The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, which also spotlighted eco-conscious diving, took place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary located about 6 miles (10 kilometers) south of Big Pine Key.
Established in 1990, the sanctuary protects 3,800 square miles (9,800 square kilometers) of waters including the barrier reef that parallels the 125-mile-long (201-kilometer-long) island chain.
For the past 25 years, hundreds of divers and snorkelers have come together for the festival at Looe Key Reef, part of the only living coral barrier reef in North America. Here, a pre-selected radio playlist is streamed live from underwater speakers, while musician-divers and mermaids play whimsical instruments created by local artist, August Powers. In past years, instruments have included the “trom-bonefish,” “sea-phan flute” and a “Fluke-a-Lele.”
While the festival’s primary purpose was to encourage reef preservation, it also afforded a singular underwater experience. “Mermaids” and other costumed characters added unique visual elements to the auditory offering on part of the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef.
The four-hour musical event was staged by local radio station 104.1 FM and the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.
According to apnews.com and atlasobscura.com; Source of photos: the internet