Top 6 Reasons You Should Be Excited for Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival

Okeechobee Fest is returning to Sunshine Grove in just one week. This is the festival’s third year running, just like the past two years, the line up is absolutely stacked. The line up is what will draw most attendees to a certain festival for the first time. Everything else is what keeps them coming back year after year. Okee has created a universe all its own. A unique place where people of all ages can come together to dance, sing, get weird and connect. This is one of my favorite music festivals in the United States, if you have never been you have a lot to be excited about. Sound improvements, new stages and the perfect festival grounds are all great, but what exactly does Okeechobee offer beyond the 24/7 music and insanely diverse and impressive lineup? What makes Okeechobee Music Festival such a special place?

Aquachobee

The grounds that Okeechobee Fest takes place upon are absolutely stunning. How many music festivals have a beach? Okeechobee does, it’s called Aquachobee. “Aquachobee is a daytime swimming, hanging and music hang zone in the heart of Moonlight Oasis. Complete with a swimming lake and real sand beach, it is your tropical wake up call.” It’s an amazing place to relax in the sun, meet great people and/or cool down in the water; all while surrounded by amazing music.

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The Weather

A lot of camping festivals are held in the summertime. Temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, tents become ovens and everything turns to sweat (looking at you Bonnaroo). Waiting at a stage during the day for your favorite artists feels like an Olympic sport. Not at Okeechobee. Typical days will be around 80-85 degrees, night time it drops to around 50-60 degrees. The cool nights and warm days make the whole experience much more enjoyable.

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The People

There is a certain energy that surrounds this festival. An overwhelming sense of positivity and well being, it’s almost impossible to not smile as you walk around the stunning festival grounds. You’ll be greeted with high fives throughout the day. You’ll make friends with strangers and feel a distinct level of unity. Of course, there are some bad apples in the bunch, but they are few far and in between.

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Umbrella

The Art/Interactive Installations

Okeechobee Fest gives tons of local artists the opportunity to create amazing pieces to share with everyone. From live paintings to the Sonic Portal and poetry readings, there is art everywhere. Take your time to really explore Chobeewobee Village, there’s something special hiding around every corner.

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Gouda Boys

Like most people, I love me some tasty food. Okeechobee has a ton of amazing food vendors, one has a very special place in my fat heart. The Gouda Boys are now a festival staple. They make forearm sized egg rolls stuffed with all types of deliciousness; mac and cheese, buff chick, bacon etc. They also have mac and cheese bowls and other insanely amazing foods.

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Gouda Boys!

The Largest Sound Meditation EVER

For the first time in OMF history, the festival collaborates with the legendary mass meditation movement, The Big Quiet, to host the largest sound meditation ever. The Big Quiet is renowned for bringing together thousands of people at landmarks like Madison Square Garden and the top of the World Trade Center. Designed for people with any level of meditation experience, The Big Quiet incorporates sound practitioners, string instrumentalists and powerful musicians to create a guided meditation experience unlike anything else.

If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, it’s not too late. Do not miss this festival. Click here to buy tickets. 

Do Not Miss Ella Vos at Okeechobee Music Fest

        Indie-pop singer and songwriter Ella Vos will be playing at Okeechobee Fest on Friday, March 2 at 5:30pm-6:30pm on the Here Stage. I’m excited to see how her hypnotic, melancholy voice translates live. I think she will be one of the breakout stars of 2018, this is a unique opportunity to see heer on a small stage in a crowd full of good vibes. Her debut album, Words I Never Said, is out now. The album features some great songs like “White Noise” and “You Don’t Know About Me.
         An emerging singer, songwriter and visual artist from Los Angeles, Ella Vos is part of the current movement of young, mostly female, pop artists creating music with an explicitly feminist angle. However, Vos is unique because she decided to become an artist when she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old son. Her debut album, Words I Never Said, was inspired by challenges she faced as a new artist and mother. Her songs often touch on taboo subjects, like postpartum depression (“White Noise”), abortion and women’s reproductive rights (“You Don’t Know About Me”), and each have strong messages of hope and empowerment.
      Words I Never Said continues to receive critical praise from the likes of Huffington Post, NYLON, Coveteur, PopCrush, Sweety High, DuJour Magazine, Earmilk, Cool Hunting, Milk.xyz and more. Vos’ songs have over 100M Spotify streams to date, and they’ve soundtracked shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Catfish,” “Life of Kylie” and more. Vos kicks off her first ever North American headlining tour this Friday in Austin, TX.
Tickets are running low for Okeechobee, if you haven’t purchased them yet you can do so here. 

How To Prepare for a Music Festival

Being prepared for a music festival is the difference between having a good time and having an amazing, life changing time. This list is based off what you can fit in a 4 door sedan with two people driving in.

So lets go over some stuff.

First things first, what are the physical essentials every person should bring?

