KEY WEST (CBS4)-Several hundred divers and snorkelers came together to take part in an undersea jam session at the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival off Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys.

The event, which was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. took place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The festival offered an offbeat salute to rock with divers costumed as Presley, reggae icon Marley and other famed musicians.

Their undersea jam session featured “fishy” instruments such as a “clambourine” and “wahoo kazoo” sculpted by a Lower Keys artist.

Music was broadcasted underwater via speakers suspended beneath boats positioned at the reef.

Their undersea jam session featured “fishy” instruments such as a “clambourine” and “wahoo kazoo” sculpted by a Lower Keys artist.

“The fish seemed to enjoy the music as much as I did,” said snorkeler and first-time festival participant Gail Coad of Sarasota. “They almost were dancing in unison to the melody, and the music just kind of surrounds you.”

keysunderwaterfest2 Snorkelers Take Part In Keys Underwater Music Fest

Eric Rolfe, costumed as "Eel-vis Presley" strums on a fake guitar during the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival Saturday, July 9, 2011. (Source: Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Samantha Langsdale of Key West, who wore a bright green mermaid costume, said she made some undersea “friends” during the festival.
“I believe that the parrotfish family has accepted me,” said Langsdale. “We have similar colors.”

The Underwater Music Festival’s purpose is to promote preservation of the Keys’ unique coral reef ecosystem.

The musical broadcast featured diver awareness announcements emphasizing ways to enjoy the reef while minimizing impacts on the underwater environment.

“We have a lot of fun, we dress up in costumes, but there’s a serious side,” said festival director Bill Becker. “Coral reef conservation is the message.”


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