Back to the Beach: A look at Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival 2017!

The BE Stage during Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival 2016. 

It is hard to believe that it has already been close to a year since we all roamed the area known as Sunshine Grove during the inaugural Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival (OMF). Now it is getting very close to us all entering the “portal” again for this year’s event which will feature such acts as Kings of Leon, Usher & The Roots, Bassnectar, The Lumineers, Pretty Lights, Flume, Wiz Khalifa and Solange. This year’s OMF will take place during March 2-5, 2017 once again in beautiful Okeechobee, Florida. If you went to last year’s OMF, then you know that this area is definitely a diamond in the rough. A spectacular view of natural beauty awaits you around every corner at Sunshine Grove. Personally, I think it is one of the best outdoor venues to host a festival of this magnitude in the southern region.

A view of Aquachobee Beach from the Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival 2016. 

In order to get ready for OMF 2017, let us discuss some of the bands/artists that I am most interested in seeing at this year’s event. It is hard to pick and choose out of the first wave of artists, but I think I did a pretty good job narrowing it down.

  • Rob Garza (DJ set) – One half of the legendary electronica, trip hop group Thievery Corporation, Garza is set to perform a solo DJ set which most likely will be held at the Aquachobee Beach stage. I am assuming this based on last year’s placement of DJ Windows 98 (a.k.a. Win Butler from Arcade Fire) DJ set at the Aquachobee Beach stage. Do not miss his showcase of Deep House and Nu-Disco favorites as he spins your cares away as you dance barefoot in the sands of Aquachobee Beach. Sounds like a dream? Well it isn’t if you make it to OMF 2017.
  • TAUK – Few bands can say that they have jammed with Jake Cinninger and Joel Cummins (members of Umprhey’s McGee) but the band TAUK can. TAUK’s sound can be described as a heavy instrumental rock-fusion blitzkrieg that has set them apart from most of the jam bands on the scene. So do not miss this set of funk, fusion, hip hop, progressive rock, ambient, classic rock, and jazz fused into the smooth sounds of TAUK.
  • Allen Stone – Allen began singing at a very early age at his father’s church in Chewelah, WA. By age 14, he was leading the church worship and playing the guitar. It was sometime after this age when Stone first heard his first taste of soul music. This would be a pivotal point in his young career as it would lead him to find his signature R&B sound. Personally, I have had Stone on my ‘must see’ list for some time now and I will be glad to finally cross his name of that list come March.
  • Sleigh Bells – Another name on my ‘must see’ list is the Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells fresh off the release of their latest LP, Jessica Rabbit. Alexis Krauss (vocals) and Derek Edward Miller (guitars) will bring their exuberant brand of noise pop through the portal this March. Check out their other three LPs; Treats (2010), Reign of Terror (2012) and Bitter Rivals (2013) if you are not too familiar with their sound.
  • Futurebirds – Formed in 2008, this Athens, Georgia based indie rock/neo-psychedelia is going to shake up Sunshine Grove with their fiery set. This animated rock band has shared stages with the likes of Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, Dead Confederate, and The Whigs to name a few. Want to know more about Futurebirds? Check out their LPs, Seney-Stovall {Live album} (2012), Baba Yaga (2013), and Hotel Parties (2015).
  • Okeechobee Gospel Soul Experience: Blind Boys of Alabama, Allen Stone, & more. – Take me to church! This little jam session is just building up to be a one of the major highlights of this year’s OMF. With only two names announced so far, one can only imagine what acts/bands/musicians will follow suit and join the festivities. I mean George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Solange, and Con Brio are also on the initial line-up. So my money is that we get some participation from some or all of the above named musicians during the Okeechobee Gospel Soul Experience. And we still have a second wave of artists still to be announced and added to the speculation.
The Ferris Wheel at Aquachobee Beach

General admission passes and VIP packages are still available to purchase, so follow the links and see which one is right for you. OMF has also set up an official Okeechobee Fest Help Center! page to help answer most (if not all) of your questions. If you’re looking to grab some OMF 2017 merchandise before entering the portal or want to relive that feeling of OMF 2016, follow this link to OMF’s official merch page. Curious about the lush surroundings of Sunshine Grove and how OMF is set up? Don’t worry, OMF has set up an “Experience” page describing all the magic of OMF 2016 and what to look forward to at OMF 2017. You can also read my Concerthopper OMF 2016 recap article to gain some insight on all the magic that exists in Sunshine Grove.

The Grove at Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival. 

I hope you can join all of us this year for the 2nd annual Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival this March in Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee, Florida. It is going to be an amazing time full of great new people that are all there for the same reason. To leave all other worldly concerns behind for just a few remarkable days and let yourself go with the music freely. Enter the portal this March and you will see just what I am saying. Stay up to date on all of these upcoming 2017 festivals; Okeechobee Music + Arts Festival, Sweetwater 420 Fest, Shaky Beats, Shaky Knees, Bonnaroo, & Electric Forest (1st weekend) by following us on all social media formats: Concerthopper on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  And follow my personal concert hopping on Instagram also. Remember don’t think about it, just buy the damn ticket! As always, hope to see you at a show or festival soon!

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