encourages the use of reusable aluminum cups for fans, staff, and artists.
- There are site-wide recycling and composting programs including cans, cardboard, cigarette butts, used cooking oil, service ware, cups, and food.
- Items brought to the festival by vendors must adhere to sustainability guidelines to ensure that no single-use landfill-bound items are given to fans.
- Leftover food and items are donated to the local community.
- Tortuga is continuing to replace fuel with biodiesel, increase the amount of solar energy used, and replace generators with a ESS Hybrid Generators.
- During construction of the festival there is a “No Idling” policy to reduce the amount of fuel burning.
- We encourage fans to use alternative transportation such as walking, rideshare, biking, water taxi.
- 2023 Tortuga wristbands were made of recycled fabric which was made from 100% reclaimed plastic bottles.
- Raw Elements Reef-Friendly Mineral Sunscreen is provided for free across the festival to promote protecting Florida’s Coral Reef.
- All vendors and sponsors are asked to replace any non-sustainable items and packaging with a more eco-friendly replacement.
- Tortuga has staff dedicated to the implementation of our sustainability initiatives year-round.
- At the festival there is an entire team dedicated to waste diversion, as well as a team of over 100 people educating fans about ocean conservation and raising money for Rock The Ocean’s Conservation Partners.
- All seafood served on site must be listed as “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” as defined by The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
- Food vendors are required to offer vegan and/or vegetarian options.
- Food vendors are provided with specific guidelines they must adhere to including having antibiotic-free meat, no single-use condiment packets, and instruction on how to properly dispose of all waste.
- When Tortuga was founded a promise was made to the city of Ft. Lauderdale that every year we would leave the beach even better than we found it!
- Tortuga fans plant sea oats on the beach during the festival. They have planted 24,500 sea oats since 2013
- Reusable Pocket Ashtrays are distributed to fans for free to help keep cigarette butts of the beach.
- Rock The Ocean hosts and sponsors monthly beach cleanups across the country including right on the Tortuga festival site.
- Several protocols are in place during the festival to protect any native marine life, including 24-hour turtle patrol.
- Rock The Ocean’s Eco Exchange incentivizes fans to help keep the beach clean during the event.
- Rock The Ocean’s Conservation Village hosts 30+ Nonprofit organizations in the center of the festival every year. These groups attend Tortuga at no cost to them and are provided the bulk of materials needs to table. They spend the weekend educating Tortuga fans about their organization and how to participate in ocean conservation efforts. These groups are the recipients of the funds raised by Rock The Ocean at the event.
- Thanks to the generosity of Tortuga fans Rock The Ocean has raised over $4M for ocean conservation since 2013.
- Rock The Ocean has partnered with over 100 organizations in the last ten years to support conservation efforts all around the world.
- Money raised at Tortuga have funded projects such as protecting and restoring coral reefs, tagging and tracking sharks to study behavior and habitat use, removing debris from marine habitats, implementing environmental education programs for youth, sea turtle nest monitoring and protection, removing invasive lionfish, rehabilitating marine animals, responding to marine animal strandings, and restoring mangrove and sea oat habitats.