Music Festivals

Tortuga 2016: Where to Park, What to Pack, and More to Know Before You Go

Tortuga has officially set up camp along Fort Lauderdale Beach for tomorrow afternoon's three-day music festival kickoff, which means it's time to get your ass in gear, put together a game-day plan, and take a moment or two to read over all the boring fine print. Here's everything you need to know before you go:

Getting There
Signs along Sunrise Boulevard already point to free festival parking at the massive garages at the Galleria Mall, where officially sanctioned shuttles will transport festivalgoers to and from the beach throughout the weekend. (There is no onsite festival parking, and the walk from the free parking at Galleria to Tortuga is roughly two miles.)

Tortuga's air-conditioned Park-N-Ride shuttles will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A single-day shuttle pass purchased in advance will cost you $25 (plus a $6.67 service fee), while an advance shuttle pass for all three days goes for $45 (plus a $7.27 service fee). Those prices increase to $30 and $60, respectively (plus fees) if you wait until the day of to purchase. Kids 10 and under ride for free.

Fort Lauderdale's Water Taxi service has also partnered with the festival to provide shuttle service to and from the festival via two departure points: Las Olas Riverfront/Briny Pub and Gallery ONE DoubleTree/Galleria Mall. Single and three-day passes cost the same as the Park-N-Ride shuttle, though Water Taxi's ticketing site doesn't seem to charge a service fee. Riding the water taxi into Tortuga takes about 30 minutes from either departure point, and passengers can enjoy drinks and music while onboard. All return trips leave from the Las Olas Marina.

If you're not interested in forking over for shuttle or water taxi passes, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are a cost-efficient alternative, though you can expect slower-than-usual rides and price surges — last year's event brought more than 75,000 concertgoers to the beach over the course of its two days, swarming the roads and jamming traffic. Last month, Uber also introduced its UberPool service in South Florida, a feature within the app that allows multiple users along the same route to carpool together to save as much as 50 percent on their fare.

If you were planning on rolling to the fest on your skateboard or scooter, think again, as those items will not be allowed into the festival.

What to Bring
The Tortuga website provides a complete list of approved and prohibited items at the festival. Here's a summary of the most important items you should know about.

The following items are allowed:
  • Blankets and beach towels.
  • Prescription medicine in a marked bottle, along with proper matching ID.
  • Baby strollers, small wagons for toddlers.
  • One empty water container up to two liters in size.
  • Factory-sealed water bottle (one per person, up to 1 liter).
  • Small backpacks (school backpacks).
  • Camelbacks, but they must be empty.
  • Personal cameras.
  • Umbrellas (small, hand-held only).
  • Low-rise beach chairs are allowed; however, they must be set up in the designated chair zone.
The following items are prohibited:
  • Weapons of any kind.
  • Outside food and drink (except your factory-sealed water).
  • Glass containers.
  • Animals (with the exception of service animals).
  • Fliers, handbills, posters, stickers (no unauthorized solicitation or vending allowed).
  • Large chairs, beach umbrellas, or tents.
  • Skateboards, bicycles, motorized vehicles, or scooters.
  • Coolers of any size.
  • Professional recording devices or cameras (no detachable lenses).
  • GoPros or selfie sticks of any kind.
  • Drones (with or without cameras) or any unmanned flying vehicle.
  • Glowsticks or laser pointers.
  • Items to obstruct other fans' views (kites, flag poles, large signs, etc.).
Other Things You Should Know
  • Tortuga prohibits tailgating in parking lots prior to the event.
  • Children are allowed, and kids 10 and under get in free (and ride the water taxi/shuttle for free).
  • Guests are allowed reentry to the festival grounds once per day.
  • Boat anchoring offshore of the festival site is strictly prohibited.
  • Fans who have the Tortuga mobile app downloaded on their phones and have opted to receive push notifications will receive instant updates during the festival about special experiences, important festival reminders, and enhanced customer service.
  • For the complete daily schedule and set times, go here.
  • Registering your festival wristband ahead of time protects your ticket purchase in case it's lost or stolen, makes you eligible for prize giveaways, and allows you to take advantage of Tortuga Wave, the festival's new onsite Photo Booth and photographer program.
Have fun, and be safe at Tortuga 2016, Fort Lauderdale!
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Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Contact: Falyn Freyman