If you’ve never heard of Okeechobee Music Festival in Okeechobee, Florida, I’m about to add a new festival to your bucket list. Located in the heart of South Florida, this immersive music festival includes all genres and will transport you to another world - literally. This festival is a treat to all Floridians (seriously driving to any festival outside of this state is a journey itself) but still manages to attract attention from music festival goers across the country. And, why wouldn’t it? Okeechobee takes place at a beautiful venue during the peak of Florida’s spring season, has a wide variety of artists you and your friends can all enjoy, and has something going on all night long. This was my second time experiencing Okeechobee and I had such a great experience!
Okeechobee’s venue is a dream out of a fairy tale. They proudly boast an Aquachobee Beach Stage (complete with a lake for swimming), which welcomed us Thursday evening with a full moon party hosted by Thriftworks, Opiuo, and Bassnectar. The best part about Aquachobee Beach Stage? No security - meaning you’re free to bring a cooler full of canned beer or a bag of wine to slap to the beach (as long as you’re of legal drinking age). The Aquachobee Beach Stage is in the heart of the Moonlight Oasis, your go-to for awesome vendors and some of the best festival food out there. There’s always something to explore in the Moonlight Oasis, whether it be the Tea Lounge, or the Jive Joint (a comedy stage featuring ridiculous acts that are amazing to stumble upon at 5 AM). The Grove (the main festival grounds) opened on Friday morning, and for the rest of the weekend we were free to explore the Be, Here, and Now stages as well as the Moonlight Oasis.
On top of the amazing venue, somehow the Okeechobee gods always manage to bless us with perfect weather. This year, a cold front decided to hit Florida the Friday of Okeechobee, leaving us with highs of 80 during the day and lows of 50 at night - perfect weather for partying all day and night.
Okeechobee’s lineup was nothing short of being stacked. Personally, I am a huge EDM nerd and acts like Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, Tipper, Big Gigantic, Gramatik, and Illenium immediately drew me to the festival for my second year. Okeechobee prides itself on being a multi-genre music festival, with acts like Arcade Fire, Halsey, and Travis Scott earning their own headliners spot. Something unique to Okeechobee they bring back every year is a “Powow” where several artists across different genres get together for one special set. This year we were graced by Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Joey Badass, and Dominic Lalli (from Big Gigantic) all on the same stage for a truly magical experience.
Arguably, my favorite thing about Okeechobee is how they keep the party going all night long. The main festival grounds close around 1 or 2am, and for other music festivals that would be the end of it. Nope! Not at Okeechobee. Located just across from the Aquachobee Beach Stage was the Incendia stage, a bass stage that literally spewed fire into the wee hours of the night. If you were lucky, you got to catch the secret set with Illenium and Big Gigantic b2b on Saturday night. If bass wasn't necessarily your thing, you could find serenity in Jungle 51: an all-night stage nested in the woods that only plays techno and house music.
Although I was hesitant to purchase my ticket at first, after all the sound issues they had in previous years and the cost of tickets going up, I’m happy about my decision. The bass could be heard for miles and everything that seemed to go wrong my first year was completely fixed this year. Although the crowd size increased from last year, Okeechobee still made the experience feel incredibly intimate. I didn’t come across one festival goer with bad vibes the whole weekend. If you’re looking for a festival with a great venue, beautiful weather, a wide variety of music genres, and a non-stop party - look no further than Okeechobee Music Festival. We’ll be waiting for you to enter the portal with us next year!