Okeechobee Festival Review – Bursting with Love and Stellar Music
By Liam Ellis, Photos Courtesy of Okeechobee Festival
Okeechobee Festival Review – “Okee… Okee Okee Okee… Okee… Chobee!!” From the moment we were greeted at the entrance to listening to Kings of Leon fade away as we said our goodbyes, Okeechobee Music Festival was filled with positive vibes and good times. From the beach, to the Yoga classes, to the late night secret sets, Okeechobee had a little something special for everyone. Okeechobee Music Festival is only in it’s second year running and is already taking the scene by storm. If you have the chance to make it out in 2018, I highly recommend it!
Within the four days I was fortunate enough to spend at OMF, I was able to meet amazing people and see some spectacular artists. Artists ranged from Pretty Lights, Bassnectar, Usher & The Roots, Anderson.Paak and the Free Nationals, Wiz Khalifa, Griz, The Floozies, and even Michael McDonald in the all star collab PowWow. Not only that, but during the secret late night sets you were able to be only feet away from artists like Griz, Snails, 12th Planet, and Space Jesus. This year Okeechobee’s production quality was tremendously elevated and it just makes me more excited to see what they have in store for us in the years to come.
“Show Love! Spread Love!” Griz’s chant/motto stuck with me throughout the music festival and I honestly believe that it improved my overall experience at Okeechobee. Two of my favorite moments at Okeechobee Music Festival were encounters with some extraordinary people. The first encounter was on Friday after VHS Collection at the beach stage. A friend of mine was using her new Fiber Optic Whip and a young girl, no more than 9 years old ran up to her asking to try. The look of excitement and pure joy in this little girl who hasn’t been tainted by life’s trials warmed my soul with intense happiness. Witnessing this young girl having the best time of her life really shows you what a music festival is all about.
My second encounter was with Ari Kane. I look back to find my friends talking to this bedazzled masked man about our Griz totem. He ends up blessing us with a peacock feather to add to our totem. Not only did he stumble upon us again later on that night lying down after Bassnectar listening to the PowWow, but he had my entire group in stitches for almost an hour. Ari is truly a festival angel and embodies everything you would hope for in your fellow festival goer.
2017 seems to be a year filled with creativity and flag flying. Attendees went all out with their costumes and totems this year, and really showed their wit. The totems and flags go so far back that they disappear into the night. The creativity ranged from Rick and Morty everything, to Member Berries, to your witty artist name and logo use (my totem that somehow survived).
The costumes matched the creativity of the totems and the best ones hands-down had to be the group or duo costumes. My group and I saw everything; Finn and Jake of Adventure, Red, Green, Black, and White members of the Power Rangers, and epic battle between Batman and the Joker.
Personally my favorite totem that I found outside of my, of course, had to be the “Harambe died for our sins” flag. It has been 9 months since the incident has happened and people are still going on about it.
My favorite set of all Okeechobee 2017 had to be the funkiest man alive, Griz. For those of you who did attend, I know you’re first question is going to be, “Well, which set are you talking about, he had more than one?” Yes he had his special guest set at the Incendia stage, which ended up being 12th Planet B2B Snails B2B Griz more or less. And yes, I did see him play in the PowWow with Michael McDonald, but by his main set was by far the most fun I have had at a music festival since the Full Flex Tour in Toronto, summer of 2012.
His energy and his positivity radiated through the crowd. You could feel the happiness and unity in your fellow festival goer. Having the groove and the funk take over your body, as you heard Muzzy Bearr’s guitar and Griz’s seeeeeexy sax soak the air was like nothing else. The set was so uplifting and made you feel like nothing could get in your way. He played “Stop Trippin”, “Good Times Roll”, “Rather Be Free”, and opened with my personal favorite “Can’t Hold Me Down”. His set breathed life into me like the arrival of spring as the snow melts from winter.
Okeechobee Festival Review – Clear your calendars, start saving now, and plan to have the time of your life next year. Okeechobee is where you need to be if you love good music, good people, and the best vibes. Hope you enjoyed this Okeechobee Festival Review!!! See ya next year for sure!!