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. 

OKEECHOBEE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL OFFICIALLY SELLS OUT FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

FLORIDA’S LARGEST CAMPING FESTIVAL REACHES MAX CAPACITY
OMF NOW A GLOBAL EVENT WITH ATTENDEES COMING FROM EVERY CONTINENT ON EARTH EXCEPT ANTARCTICA MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC IMPACT EXPECTED FOR LOCAL AREA AND THE STATE OF FLORIDA OMF TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS. FOUR DAYS OF UNIQUE MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, DIVERSE FOOD, WILD ART, YOGA & HEALING WORKSHOPS, SWIMMING AND DANCING TO BEGIN THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 2 AT SUNSHINE GROVE IN OKEECHOBEE, FL
EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-GENRE FESTIVAL TO FEATURE KINGS OF LEON, USHER & THE ROOTS, STURGILL SIMPSON, THE LUMINEERS, BASSNECTAR, FLUME, WIZ KHALIFA, PRETTY LIGHTS, SOLANGE, RAE SREMMURD,
YOUNG THE GIANT, PORTER ROBINSON (LIVE) AND MANY MANY MORE.
  • ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME “POWOW!” SUPERSTAR COLLABORATION TO FEATURE GRAMMY AWARD WINNER MICHAEL MCDONALD, GALLANT, GRiZ, VULFPECK, ERIC KRASNO (LETTUCE/SOULIVE), ANTWAUN STANLEY, MEMBERS OF
  • SNARKY PUPPY AND MORE SPECIAL GUESTS
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(Okeechobee, FL, Wednesday, March 01, 2017) – The Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, a diverse, multi-genre event kicks off  this weekend from Thursday, March 2 – Sunday, March 5, and has officially SOLD OUT of all available tickets for the second year in a row.
This year is truly a global event. Attendees will be traveling from every continent except Antarctica, 60 countries, every US State, and over 2,370 cities from around the globe.
46% of OMF attendees are from out of state. OMF is poised to make a multi-million dollar economic impact to the local area as well as the State of Florida. 46.9% of attendees will be traveling from out of state. Along the way they will be spending money on food, gas, accommodations, and leisure activities. This money will be filtered back into the local economy through local businesses and sales tax. In addition to this, the festival is committed to supporting Okeechobee county, and $3.00 from each ticket sale, will go directly to the county.
A portion of each ticket sale will support Okeechobee based nonprofits will be onsite during the festival in “Participation Row,” OMF’s Social Action Village.
Festival organizers have requested no one arrive at the site without a previously purchased wristband. There will be no sales at the gates and anyone looking to purchase a ticket will be turned away.
“We are very excited to announce another sold out festival, and want to thank our Okeechobeing community, the city, county and residents of Okeechobee County, and all OMF staff for making OMF17 a success. We look forward to a fun weekend filled with music, art, and community. We urge all participants to have fun, but remember to stay safe throughout the weekend.” – Kevin Collinsworth, Soundslinger, LLC CEO & Group Leader

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The second annual edition of North America’s most exciting new festival will take place at Okeechobee, Florida’s beautiful Sunshine Grove, located on over 600 acres of pristine grasslands, lakes, and exotic tropical woodlands. This weekend’s celebration will mark the start of spring with world-renowned and on-the-rise performers, art installations to inspire with awe, yoga and meditation to cleanse the soul, great food, and friends new and old to enjoy it all with. Artists performing at the 2017 festival include Kings of Leon, Usher & The Roots, Bassnectar, Sturgill Simpson, The Lumineers, Flume, Wiz Khalifa, Pretty Lights, Solange, Logic, Rae Sremmurd, Young The Giant, Porter Robinson (Live), Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, and many more. For additional details on the artists performing, along with information on Okeechobee’s exciting nightly dusk-till-dawn electronic experience, Jungle 51, visit OkeechobeeFest.com.
Additionally, Okeechobee’s PoWoW!, a one-time-only live collaborative concert taking place on Saturday, March 4 at the Here Stage from  10:15 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. , will feature legendary singer-songwriter-composer and keyboardist Michael McDonald, R&B crooner Gallant, DJ and electronic producer GRiZ, funk outfit Vulfpeck, Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive), American R&B singer Antwaun Stanley, the horn section of instrumental jazz group Snarky Puppy and many more special guests. The PoWow! will focus largely on special reinterpretations of beloved classic songs woven together with modern music by this incredible live band. The goal of the PoWow! is for artists and audience to share a transcendent experience of connection and shared energy as these stars align at Okeechobee. More information on this year’s PoWoW! can be found on the festival’s website HERE.
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Okeechobee 2017 will also feature the return and expansion of ChobeeWobee Village, (schedule), the cultural nexus of the festival that will provide a place to mingle, wander, explore, stretch, and relax amongst a myriad of carefully crafted (and curated) curiosities. Co-Curated by Kulturehaus, ChobeeWobee Village is home to Yogachobee, The Earth Arts Academy and the Healing Sanctuary (schedule). All three have their own mind-expanding programming which is sure to stretch the body, and soul while polishing up one’s survival skills.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to download the official Okeechobee app through the App Store that will allow for a personal schedule to be created, up-to-the-minute News direct from the festival through the duration of the weekend, FAQs, site maps & Portal Secrets.  More info on the app can be found via Okeechobeefest.com 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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Okeechobee Music Fest Announces PowWow

Okeechobee Music Festival just announced their PowWow for 2017. Boy oh boy is it funky. The PowWow is being lead by legendary musician Michael McDonald, if the name doesn’t ring a bell then chances are you are not a fan of classic rock. His career spans over 40 years and includes bands like The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan.

While finally being able to see Michael McDonald live has got me excited, I’m most excited about seeing how Vulfpeck and Gallant will collaborate with each other. Mixing their talents together will be something that festival goers will talk about for years to come.

Then you toss Griz into the mix and you have an insanely unique, immensely talented group of musicians sharing the stage. That’s only the first two lines.

Jam god Eric Krasno of Lettuce, Antwaun Stanley, Members of Snarky Puppy plus who the hell else knows (special guests) makes this a can’t miss.

The PowWow starts before Bassnectar ends, so it maybe a tough choice for some on what to catch. For me it’s always the same thought; Bassnectar will play thousands of more shows in his lifetime, this PowWow will only happen once. 16806970_1037150916429350_3391498685881356799_n.jpg

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.

Surprise Concerts From Amazing Musicians

My friends and I have had a group text going since Okeechobee Fest. It’s mostly filled with nonsense, as most group texts are. Last night was a bit different. Julia sent a link to SoFarSounds, I was a little confused at first but as I read on I got very excited.

“Founded in 2010 and based… all over the place. SoFar is an expanding network of artists and music lovers” SoFar is trying to bring some magic back to live music. They work with hundreds of artists, in hundreds of cities in dozens of countries and set up small, intimate surprise shows in random places.

You sign up for a concert date and you have no idea who it’s going to be. It can be some local soul singer or a modern rock icon who shows up to play for you and 25-150 other people. These musicians will play just about anywhere. From offices, to  roof tops, to back yards, coffee shops,  and more. You have no idea where in the city you will be going to for this show. You don’t know who will be preforming or what type of music they will be playing.  You may not even get a ticket, you have to apply  for your city on a specific date and hope you get chosen to attend.

It takes around 37 seconds to register, 15 seconds if you sign in through Facebook. From there you will set your home city (closes major city to you) and apply for some concert tickets. Oh by the way you choose how much to pay for your ticket. I love this idea so much, going in blind in hopes that you get hit by something beautiful.

SoFar has been graced by the talents of Karen-O, Leon Bridges, Bastille and many more.