116 // OKEECHOBEE RISING
After a triumphant debut, Florida’s alternative music and arts festival turns up the volume for its encore.
AFTER A TRIUMPHANT DEBUT, FLORIDA’S ALTERNATIVE MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL TURNS UP THE VOLUME FOR ITS ENCORE.
If you weren’t one of 35,000 road trippers at last year’s Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, fret not: The four-day sonic wonderland is back, bringing with it Kings of Leon, The Lumineers, Flume, Wiz Khalifa, and Usher and The Roots (together) to 800 acres of tropical woodlands. Here, festival producer Kevin Collinsworth gives a preview of what’s in store:
How do you plan on topping last year? [We have] a diverse group of multigenre artists hitting different demographics. Usher and The Roots together is just one of the once-in-alifetime live collaborations that, unless you experience them here, you won’t see again. Music is only one part of the festival. Whether it’s a parade of fire-breathing mechanics, we’re upping the number of installations and activities—more vendors, inflatables, live painting, light projection. Where to get lost:
Jungle 51. One minute you’re walking through the jungle, the next there’s a DJ booth and UFO next to you. What does Okeechobee have that other festivals don’t?
Florida’s ecosystem is magical this time of year, and you’re next to Lake Okeechobee. The place is alive. Sustainability is a big focus. We’re reducing our use of plastic bottles by 30 percent. We’ve planted bamboo to use for construction and installations in the future. March 2–5 at Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave., Okeechobee; okeechobeefest.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A view of the stage at last year’s Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival; tropical woodlands make for a unique setting; a daytime yoga class; the fairgrounds atmosphere by the lake; hammocks hang between palm trees.