Time to stampede, Bulls!
Click here to read more about USF Week events, including a pool party, Bullstock and Rocky’s Birthday Bash. 

Experience music in nature at the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

With more and more music festivals popping up each year, festival producers are looking for fresh and fun ways to excite their audience. Starting Friday, the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (OMF) aims to do just that.

OMF Co-Founders Paul Peck and Steve Sybesma are taking the festival experience to a new level this year. By situating the event in a pristine 800-acre piece of land in Okeechobee called Sunshine Grove, they hope to bring a more natural feel to festival culture.

According to OMF’s website, the Okeechobee Music Festival “is a place to re-connect, re-awaken, and re-interpret the traditions that connected our ancestors to each other and nature.”

The upbeat atmospheres at music festivals have drawn in large crowds for years. Some of this generation’s most well-known festivals, including Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival, have been going strong since the late 1990s. Their environment and presentation play a big part in their popularity.

“Music festivals have a good atmosphere,” Alisa Raczka, a freshmen majoring in education, said. “Everyone is really nice to everyone. No one is judgmental.”

According to New Times Broward-Palm Beach, the event will have three centrally located stages surrounded by trees and tropical foliage. One stage will be situated over a watering hole called Aquachobee, where guests can swim and splash around while jamming out to big-name performers.

Other areas are Yogachobee, a clearing where guests can meditate and receive massages, and Jungle51, an all-night techno dance party for guests who don’t want the party to stop when the sun goes down.

OMF boasts an impressive lineup that includes Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex and Odesza. Some artists will get together for the Okeechobee PoWoW!, which pairs musicians from different genres in a live collaborative performance. Some PoWoW! performances have already been announced, including a collaboration between Grammy winner Miguel and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler.

In addition to music, OMF will have art installations from local and international talents, as well as a wide array of food trucks and vendors. Campers will also have the opportunity to visit another area called ChobeeWobee, which is described on the event’s website as “the festival within the festival.” This village area will have live art, workshops, a tea lounge and more entertainment throughout the day and night.

With so many activities and performances lined up, OMF is sure to be the new next big musical festival in Florida.

OMF will run from Mar. 4 to Mar. 6. A full musical lineup, ticket packages and more information about the event can be found on OkeechobeeFest.com.