Not Jamestown, not St. Augustine, not Roanoke nor any other early settlement can top this. We are talking pre-colonial. We are talking Pensacola, Florida.
Pensacola, Florida. It is the stage for America’s first settlement and America’s first beach party. In 1559, after surviving a treacherous journey across ferocious seas, Spanish conquistador Tristán De Luna and his shipmates made their landing on what we now know as Pensacola. Upon landfall, De Luna and his crew threw a party. It was the beach party to end all beach parties, literally, as the settlement was blown away by a hurricane shortly after.
After 450 years, the first American beach party was officially revived with last year’s premier of DeLuna Fest. It celebrates Pensacola’s history and heritage by bringing the party back to the beach, while also raising national awareness of the rich history of America’s original settlement.
Held directly on the beach during October with the average high temperature of 79 degrees, DeLuna Fest, just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico is the ultimate destination festival. DeLuna Fest goers enjoy regional and national music acts with their toes in the sand of the whitest beaches on earth. What many may not know is in the years between the original beach party and now, this same sand has a rich history of hosting other memorable concerts including Los Lobos in 1985 as a part of Miller Beach week and Bruce Hornsby in 1987, a show that brought an estimated 60,000 to the shores and surrounding waters.
Thousands flocked to the Gulf Coast for last year’s premier event, which included a blend of 34 national and local acts. Some of the noted favorites included Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and 30 Seconds to Mars.
Although the coast was battered and bruised last year courtesy of an environmental disaster, commonly known as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, DeLuna Fest persevered, continued to plan its introduction, and achieved its goal of salvaging what was left of the prime tourism season. Willie Nelson even hopped on board to headline the event’s FREE day funded by money provided as reparation from the disaster.
Even in its short lifespan, DeLuna Fest is already growing up fast, skyrocketing through its infancy. This year the music will seemingly never stop. DeLuna Fest is back kicking things up in its second year with 6 stages, even more national acts, and an overflow of food and beverages promising a great, full weekend party under the sun, plus a few more surprises. Did we mention there would be late night DJ sets turned pool party to take you into the wee hours of the night?
This year attendees can expect a more progressive, diverse lineup, encompassing an expansion of genres. DeLuna Fest is taking on a new feel, reminiscent of larger festivals while crafting its own name and identity. Experience this destination fest in style in one of DeLuna Fest’s three onsite resort hotels. Take hold of a VIP experience unmatched by any other national festival including VIP lounges and a river of free alcohol.
Get ready for an all-inclusive party weekend you surely won’t forget or want to miss out on. Get ready to Party like it’s 1559.
Driving from destinations outside Pensacola
FROM MOBILE AND POINTS WEST: Take Interstate 10 East toward Pensacola. In Pensacola, take exit 12 onto I-110 Southbound. Take Exit 1A and follow directions below.
FROM PANAMA CITY AND POINTS ALONG FL GULF COAST:Take US-98 Westbound 99 miles to FL-399/Pensacola Beach Blvd S toward Pensacola Beach/Ft Pickens
From I-110, exit 1A: Follow signs for Gulf Breeze/Gregory St. E. Continue onto Pensacola Bay Bridge/FL-30 E/US-98 E. Take the exit toward Pensacola Beach/Ft Pickens/FL-399.
FROM PNS: Leaving the airport, turn left on N 12th Ave. Turn left onto Bayou Blvd. Near the waterfront, turn right on FL-10A/E. Cervantes St. Turn left on N. 17th Ave. Continue onto the Pensacola Bay Bridge and follow directions FROM I-110
These airlines serve Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS) with direct daily flights: American, Continental, Delta, United, US Airways, and AirTran.
Direct flights from Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, Memphis, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Charlotte arrive to PNS daily, with connecting flights from all other points in N. America.
There will be ample secured bike parking on-site, more details will be released about bike parking locations soon.
Shuttle Service from Downtown Pensacola will be available all weekend via the DeLuna Fest Express. In addition, trolley service will be available on Santa Rosa Island.
- Hat or bandana
- Two unopened 1 Liter bottles of water
- A towel for sitting and enjoying the music or drying off after a dip in the pool
- Flip flops or other sand-and-water-friendly sandals or shoes
- An empty aluminum refillable container to be filled at water stations
- Point-and-shoot camera (no detachable lenses!)
- A biodegradable trash bag or receptacle for your cigarette butts
- Your phone charger or battery pack for your phone
- Extra set of car keys AND your vehicle key code
- Hand Sanitizer
- Glass bottles or containers of any kind
- Professional-grade camera (with detachable lens)
- Weapons of any kind
- Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia of any kind
- Air horns
- Styrofoam or un-recyclable containers – help us keep the beach and water pollution-free
- Bikes, scooters, and ATVs will not be allowed into the festival area – you will be able to lock your bike outside in the parking lot but we are not responsible for stolen modes of transportation
- NO VENDING – you will be asked to leave festival premises and your wristband will be removed if you are selling unlicensed and un-permitted merchandise
- Party favors such as silly string, confetti
- Your own alcoholic beverages – hotel guests may have their own alcohol in plastic bottles in their rooms only. Please help us keep the festival safe and avoid arrests for unlicensed distribution!
Weekend pass holders must exchange their paper tickets or print passes for wristbands upon arrival.
One-day passes will not be allowed re-entry to the festival. Only Weekend pass holders will be able to leave the festival and come back.
Wristbands MUST be worn in order to regain entry to festival.
You must pass through a security entry point every time you enter the festival.
Keeping well hydrated is a must; you will enjoy the festival more if your body is healthy. DeLuna Fest is on a sunny, warm beach. You will be moving around from stage to stage and all our fun activities. You may even be enjoying some adult beverages. All of these factors contribute to dehydration. We will have plenty of water around the site – bottled water for purchase and stations to refill your reusable/recyclable water container with fresh drinking water.
There will be Emergency medical and security personnel on-site 24 hours a day during the festival. Our medical suite will be clearly marked on your map and within the DeLuna Fest app. Please make note of it when you arrive at the festival in case someone in your group has a medical issue. If you have a medical emergency while on festival grounds, find a staffer with a radio and we will direct medical attention. Remember that most festival medical situations can be avoided by drinking lots of water!
There will be tow/service trucks patrolling the parking lots at the end of each day. Please make extra effort to check for your keys and lights before leaving your car for the festival. The trucks will help you but you could be waiting a while and we hope a tow truck isn’t anyone’s DeLuna Fest experience! Please also follow the Boy Scout rule of leaving a place cleaner than you found it – broken glass in the parking lot will seriously injure your fellow music fans and could ruin your tires.