By Flynn Snyder
March is here which means tens of thousands will flock to Sunshine Grove in Florida for the return of the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (OMF). Under new management, the festival promises to bring music lovers of all ages and backgrounds together. Organizers promise a weekend set to include a star studded and diverse lineup as well as spiritual experiences in a setting only the sunshine state can provide.
Event promoter Insomniac, best known for putting on EDM’s Electric Daisy Carnival, is now in charge of running OMF. After a year hiatus, the festival is returning to Florida with headliners including Australian alternative dance group Rüfüs Du Sol, DJ Bassnectar, indie rock band Vampire Weekend, and British folk-rock group Mumford & Sons. Roughly a hundred other acts will perform across three main stages on an over 800-acre setting in the heart of Florida.
OMF’s unique setting has helped it stand out over the four years the festival has been put on. Attendees can take in the festivities in both beachfront and woodland settings. If the extensive lineup wasn’t enough, festivalgoers can also take part in spiritual experiences that range from conventional to the not-so-typical. The festival will offer yoga and meditation classes as well as a healing sanctuary, providing neuromuscular therapy and sound healing, perfect after a long day of listening to music. Art will also be a main focal point of the festival this year with interactive displays located throughout the grounds. The displays, building on Insomniac’s promise for this festival to be “a cornerstone of culture.” Insomniac’s website saying that they are “led by principles that…inspire us day after day.”
Another sign of change with Insomniac’s takeover: A shift from the traditional rock headliners of years past such as the acclaimed duo Hall and Oates to a more EDM-centered lineup. EDM hard hitters such as Alison Wonderland and GRiZ are all set to take the stage at Okeechobee, keeping in line with Insomniac’s electronic reputation. That said, there are still many genres represented in this year’s lineup including American rapper Gunna and pop-rock sister trio HAIM.
So, who are we looking forward to most? For starters, if you’ve ever listened to our show (Burnt Rooster, Wednesdays 12AM-2AM), you will know that we are huge fans of California-based, indie-pop duo slenderbodies. They’re set to bring their vivid, natural sound to the OMF stage on the fourth night of the festival. Also performing will be American soul octet St. Paul and the Broken Bones. They’ll be delivering their vintage discography to OMF on night two.
Join me, DJ Old Bay, and my cohost DJ Hot Sauce as we take in the sights, sounds and smells of this year’s Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival. We’ll be posting in-depth coverage of the unique jamboree in the sunshine state on this blog. We will cover all things from the headliners to the surprise stand outs, and we might even sneak in a yoga session or two and take you inside one of the premiere music festivals in the country.