Okeechobee 2016: Preview
By: Ryan Blair
New events pop up all the time, but few have the knowledge and ability to coordinate one that will being re-occurring. The right group of people makes navigating the dangerous waters of the music festival industry a little less intimidating and greatly increases the chance for success. Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival in Okeechobee, Florida is taking the leap with their first festival on March 3rd – 6th. They have already made huge strides to ensure that this will be one of the most memorable inaugural festival experiences in history with music 24/7, yoga workshops, PoWow! Jam sessions, art and more in a lush oasis of wildlife.
The Okeechobee lineup did something I wish more festivals would do by creating a truly diverse lineup of all-star musicians. The genre bending lineup includes rock, rap, indie, electronic and everything in between with headliners Skrillex, Bassnectar, Hall & Oates, Mumforad & Sons, and Kendrick Lamar.
There are two parts to the Okeechobee experience, The Grove & The Moonlight Oasis. The Moonlight Oasis includes the ChobeeWobee Village which is where you find everything that’s not music at Okeechobee. It is a community of shops, artists, and individuals that emphasis nourishment of the mind, body, & spirit. Below are all the creative spirits involved in bringing life to the ChobeeWobee Village.
- Wobeechobee Chia Lounge – Chia Tea Shop
- Charlie Smit’s Fleeble Flobble – A Giant Snowman Sculpture That Shoots Flames
- Beans On Toast– DIY One Man Band/Performing Artist
- Sorne– Morgan Sorne (Prolific Visual Artist, Musician, Actor & Filmmaker)
- Akim Funk Buddha– Band Fusing Sounds and Movements to Create Spiritual-Urban-Sonic Compositions
- Shrine– Artist
- Spririt-Ill Chakra Kingdom- 7 Chakra Energy Vortexes to Influence Free Flowing Energy
- Garard Minakawa of Bamboo DNA– Bamboo Construction Designer
- Balloon Chain– Stretched Impossibly Far Across the Sky
- Joel Dean Stockdrill– Carpenter & Sculpture
- Hillary Andujar– Production Designer & Installation Artist
- Bhatki Baxter– 7 Inflatable Heads of Historically Significant Artists.
- Carlos Vera– Live Artist
- Taylor Kuffner– Gamelan w/ Mechanical Mallets
- Prescott Mccarthy– La La La Lounge & Stage
- Julian Picaza– Media & Design
- Clint Maedgen– CM Radio
Also part of the Moonlight Oasis experience is Yoga Chobee Village offering classes dedicated to yoga from sun up to sun down throughout the weekend. Moonlight Oasis also has two stages which are the Jungle 51 and AquaChobee Beach.
Nestled into the Moonlight Oasis is the Okeechobee beach paradise for festival attendees to soak up some rays, take a dip in lake Okeechobee, and enjoy music & activities from 9 am- 9 pm each day. This location will is a nice relaxing spot during the day, but as the sun sets it shifts into a vibrant area packed with a bar, a ferris wheel, and a water-side stage.
Don’t miss Thursdays opening day performances including a jam by The Okeechobee Allstars featuring Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company), Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic) and other very special guests. Also consider checking out Aquachobee on Saturday from 6 pm-9 pm for a unique set of DJ’s. Manic Focus starts off with a funky fueled electronic set followed by DJ Windows 98 (Arcade Fire’s Win Butler), then Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) & Carl Restivo close out the night.
You’re going to have to look deep into the jungle to find this stage that has been overtaken by an Unidentified Blasting Object. The extraterrestrial themed dance stage starts right when Aquachobee stops, playing music from 9 pm – 9 am. Each artist brings their own style to the Jungle 51, but overall it carries a smooth house vibe perfect for dancing late into the morning. The highlight of the Jungle 51 stage will be when Damian Lazarus takes over from 10 pm- 12 am Sunday night.
The Grove consists of 3 stages; The Be Stage, Here Stage, and Now Stage. These three stages are where all the headlining music action happens. All three stages are located within a short walk of each other but the producers were smart enough to face the speakers so that they shoot the sound into opposite directions. It helps cut down the distance between the stages without having to worry about sound bleed between performances.
There will be two very special PoWow! Jam sessions orchestrated by the producer of Bonnaroos infamous SuperJams. The first PoWow! is on Saturday night from 12am-2am and it features Miguel, Win Butler (Arcade Fire), John Oates (Hall & Oates), George Porter Jr. & Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters), Kamasi Washington, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Eric Krasno & Neal Evans (Soullive) plus very special guests.
The Second of the two PoWow!’s was announced just over a week ago when Okeechobee confirmed that Mumford & Sons would be converting their headlining spot into a PoWow! With Tom Morello, The Avett Brothers, & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Okeechobee kicks off Thursday March 3rd in Okeechobee, Florida. Check back for an in depth review and photos covering the Inaugural event.