FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Canceled last year due to the pandemic, the Tortuga Music Festival has returned to Fort Lauderdale beach.
The festival kicked off Friday at noon and will continue through Sunday night. Upwards of 30,000 people are expected at the beach for the event.READ MORE: Banksy 'Charlie Brown' Sells For $4 Million, While Child Prodigy Thrills Crowd With His Artwork
The festival features some of the biggest names in country music. This year includes performances by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, John Pardi, Cole Swindell, Jimmie Allen, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Gabby Barrett, and Lee Brice.
Fort Lauderdale police and fire rescue said they have been meeting with the concert organizers for six months to prepare. Law enforcement officers and fire rescue personnel will be stationed throughout the event and surrounding area.
“We’ll have over 38 paramedics on site. We have a pop-up hospital that is staffed with nurses and a doctor as well as lifeguards protecting the waterside,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Batallion Chief Stephen Gollan.
City officials are hypersensitive to what happened at the Astroworld Festival in Houston last weekend when concertgoers stormed a stage and eight people were killed.
“The best way to describe our security plan, it’s like an iceberg. What you see on the surface, you see it visibly when you walk into the event. It pales in comparison to what is going on behind the scenes” said Fort Lauderdale Assistant Police Chief of Operations Dana Swisher.READ MORE: Miami Weather: A Warmer, More Humid Sunday
Some event-goers told CBS4 that they feel safe in going.
“I’ve probably been to 50 country music concerts in my life, but I’ve never been to one where anyone ever died so I think the environment is going to be a little more relaxed than AstroWorld,” said Nick Murphy.
“I don’t think it’s going to be like that just because we’ve been here before and we know how it’s set up, they limit tickets,” said Emily DiMatteo.
Those planning to go should note that there is no designated event parking,
Attendees are encouraged to use a ride share service or the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi. Taxis and rideshare services will use Harbor Drive for passenger pick up and drop off. Rideshares could face fines for picking up or dropping off at any other location.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
Drivers can expect delays on all barrier island roadways especially A1A and Seabreeze Boulevard. Delays should also be expected on Southeast 17th Street and Las Olas Boulevard.