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Watch An Underwater Music Fest

Big Pine Key, Florida Keys — Part of the world’s third-largest coral barrier reef became a music arena Saturday, when hundreds of divers and snorkelers gathered for a unique sub-sea concert in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival took place at Looe Key Reef, about 6 miles south of Big Pine Key. The quirky songfest spotlights coral reef protection and environmentally responsible diving in the Keys’ colorful ocean environment.

The four-hour musical event was staged by Keys radio station WWUS. Participants swam among Looe Key’s marine life and coral formations while listening to water-themed music broadcast by the station.

Tunes were piped underwater through speakers suspended beneath boats above the reef. Selections ranged from haunting humpback whale songs to the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and “Knee Deep” by Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band.

Participants described the underwater music as ethereal, absorbed through their entire bodies instead of just their ears.

“It really is interesting diving to music when you normally are used to a very silent sound underwater,” said festival founder Bill Becker.

Some divers wore costumes, portraying everything from mermaids to the animated film clownfish Nemo, and pretended to play underwater musical instruments sculpted by a Keys artist.

As well as enjoying the one-of-a-kind undersea experience, participants got insights into preserving the Florida Keys’ coral reef ecosystem.

“We have a very strong environmental message,” said Becker. “We have diver awareness messages, coral reef etiquette, how to behave around a coral reef so that you don’t leave a mark and you leave only bubbles.”

By FloridaKeysNewsBureau release posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com July 10, 2016 

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