Music fans around the country soon may add "Okeechobee" to "Bonnaroo" and "Coachella" on the list of fun words to say thanks to the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, which organizers say will bring 80 acts to five stages set up in the woodlands north of the lake March 4-6.
No acts are confirmed yet, but the producer of the event, Soundslinger, released a statement Thursday morning touting a multi-genre bill of bands, DJs and top electronic artists.
The festival may test the wallets of South Floridians with broad musical interests: It lands two weeks before the massive Ultra Music Festival in Miami Beach, March 18-20, and not long before Fort Lauderdale’s popular Tortuga Music Festival, the two-day country and Americana-flavored gathering in April (dates to be announced soon).
Soundslinger includes a team of concert promoters and producers whose credits include the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn.; the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco; and the STORM Electronic Music Festival in Shanghai, China.
Paul Peck, Soundslinger COO and chief creative officer, helped launch Bonnaroo in the Tennessee woods and believes location is a major selling point for the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, a spot called Sunshine Grove, north of the city of Okeechobee on 800 acres about five miles east of Highway 441.
"People are looking for meaningful festival experiences and events where they can connect with a true sense of inspiration and community,” Peck says in a press statement. “Sunshine Grove is the most naturally beautiful festival site in the country and we're transforming it into a magical new world.”
A promotional video on the festival website (OkeechobeeFest.com) offers a walk-through of the festival grounds, a broad expanse of untrampled fields, lakes and shady woods.
According to Peck, the site will offer VIP camping areas, a white-sand beach and lakeside bar, art installations, craft beer and some of Florida's most popular food trucks. Yoga, meditation and holistic workshops also will be offered.