March 3rd – 6th, 2016, will host the inaugural year of Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival; Florida’s largest camping music festival. Boasting a bill that will showcase more than 80 artists, an insane 24 hour schedule with a dusk-til-dawn stage, and a series of once-in-a-lifetime artist collaborations produced by the creative force behind the world famous Bonnaroo SuperJam.
Less than three hours southeast of Tampa, Florida music fans across the Sunshine State anxiously await to see the amazing multi-genre lineup which will include artists like Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Odesza, Future, Fetty Wap, Big Grams, Mac Miller, Lil Dicky, Lettuce, Post Malone, Hermitude, and many more.
“We’re a small independent company, but we’re really trying to create something meaningful here,” said co-organizer Paul Peck. “I think it’s a lot different from the other events. I really do.”
It is estimated that 70% of festival attendees will come from Florida, though festival organizers expect guests from all over the U.S.
The New York Times recently picked Okeechobee as one place “music lovers should go in 2016”.
Festival organizers led a dozen members of the media on a tour of the festival site which was once an old horse ranch to get the word out about what they believe is an amazing location.
“My intention was to come down and look at it and see if it was something that I’d turn on to my friends at Live Nation or AEG, but then I saw it, and I said, ‘No way. I’m doing it myself.’” said concert industry veteran Steve Sybesma when he saw the site that encompasses 6 miles of paved roads, a man-made beach, acres of sprawling green grass for stages and campsites, and natural pine groves perfectly suited for side stages or VIP areas.
“We look at ourselves as competition to Bonnaroo, Coachella, Firefly, other camping festivals,” Sybesma said, ticking off three of the biggest in the world.
The three main stages won’t be spread too far out. You might have a 15-minute walk from your campsite to the music, but once you get there your journey from stage to stage will take five minutes.
Campers can swim in the lake, hang a hammock between trees or just sit out in the grass and admire the stars. Plenty of wildlife was seen on the media tour, including a gaggle of sandhill cranes and deer. Spotters are always on the lookout for alligators in the protected wetlands on the property, and some of the ground’s ponds have been stocked with fish for years. “You could throw a net in here and pull out 15 tilapia,” Rosen said.
Areas dubbed ChobeeWobee Village and Yogachobee will feature an array of activities including but not limited to: yoga, meditation, art galleries, live Burning Man-like art installations and performers, permaculture workshops, interactive art and a “healing sanctuary” with treatments including reflexology and Thai massage.
Apparently, comparisons to Bonaroo aren’t wild accusations, but the infant festival will have a lot to prove to keep that title. Peck was a driving force in SuperJam! before leaving Bonnaroo; Sybesma recruited him to become a partner after seeing the site and envisioning what it could become. Peck, like Sybesma, was sold on Okeechobee’s future after his first visit:
“I saw the first 1 percent of it, and I just thought, ‘This is incredible!’, and my mind started exploding at the possibilities. I was just in love with the property.”
Okeechobee has all of the makings of a really great music festival, and we’re excited to be there to witness all of the amazing possibilities come to fruition <3 Check out the full lineup below!
STAY IN THE KNOW! SIGN UP FOR THE RUN THE TRAP NEWSLETTER