Starting off 2018 with a bang, Okeechobee Music Festival put on a weekend to remember for festival attendees. As the festival matured into its third consecutive year, OMF honed it on its Florida roots, utilizing the landscape to form its budding identity.
Although not much has changed in terms of the set up from previous years, the grounds dubbed the Sunshine Grove features a lush tropical paradise amped up by gorgeous spring weather. Placed smack dab in the middle of nowhere Florida, swamp life peaks through, with canals spread around the Grove – one even with its own little alligator. Does it get any more Florida than that?
In its inaugural year in 2016, OMF showed signs of becoming the next Bonnaroo, boasting a varied lineup from electronic, rock, hip hop to indie acts. Even though the lineup this year was still varied, it leaned heavily on the electronic scene, undoubtedly an extension to Bassnectar’s third appearance at the fest. The shifting focus to an electronic-heavy festival was most apparent on Sunday. The Aquachobee Beach stage blasted dubstep, throwing a sandy day party for electronic enthusiasts. Even more notable to this shift, was the amount of festival attendees at Zeds Dead compared to the dwindling attendance at Arcade Fire, the closing headliner for 2018.
Yet, the most memorable show this year was Saturday’s Snoop Dogg Pow Wow with The Roots and special guest Chaka Khan. Snoop rolled up to the Pow Wow in true Snoop Dogg passion, straddled on either side of the stage by pole dancers, lit blunt in hand. Somehow though, next to the scantily clad dancers on stage, he made sure the women in the audience felt empowered through his numerous shout outs to “all the beautiful women in the crowd.” Never thought I’d leave a Snoop Dogg feeling femininely empowered, but hell yeah, thanks Snoop.
Although the scene seems to be shifting to a more electronic presence, Okeechobee Music Festival confirmed that yet again, it isn’t going anywhere. From honing it on its unique Florida ambiance to bringing in big name headliners to an uncharted territory of South Florida, OMF has transformed into a festival of its own, one not to be compared with others.
Until next time Sunshine Grove.
Other notable artists at Okeechobee you should definitely check out:
- Sofi Tukker – Two of the best performers out there today, Sofi Tukker slays their electronic, jungle sets always incorporating the audience into their shows.
- Jai Wolf – Not one person in Jai Wolf’s crowd could hold back from grooving as the sun set to dusk along to tunes containing samples of Kanye and The Killers.
- Local Natives – These indie artists from Los Angeles proved their musicality to endearing fans singing along to their more recognizable tunes.
- Flamingo – One of my personal favorite out of the blue sets this year was Flamingo, who killed it at the Aquachobee Stage mixing dancing tunes with a bit of Spanish flair.
- Two Feet – Competing for sound at the HERE stage with Zeds Dead blasting much too close at the stage next door, relatively newbie to the scene, Two Feet slayed his set with an effortlessly cool dude persona, chugging a bottle of whiskey on stage between puffs of a cigarette.
- Thievery Corporation – Combining a chill electronic tone with an acid jazz sound, Thievery Corporation put on a tight set featuring a female lead vocalist who was definitely channeling some Grace Slick on stage.