Okeechobee: Let's Take Two

Back in March I wrote a piece about my experience at the inaugural Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival where I waxed poetic about "good vibes" and the overall "chill-ness" of the situation. Well, I'm about to do the same thing but with five new reasons that you should join me for the 2017 edition of Okee so that we can get all heart eyed about it together. Reason #1: Okeechobee Gospel Soul Experience!

As of right now only the Blind Boys of Alabama and Allen Stone have been announced and that would be an awesome mash up on its own but there will be more collaborators announced later and I cannot wait to check this set out! Yes, there will be another PowWow (like a Bonnaroo SuperJam) but this is the jam that could be the most memorable. With his ability to melt into the veins of any soul lover, Allen Stone will be sure to make our knees week and with a history of performing together for longer than I have been alive, the Blind Boys of Alabama will most definitely show up with that legendary sound that you can brag to your mama (even your grandma) about. In the swamps and meadows of south Florida with the Spanish moss swinging gently in the breeze, I can image the gospel soul experience will be a big part of what fills my cup with goodness that will last long after the portal closes.

Reason #2: The trees! The trees!

Like I mentioned above and in other pieces about Florida festivals, Florida is home to lots and lots of Spanish moss. Our sturdy old pines and giant live oak trees are covered in it and the horse ranch where the Okeechobee portal opens is no exception. During the day these moss covered beauties provide shade and space to hang your hammock and even an arena for slack lining, if that's your fancy. At night the trees become part of the artistic scenery of the portal by becoming a canvas for brilliant light design and lending open groves like Jungle 51 to the all night party set.

Reason #3: Camping included in ticket prices!

You don't see much of this anymore as festivals scramble to tack on every fee they can dream up. When you purchase any three or four day Okee ticket, camping is part of that price which is part of why I think Okeechobee is one of the best values in the festival scene right now. And the campgrounds are gorgeous! You shouldn't have to pay extra for Mother Nature and Okee ensures that at least while you're in the portal you won't have to do that. Just take care of her and keep it clean, okay?

Reason #4: The wild art!

From shrines and statues to body art and light shows, Okeechobee is really spectacular to take in. And I don't mean to nag on the value thing but the art in the portal is yet another reason that Okee is a best value pick. Where other festivals use the title of "music and arts festival" Okeechobee really delivers. And it's not just to look at! This year, guests could interact with many of the art pieces and even have art created on their own body. It's a huge part of the magic and adds to the beautiful culture that is Okeechobee Music & Arts festival.

Reason #5: THIS is just the first wave of artists!

No seriously, there's more to come and it's almost too much to handle. Almost.

The best part of any festival is all of the beautiful people who create and spread goodness in the temporary society that disappears all too quickly. Let's meet up and take some #ConcertHopper selfies!