More than 500 divers and snorkellers descended on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for the 27th Underwater Music Festival.
The event celebrates the coral reef system and raises awareness of preservation
Donning marine-themed fancy dress and adopting stage names such as Eel-vis Presley, Bob Marlin and Joss Stone Crab, the would-be musicians submerged themselves under water to perform in the symphony under the sea.
Armed with fishy instruments such as ‘clambourines’, guitars in the shape of a starfish and a bass masquerading as a ray, they belted out tunes, creating good vibrations for the surrounding marine life.
The wacky event is staged to celebrate the colourful diversity of marine life that characterises North America’s only living coral barrier reef - and also promotes preservation.
“We have a lot of fun, we dress up in costumes, but there’s a serious side. Coral reef conservation is the message,” festival director Bill Becker told. “The fish seemed to enjoy the music as much as I did. They almost were dancing in unison to the melody, and the music just kind of surrounds you,” snorkeller and first-time festival-goer Gail Coad said.
Most of the music made by the marine musicians is broadcast under water through special speakers suspended underneath boats. It was accompanied by diver awareness announcements, recorded by officials from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, offering advice on how to enjoy the ocean while minimising impact on the coral reef system and surrounding marine environment.
Saturday’s event was the 27th annual Underwater Music Festival. Previous events have included performances from a mermaid with a harp, a troupe of snorkelling Elvis look-a-likes and divas of the deep.