Festival Recap: Okeechobee 2017

It's about that time—festival season has officially kicked off with Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, held in Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee, Florida.

The good:

Anyone who's been to a festival knows that the weather can really make or break your time there- and Okeechobee's was the best. Warm sunny days in the 70's and cool windy nights perfect for dancing in the mosh pit or setting up a hammock and just rocking out from the hundreds of trees they have on site.

Speaking of rocking out, the live music setup was perfect. The main stages were blissfully close to one another, but somehow without any sound bleeding over from the other acts. Two of the stages were outside the venue, in the camping grounds. One, called Jungle 51, was inside a small forest and played music until 7:30 in the morning. (Heck yeah.) The other, called Incendia, was sectioned off by two huge geometric jungle-gym type domes, shot fire out of the top and was literally on the beach. Can we just.

The lineup truly featured something for everyone: rap game strong with Wiz, Waka, Logic, and Joey Purp; FKJ and the Floozies bringing the funk, slowing it down with BadBadNotGood and Usher & the Roots; and DJs Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, and Snails always bringing the wub wub wub for the EDM lovers.

Another great part of this festival was the people. Sneeze, and four strangers around you will bless you before you're through, with a fifth already handing you a tissue. It sounds cliché, but "good vibes only" was truly the motto at Okeechobee.

Could be better:

The food was pretty pricey here, even for a festival. This doughnut was huge, but also cost me $6. So a full meal could easily leave you out 15 to 20 bucks. Multiply that by 3 meals a day for 4 days, and let's just say I'm glad I packed food from home.

The organization definitely left something to be desired; at times the line to get in would get so congested people started to bypass security and sneak in over the fence or through the trees. With this only being Okeechobee's second year, though, this is something that should get more seamless with time.

One widely shared complaint I heard about this fest was the lack of single day tickets. Full weekend general admission passes, at their cheapest, were still around $300, and this steep price tag influenced who could make it in- the crowd was made up a lot more of rich fraternity brothers on spring break than local Floridians or older folks.

Overall, Okeechobee was a crazy, wild, amazing, epiphanic, life-changing experience, and some of the most fun I've ever had. I'll absolutely be making it an annual event, and invite all of you to enter the portal with me again in 2018.