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Here’s What You Missed At This Year’s Riptide Music Festival—Besides The Music

Blue skies, ocean breeze and cool sand between your toes. It was the perfect Florida winter weather to enjoy great music and have fun, but this year’s Riptide Music Festival wasn’t just about the lineup. It was a chance to experience art and learn how to protect the ocean and beach that locals and tourists love so much. 

With the live music playing in the background, artists at Riptide created masterpieces before festival-goers eyes, including sand sculptures of mountains and a couch to take photos on. Local artist Ruben Ubiera helped direct a community art project as part of the “Greater Together” campaign by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. People had the chance to paint a single line that would become a part of larger design, and Ubiera spray painted a thumbprint on top. The thumbprint represented the diversity in Greater Fort Lauderdale’s DNA, and it showed the world we’re “greater together.” 

Just a few steps away from him, Ernest Vasquez and Sierra Rasberry, creators of 1,000 Mermaids, which promotes eco-friendly awareness and support for the ocean, did live body-castings and presented completed castings with tails and scales. The couple’s goal is to drop these mermaids on modules into the ocean and allow coral polyps to grow on them. 

Another environmental advocate and artist, SusieQ Wood, facilitated a collaborative piece where attendees glued a piece of plastic that was found on the beach. She creates art using litter and advocates for respecting and maintaining a litter-free planet.

In the pavilion behind Vasquez and Rasberry, Celebration of the Sea Foundation brought guests from various organizations to share ways to give back to those affected by the recent hurricanes and to learn about ocean conservation. Blue Ring Inc. allows people to “marry” the ocean for a membership fee that contributes to ocean exploration and conservation projects. Surfrider Foundation was also featured at Riptide, and is an organization that champions policy and fights legal battles for our coasts. 

You may have missed the music if you couldn’t attend Riptide, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on enjoying the ocean. Head to the beach, bask in its beauty and enjoy the winter the Floridian way. And don’t forget to support the local artists and organizations doing their part in protecting the place we call home. 

Photo courtesy of  Ron Elkman