116 // OKEE­CHOBEE RIS­ING

Ocean Drive - - Contents - BY CARLA TOR­RES

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.

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