Florida divers, snorkel­ers sub­merge for reef mu­sic fes­ti­val

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Alo­cal ra­dio sta­tion's broad­cast un­der­wa­ter in the Florida Keys Na­tional Marine Sanc­tu­ary on Satur­day at­tracted about 400 divers and snorkel­ers who lis­tened to mu­sic and announcements ad­vo­cat­ing reef preser­va­tion. The Lower Keys Un­der­wa­ter Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at Looe Key Reef, part of the world's third-largest liv­ing coral bar­rier reef, fea­tured four hours of mu­sic cus­tom-pro­grammed by sta­tion WWUS for sub­sea lis­ten­ing. "We have a cap­tive au­di­ence down there," said Bill Becker, the event's co-founder and the sta­tion's news di­rec­tor. "We have divers and snorkel­ers lis­ten­ing to pub­lic service announcements about reef preser­va­tion, coral reef eti­quette and diver aware­ness.

"It's things that they can do to lessen their impact on the coral reef," he said. The aquatic-fo­cused playlist in­cluded the theme from the "The Lit­tle Mer­maid," the Bea­tles' "Oc­to­pus's Gar­den" and the theme from the iconic shark mo­tion picture "Jaws." "We just wanted to get their (par­tic­i­pants) at­ten­tion," laughed Becker. Other songs in­cluded Jimmy Buf­fett's "Fins," the theme from the tele­vi­sion clas­sic "Flip­per" and "At­lantis" by Dono­van. Par­tic­i­pants in the wa­ter could hear the com­mer­cial-free broad­cast via Lubbell Lab­o­ra­tory wa­ter­proof speak­ers strate­gi­cally hung from boats float­ing above the reef.

Sev­eral divers were cos­tumed, in­clud­ing two mer­maids and a Sponge Bob car­toon char­ac­ter. Oth­ers pre­tended to play Florida Keys artist Au­gust Pow­ers' sculpted mu­si­cal in­stru­ments. Becker de­scribed the un­der­wa­ter lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at "ethe­real," say­ing that the sound was not loud, but very clear and it seemed that mu­sic could be "felt through your body and not just through your ears."

In this photo pro­vided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, a yel­low­tail snap­per swims by par­tic­i­pants pre­tend­ing to play a lo­cal artist's mu­si­cal in­stru­ment sculp­tures at the Lower Keys Un­der­wa­ter Mu­sic Fes­ti­val Satur­day in the Florida Keys Na­tional Marine Sanc­tu­ary off Big Pine Key, Fla. — AP pho­tos

Mariah Reynolds pretends to play a lo­cal artist's mu­si­cal in­stru­ment sculp­ture at the Lower Keys Un­der­wa­ter Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

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