They came by sail, by kayak or by noodle to jam at a set of coordinates for BOATSTOCK 2, a floating music festival that attracted hundreds of boaters in a donation-based party on the sea.
In May of 2020, boaters Dustin Howard and Bob Burnett sat quarantined on a St. Petersburg patio; the world was shut down, but not the water.
“We were both fed up with not being able to see people, but the boater world hadn’t slowed down,” Howard said. “It took like six days to make sure it was legal.”
They had a week of word-of-mouth organizing and it was smooth sailing from there: BOATSTOCK was born.
Now an annual event, the waters of Madeira Beach were swamped with more than a hundred boats on Saturday, May 15 from 12 to 5 p.m.
“It went absolutely amazing,” Howard said. “The first thing that popped in my head was that it’s a big ask for everyone to really be safe and not be stupid, but we pulled it off.”
With Californian band SWIMM headlining, the free event also featured local groups such as FayRoy, Johnny Mile and the Kilometers, Aubrey Wollet and others.
“We ask that people donate, and that’s how we pay the bands,” Howard said. “We want to keep this going. We had such a good turnout that we can’t drop the ball now.”
Keep the fest going next year at madbeachboatstock.com.