  • Reusable Water Bottle/Camelbak – hydration is key. No need to bring 300 water bottles with you, maybe pack one case for camp, but when you’re inside the fest nothing is better than saving $5 on a bottle of water. You can get one from Walgreens or Target for like $10. Sometimes the water isn’t the best tasting thing on Earth. I like to get a thing of powdered Gatorade or some type of flavored electrolyte (it’s what plants crave) or something similar. Getting those electrolytes will help you stay energized throughout the day.
  • Baby Wipes – Trust me, this is almost as important as water. When you get back to camp after a long day of dancing and sweating, but you can’t get the energy together to hike to shower, this is the next best thing. Also porta potties, they get rough, people piss on the toilet paper (not really sure why), so it’s a nice little luxury to have. Plus one ply stuff does nothing to help clean up the 5 Gouda Boy egg rolls you decided to eat that day.
  •  Cooler- This is kind of a no brainer. You’re bringing food, you’re bringing drinks. Keep that shit cold. I suggest bringing one cooler for just ice, get two things of dry ice and put them in the middle. The other cooler put food and drinks in, add ice as needed. By day three you should still have some nice ice to be moving cooler to cooler.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Music festivals are dirty. We sweat, we lay on the ground, we sweat some more, we go into porta potties, we sweat in there. Grab a few small ones and give them to your group.
  • Tent or EZ up with Cots – Tents get hot, like really , really hot as soon as the sun comes up. You will wake up covered in sweat. So I personally suggest an EZ up or something similar with some tapestries or tarps for shade.Get yourself a cot or an air mattress and sleep on that. You’ll thank me when you sleep past 7am.
  • Chairs – Some fold up camping chairs. They’re chairs, you know what to do with them

Ok, so you have some shelter and water, your hands and the rest of your body is cleanish. What about food? If you plan on cooking a lot, make sure your camp (and the festival) can support it. If your like most festival goers, you will have a cooler with some foods and some non perishables. Obviously your list will vary from mine, but these are my go tos music festival foods.

  • Uncrustbales/PBJ Sammies – I live off these things. They’re cheap, require minimum prep, have carbs, protein and they’re delicious. If you’re making your own sandwich, please use potato bread, there’s no reason not to. That shit is delicious.
  • Beef Jerky – Doesn’t go bad, doesn’t take any prep, delicious.
  • Trail Mix/Chips/Other Delicious Snacks- Great to snack on at camp, bring some little sand which bags to bring in side so you have some good power ups during the day.
  • Gum/Starburst/Jolly Ranchers – Anything sweet, it’s great to enjoy in between sets. Sharing is caring, hand out some stuff to people around you when waiting for the next band. Great way to meet people and share the love.
  • Bread/Lunch Meat – Sammies guys, it’s key. Cheap, easy to make, easy to bring inside. Potato bread.
  • Beer/Liquor (If you drink) – I am guilty of bringing wayyyyy too much beer every year. This will vary person to person. I personally have a few beers, the rest is whiskey. Bring around 15-20 beers per person for a 4 day fest, unless you are very thirsty, then bring more.

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So what about non essentials? Extra stuff to add to your experience/comfort. I’m not talking about drugs, we all know there are no drugs at music festivals. Don’t ask people about it on social media, they will tell you the same thing.

  • Disposable Camera – They’re nice and cheap, physical pictures are awesome.
  • Pedialite/Emergen C- We push our bodies more than on a normal day. This will help you get back to normal in the morning
  • Advil/Tums – Headaches and heartburn happen, be prepared. You don’t want something simple to mess up your day.
  • Cigarettes – If you’re a smoker make sure you bring enough to last you. You’ll probably smoke more than you would on a normal day. You don’t want to but a pack inside (usually around $15-20).
  • Sunglasses/Sunblock – Do you like staring into the sun? No? Do you like feeling like a  you accidentally laid in a fire? Me either.
  • Baby Powder – Just do it.
  • Comfy Shoes – I’m a barefoot or flip flop guy on any other day. At music festivals make sure you have a good pair of shoes. Your back, your feet and your legs will thank you.
  • Bandanna – Not just to help protect you from the sun, but to keep that dust away. Festivals get dusty! You will breath it in, you will get sick afterwards. Last year at Roo was the first time I made a conscious effort to put a bandanna over my mouth/nose throughout the day. It saved my life. No festival flu. Amazing.

So obviously this isn’t a complete list, even though I’ve been to a decent amount of festivals I always check the list below before going. Print it out, give it to your friends and make sure each other are prepared. This is a marathon, not a race. Give your body food, give it water, take naps, sleep, rest, dance. Get your body ready guys, try and do some walking/exercise a few weeks prior. Before you go out for the day do some stretching.

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Music Festivals 101 – How Not to Be an Asshole

32 million people attend a music festival in the United States each year. According to some statistics I just made up, about 3.57% of that crowd will be made up of assholes. Some people are assholes by nature, we can’t help or change that, this article isn’t for them. There are some of us are accidental assholes, by being “that guy” or “that girl” you can really put a damper on someone else’s good time.

