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Florida hosts underwater music festival

Although Wet Wet Wet, Ocean Colour Scene and Katrina and the Waves were not in attendance, Florida Keys recently welcomed visitors to an underwater music festival.
Key West, off the coast of Miami, Florida, recently saw more than 500 snorkelers and divers perform at the 27th annual Underwater Music Festival at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The event, which invited plenty of puns, saw performers use a number of modified musical instruments including starfish-shaped guitars and ‘clambourines’.
Among those to join in the fun were fancy-dressed stars like Eelvis Presley, Bob Marlin and Joss Stone Crab.
The event is held every year as a celebration of music and the diversity of marine life living in North America’s only living coral barrier reef and to promote the preservation of the area.
Festival director Bill Becker, told US news broadcaster CBS: “We have a lot of fun, we dress up in costumes, but there’s a serious side. Coral reef conservation is the message.”
Gail Coad, who attended the festival for the first time this year, said that as well as highlighting a good cause, the fish seemed to really enjoy the vibrations, with some apparently dancing to the beat.
“The fish seemed to enjoy the music as much as I did,” she commented.
“They almost were dancing in unison to the melody, and the music just kind of surrounds you.”
In order to ensure minimum disruption to the surrounding marine life, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary issued advice on how to enjoy the event without damaging the reef.
Such advice saw the music made broadcast through specially-modified underwater speakers mounted on the underside of boats moored close by.
Staged by Keys radio station US 1 Radio 104.1 FM, the event saw the acts play a number of ocean and water-themed songs such as the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
In order to please both human attendees and the surrounding sea life, a range of humpback whale songs and other water music created by local musicians was added to the set list.

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