Music Festivals

Five Ways Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Attendees Can Help Save the World

Five Ways Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Attendees Can Help Save the World
Courtesy of HeadCount and Clean Energy Advisors
Courtesy of HeadCount and Clean Energy Advisors
Kings of Leon, Usher with the Roots, the Lumineers, and more than 100 other artists are set to take the stage at the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival March 2 through That's cool, but another weekend of concerts won't change the world no matter how hard you dab on the haters. Nope, come Monday, the world will continue unbothered by your epic dabs.

There are, however, a few other ways those attending Okeechobee Fest can help save the world from imminent demise. It's a social action village called Participation Row, and it's bringing numerous social action booths that will quite possibly save us all. "How?" you ask, "can the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival's Participation Row turn Roots fans into social activists no matter how impaired or sun-drenched they may be?" The answer is this:

1. Register to vote.
At participation row, fans will have a chance to register to vote with HeadCount, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that works at live music events. Before this past November's election calamity, you might have considered a person trying to register you to vote at a concert a monumental buzzkill. But now you'd probably thank them. Concertgoers who didn't vote in the presidential election can right their wrong and prepare themselves to exact some revenge the next go-round. HeadCount registered more than 1,000 voters at the inaugural Okeechobee Fest last March, the second-highest voter registration total of 67 festivals, and nearly 1,600 events representatives attended in 2016.

2. Feed the hungry.
Social activists will try to recruit help in the fight to end world hunger. Attendees probably won't have canned goods on them, but they will be educated about how they can help feed those in need when they get home. Every penny counts in this mission.

3. Know health-care options.
Maybe you've heard health care is in the news. Everything you need to know about one of the most debated topics will be available at the fest. Whether you're on Obamacare, looking to obtain insurance, or simply interested in how you can become a social activist for whatever cause or plan of action you support, there will be someone on Participation Row to inform you.

4. Educate yourself about climate change.
Contrary to what one orange dude says, climate change is not a Chinese hoax. Clean Energy Advisors, an Orlando-based social impact investment firm, will be on hand to help arm people with real facts, not the alternative kind, about climate change. Bottom line: No more Earth, no more Usher. Do you really want to live a life without Usher? That sounds terrible. Participation Row is here to save future Ushers. To further sweeten the deal, the first thousand fans to complete actions with any three nonprofit organizations will receive a limited-edition, numbered pin from Clean Energy Advisors.

5. Become more aware of domestic abuse.
A group of social activists will be onsite to better inform guests about how to handle domestic abuse. Get informed about reporting domestic disturbances, coping with the aftereffects of such incidents, helping the cause, and other related topics.

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
Thursday, March 2, through Sunday, March 5, at Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave., Okeechobee; Tickets cost $279 plus fees at
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi