Fort Lauderdale Beach Gets New Music Festival

Get ready for B-52s on the beach — not as an airshow event but part of a brand new music festival coming in December.

The 1980s new wave band is one the acts being considered for the first Riptide Music & Food Festival planned for Dec. 3 and 4 on the same beach spot where the Tortuga Festival has become a smash in recent years.

Organizers said the first-day acts could feature groups such as Green Day, Imagine Dragons, George Ezra and The Struts. Second-day acts being looked at include the B-52s, A Flock of Seagulls and The Mix, with contract offers out to Phil Collins and Lionel Richie.

Promoters assured city commissioners they were not looking to create a "raucous" event but one more suited to the city's family-friendly image. Ticket pricing isn't available yet.

"It's not just a music festival. This is wrapped from food, fashion and music, and really with the arts in mind," said Amy Freeman, a general sales manager for sponsor Entercom Communications. "It'll be a little more upscale than Tortuga."

Freeman described the first day as featuring alternative pop bands and the second having bands from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The stage will be set up in the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park parking lot south of Las Olas Boulevard with crowds spilling onto the beach.

Promoters are hoping to attract 10,000 to 15,000 people for each day of the concert, saying they want to keep the initial festival small in scale. The Tortuga Festival this year attracted around 90,000 over its three-day run in April.

Entercom owns and operates 127 radio stations in 27 national markets, including 101.5 FM, 102.7 FM, 790 AM and 104.3 FM in South Florida. The festival is targeting its 25-to-54-year-old demographic.

Commissioners say they support more activity on the beach, but they have been leery of transforming it into another South Beach. They're looking for a proper balance of tourist-oriented events so that local residents can enjoy the beach, too.

Area hotel and business owners said there's usually a lull after Thanksgiving before the season gets underway full force in mid-December.

Read teh complete article by Sun Sentinel Reporter, Larry Barszewski at

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