I’m guilty of being an accidental asshole, my first Bonnaroo I chugged some whiskey from the bed of my friends pick up truck around 11 am, I pushed through a crowd or two and ended up throwing up and falling asleep under a tree.

I apologize to anyone who had to witness and experience that. I was young and stupid, I hope this article will help some of you new festival goers, maybe even some of you veterans get the most out of your festival, without ruining someone else’s good time.

 

  • Totems – I’m a big fan of totems. They’re a great way to meet new friends, be creative, get a laugh and help with finding lost friends. If you have a totem, please make sure it is a decent length pole. It sucks when you’re standing in a crowd and a low hanging totem is completely blocking the sage. Instead of seeing Father John Misty command the stage, you see Kayne West as a gay fish. If you make a totem hold it high or get a long pole.
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  • Cell Phones – Like most people I like to snap a few pictures of a show. Totally normal and understandable. Take the phone out maybe 3 times per set, keep it our for 30 seconds, put it away. Please do not Snap Chat the entire set. Please do not take 15 minute long videos with your phone 5 inches above your head. Most people want to watch the music on stage as it unfolds in real time, not through your phone screen.

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  • Respect Space – I’m not talking about “safe space” hopefully every inch of a music festival is a safe space. I’m referring to dancing space mixed with your backpack, camel bak, sombrero whatever. When a crowd gets tight you don’t want to be the dude who flips his sombrero onto his back and is constantly poking you in the face with it. I know this is a unique example, but you get the idea.

 

  • If You Love an Artist and Want a Good Spot, Show up Early – I’m a camper, when I love an artist I like to get a great spot for their set. I have waited for 8+ hours before, slowly making my way up closer and closer to the front. There’s always a handful of people that feel they are entitled to the front of the crowd halfway through the set. Even worse if you just barrel; through the crowd like people don’t exist and all that matters is your view. Don’t be that guy.Event 06 of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series

 

  • Try and Know Your Limits – If you are indulging in some extra curricular stuff at a fest, first off make sure you are testing whatever you are taking, there’s a lot of nonsense that can be very dangerous. Once tested, make sure you are using within your limits. Stay hydrated. Throwing up in a crowd is never a good time either. Be safe guys. You don’t want to pass out from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Disappear from your group for a day and show back up with a medical bracelet on.

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  • Talking During a Set – If you’re not into the music and you are more entertained by the conversation with your friends, that’s fine. Don’t form a circle and yell talk to each other during a Jack Johnson set. It’s not the same as talking during a movie, but it’s close. Most people are there to listen tot he band, not about how good Amish Doughnuts are. (P:S They’re amazing)talking

 

  • Littering annnnnd –Just don’t litter. It’s a lot easier to just drop an empty beer as you run to the next set. It’s not too hard to toss it in a recycling bin. Also, clean up your campsite before you leave. Don’t let the poor volunteers have to clean up your mess. We’re mostly all adults and here together. Please.
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Most people go to music festivals to have an amazing time. To leave the real world behind and dive into a world filled with music, art and amazing people. The uniqueness of the crowds is something that makes music festivals great. I don’t care if you’re a bro, a hippy, a businessman, a wook, a sweaty raver, a teenager, whatever. Just don’t be an asshole.

Artist of the Day Spotlight – Con Brio

Okay, so I was just going through the lineup to Okeechobee Music Fest, trying to find some cool low tier bands to check out and I saw Con Brio. It’s not often that I am instantly taken away by a band like this, but holy shit. I got goose bumps, as soon as the lead singer, Ziek McCarter, let out the first lyrics I was taken to a world of funk, soul and jazz that I haven’t been in a long time.

From guitar to saxophone and every instrument in between, these are some insanely talented dudes.

As I type this up I am moving along in my seat making some dumb ass “solo faces”

They’re like a modern James Brown mixed with some London Souls and St. Paul and the Broken Bones . I’ve only listened to three songs so far, but they were so good I had to write about them right away.

“‘Free & Brave’ is in part a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, but it was also created to serve as a reminder — to myself and to whoever finds joy in that song — that there is a light there. We don’t have to get bogged down, we don’t have to feel helpless,” says McCarter. “We might not see it on a daily basis, but we are still ‘the land of the free and home of the brave’…I still take pride in that, in what pieces of joy and happiness we can create here with our actions.”

Keep an eye on these guys, they’re something special that doesn’t along very often.

I look forward to checking these guys out along with a bunch of other super talented artists at Okeechobee Music Fest in March this year.

Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce to Headline Coachella

Rumor has it that Radiohead, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar will headline Coachella in 2017. For those of you not familiar Coachella is one of the largest US festivals out there, it has been going strong for 18 years.

For two separate weekends in April Coachella Valley is flooded with people from all over the country to enjoy a plethora of music from around the world.

 

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Beyoncé has never headlined Coachella before, but she has made a few guest appearances over the years. Fans can only hope she will play her masterpiece “Lemonade” at the festival.

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Consequence of Sound tried contacting Coachella organizers, they did not respond to their inquiry. You can find out more about how to purchase tickets here.