March 11, 2017
Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival returned to Sunshine Grove in Florida for another year. Just as festival season is getting started, Okeechobee is making a name for itself in the festival circuit with another sold-out music festival. The second year of entering the portal brought another packed lineup of wide-ranging genres with mystical experiences not to be forgotten. What truly sets Okeechobee apart, is the otherworldly atmosphere festival organizers have created in this remote piece of property in Southern Florida.
From unique stages throughout the festival grounds to the superstar headlining performances, Okeechobee is creating a space for fans to discover new music while giving us the hit songs we’re all so fond of. The beach party Saturday at Aquachobee felt like Spring Break in Cancun, late night sets that ran into the sunrise in Jungle 51, and the incredible performance by Usher and The Roots on Saturday night were just some of the highlights from Okeechobee 2017.
In just about every corner of the festival, large billboards with graffiti not only made for instagram squad pictures but also showcased emerging artists. The expansion of ChobeeWobee Village added tremendously to the cultural value of the festival. The space, a grove of trees with couches and hammocks everywhere, was sprinkled with a variety of artistic installations and experiences. Okeechobee is not only making a name for itself as a major player with a strong lineup but also as a breeding ground for creativity. Drawn in by the music, fans that may not normally stop to take in the art are exposed to it throughout the festival. During the day there was a live creation of murals by artists like Chris Dyer, an open mic talent show, improv comedy workshops, and acro yoga in ChobeeWobee Village. At the Android Jones Microdose Virtual Reality fans got to experience art, music and dance in a unique real-time virtual reality gaming experience.
One of the best features of Okeechobee is that it has a beach in the middle of the camping grounds. Playfully named Aquachobee, the warm sand was the place to be for a good time during the day. There were lines of people giving out high fives, giant inflatable unicorns floating in the water with games set up on every table. In the middle of all the fun was a stage with a full lineup of music day and night. Saturday, Brasstracks put on a fantastic performance that had everyone dancing barefoot in the sand to the sound of the trumpet mixed with hip hop classics.
Things inside the main festival grounds also got a little crazy during the day Saturday as David Shaw, the front man for The Revivalist, split his head open but kept performing. He would later get eight stitches after finishing up the full set.
Griz may have had the most fun of anyone at the festival. From late night renegade sets with his buddy Snails, a Montreal-based producer and DJ to a second line jam with the Funky Dogs through the camp grounds, Griz was surprising everyone with the funk at all hours of the festival. His main stage set Saturday was one for the books. A beautiful pink Florida sunset served as the backdrop to the sensual sounds of his saxophone and electronic beats. To top it all off, he brought special guest Ivan Jackson, the trumpet player from Brasstracks on stage with him. The performance was packed with high energy, the funky fusion of EDM beats and saxophone with positive vibes all around. In true Griz fashion the set ended with the crowd repeating his motto back to him “Show Love Spread Love.”
Another highlight of Saturday was the Powow! featuring the legendary singer-songwriter-composer and keyboardist Michael McDonald, R&B crooner Gallant, DJ and electronic producer GRiZ, funk outfit Vulfpeck, Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive), American R&B singer Antwaun Stanley, and the horn section of instrumental jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy. Surprise guest Solange even made an appearance to perform a cover of “What A Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers. For the finale, the Miami School of Music Choir joined the stage for a knockout performance of another Doobie Brothers classic, “Taking it to the Streets.”
More highlights from Okeechobee 2017:
Anderson .Paak is never coming down.
Pretty Lights epic light show.
More about Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival.