Written by Arooj Mustansir
As the new year rolls in so do countless lineup announcements which can make choosing the best festival to attend seem a little daunting at times. Well luckily for you we’ve scoured countless promising lineups from around the country and it is crystal clear that Okeechobee Festival is the event that you need to experience. Legions of music lovers have made the wise decision to enter the portal the past two years of its existence and can attest to the unwavering magic it holds. Like fine wine music events get even better with age so the renowned Florida festival isn’t holding back for Its third year. It will be bringing out music industry heavy hitters and creating one of a kind experiences no other festival comes remotely close to matching. Here are the top 7 reasons why Okeechobee Festival takes the cake in blowing us away with everything it has to offer.
1. Bassnectar Full Moon Set
Bassnectar doesn’t need much of an introduction considering his groundbreaking music and unparalleled mixing speaks for itself. The wizard has been a staple at every major electronic festival for years, so he will undoubtedly be making many appearances throughout the Summer to satisfy diehard bassheads. However, one thing you can expect not to find anywhere else but Okeechobee is one of his regular sets along with a full moon set. Yes, you read that right: A BASSNECTAR FULL MOON SET IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING! You have a chance to watch the king of the sound harness celestial energy under beautiful Floridian palm trees to deliver an immense and invigorating performance. This is the first time in bass history that he is playing this kind of set and attendees will be telling their grandchildren about it years from now because of what a rare opportunity this is. A major reason Bassnectar has so many dedicated followers is because of the diversity he brings to every set so expect these two sets be their own unique journeys or better yet: come with no expectations. There is honestly no better value at an event than to see such an innovative headliner twice so take the opportunity to witness it happen at Okeechobee.
2. The Glimmering Beauty of Sunshine Grove
After roughing it in the less than pleasant conditions many festivals face, when we come across an event that offers such a gorgeous location along with its top-notch production we can’t help but rejoice. Sunshine Grove is an outdoor venue in the quaint city of Okeechobee known for its acres of picturesque greenery and glistening lakes nestled away from the chaotic atmosphere of Florida’s major cities. It offers attendees an ideal escape from the hectic routines of daily life into a subtropical paradise while still being within a few hours of multiple airports. A lot of festivals leave you feeling exhausted and drained afterwards because there is hardly any chance to unwind but after attending Okeechobee last year I came home feeling almost recharged and pampered. This was because it felt like a relaxing vacation the whole time due to the beauty and radiance of the area. This festival truly offers the best of both worlds in terms of lineup and location so look no further for your dream musical retreat.
3. Community Based Structure and Layout
The organizers created a dynamic layout that encompasses the most stunning and accessible areas of the grounds. The festival is split into The Grove which is where the main stages are and the Moonlight Oasis which is devoted to creating an interactive and community oriented environment. The stages at The Grove are easy to navigate around and will be the site of most headliner performances. The Moonlight Oasis is home to Chobeewobee Village which is a setting where attendees can engage in activities that stimulate creativity. From inspiring art installations to educational workshops, the goal is to provide you with insightful entertainment that will connect you with others. One of the facets of the village is Yogachobee which features guided yoga classes and workshops designed to help you find peace, balance, and unity. There is no better feeling than bonding with others through mind-blowing art and music and this festival gives you a chance to do just that.
4. Okeechobeings Radiate Love and Enthusiasm
One of the most memorable parts about this festival for me was that everyone I met was so welcoming and filled with life. Maybe it’s the calming atmosphere that Sunshine Grove possesses or the incredible music but everyone seemed to be beaming with happiness and eager to spread it all around. I left with multiple lifelong friendships and a newfound appreciation for the community that was formed at the event. The thing about festivals is that when you are immersed in that kind of environment the attendees come together as a family and everyone looks out for one another. When the environment is flawed or difficult to navigate in it can cause frustrations and tension amongst everyone, but because the grounds were so organized everyone had a positive attitude too. Quality music brings quality people together so I’m expecting this year’s insane lineup to attract even more eccentric souls. If you are looking for a festival where you can let loose with compassionate and free spirited people then this is the one for you!
5. Massively Talented Artists from Every End of the Spectrum
There is no question that Okeechobee Festival went above and beyond to cater to a variety of music tastes with this year’s lineup. Not only is there a wide range of genres you can experience, but many of the artists on the lineup are icons which gives you the opportunity to see the best of the best all at the same place. From Arcade Fire to Tipper and Travis Scott, there is no shortage of music legends to experience and broaden your tastes. Although these huge names may attract a less experienced crowd to the festival, it gives them a chance to be exposed to a completely different world of music and expand their minds. We all know how redundant it can get to go to an event where the artists are all from the same genre and have similar styles so this will certainly be a breath of fresh air. Having all these acts play at the same location is likely to never happen anywhere else but in the portal so make sure you don’t miss out!
6. Stages Designed to Help You Discover New Music
This festival is deeply rooted in connecting with nature and the stage setups are a reflection of that. The Aquachobee Stage, Incendia Stage, and Jungle 51 draw you in with their mesmerizing layouts and also showcase many gifted up and coming artists. Last year I stumbled across these stages and discovered many artists that blew me away with their skill and ingenuity and they ended up being some of my favorite acts at the event. Stepping out of your comfort zones with music and seeing unknown artists can be a hit or miss but one of the most rewarding parts of the festival experience is unexpectedly falling in love with new sounds. Be sure to explore the smaller stages in the Moonlight Oasis for late night secret sets and shows that will introduce you to future standout musicians.
7. Collaborations on the PoWow Stage
When a festival has a stage solely dedicated to giving artists an outlet to combine their styles there are bound to be memorable and exceptional experiences in store. The PoWow Stage is home to collaborations between many amazing artists that you can expect to be nothing short of extraordinary. If you love being surprised by unexpected performances from your favorite acts then checking out this stage is a must for you at the festival. Snoop Dogg will be gracing this stage and with all of other the huge names of the lineup this year the possibilities of what can happen are endless!
Grab your tickets here while you still can!