Ten Acts That Make the Drive to Okeechobee Festival Worth It for Miamians

 In this age of Facetime and high definition streaming, it takes a lot to get you to leave the comforts of your couch and your gadgets. Right now, Google maps is telling us it'll take two hours and 22 minutes to get from our office in Wynwood to the campgrounds of Okeechobee Festival, and that's not even accounting for the inevitable Miami highway traffic-fuck.

Fortunately the minds behind the upcoming Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival know this, and have no interest in wasting your time. They have built a musical lineup at a picturesque setting that makes this trip 100 percent worth the effort. You can check out the full lineup and daily schedule over at our sister paper New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Also, it should be noted that Uber is partnering with Okeechobee to offer some pretty reasonable flat rates to the festival. Miami-Dade ranges from $130 to $250.

Still need a little convincing? Fine. Take a deep breath and follow along as we recap just a fraction of some of the acts that will be waiting for you up in Okeechobee.

10. Ween.
The stoner musical savants will be playing one of their first shows in five years on Sunday evening at Okeechobee. The Pennsylvania duo has built a cult following over the last three decades by infusing folk, funk, punk, and comedy into its live show.

9. Shabazz Palaces.
This Seattle two-piece made up of multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire and emcee Ishmael Butler plays a more experimental brand of hip-hop than Butler's previous act, Digable Planets. But Digable fans will be comforted to hear Butler's familiar voice on Saturday afternoon as he continues to mix the poetic with the political like few others.

8. Dr. Dog.
The six-piece from Pennsylvania will finally make you understand jam bands. Playing live Saturday afternoon, mixing harmonies with art rock influences like the Flaming Lips, Dr. Dog is one of those acts that can sneak by your initial radar. But you'd be wise to carve out some time for these canines.

7. Big Grams.
This un-unholy amalgamation of electronic rockers Phantogram and the rapper Big Boi from Outkast will make its Florida debut Sunday night. Will fellow headliner Skrillex make a guest appearance on the song "Drum Machine," as he did on Big Grams' self-titled EP? Maybe. You know how you'll find out, though? You have to get off the couch, unfortunately.

6. Skrillex.
The superstar DJ isn't playing Ultra this year and it's unlikely that he will be making a surprise appearance as he's scheduled to play in South America on those dates. His midnight Saturday set at Okeechobee will probably be one of the few chances South Florida gets to see the Harry Potter of EDM this year, so take advantage. 

5. The Avett Brothers.
Nothing will make you feel one with nature quite as much as the folksy crooning of this North Carolina foursome. Fine, maybe a fistful of mushrooms and a drum circle, but that's about it. The easy melodies of the Avett Bros' old-timey Americana on Sunday night will be a good way to come down from the weekend.

4. Local Miami acts.
If you get there a day early on Thursday, you can support your fellow 305ers. The pedal steel guitar virtuoso Roosevelt Collier, the Latin funk fusion of Spam Allstars, and the Miami Beach High School Jazz Project will all be there to help you acclimate to a weekend outside the county of Dade. And SunGhosts will be playing Sunday afternoon to get you ready for the return voyage. Also, III Points will be taking over the Palace stage on Friday night until dawn, with Poorgrrrl, Jeremy Ismael, Legs Benedict, and more.

3. Fetty Wap.
He moaned and wailed his way to the top of the charts and into the hearts of millions this past year. Now, the Shakespeare of trap music is heading to Okeechobee Festival. Fetty had one of the most explosive starts to a music career in recent memory, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Seeing him live is probably going to get more and more expensive as time passes, so seize the moment. 

2. Robert Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters.
There are rumors that Robert Plant turned down a billion dollars for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour, so those holding their breath to see a geriatric version of history's most virile rock and roll band should exhale. Though Plant has reunited a couple times with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, it seems pretty clear that the classic rock icon is sticking to his word that when drummer John Bonham died in 1980, so did Led Zeppelin. But fear not because Plant will still sing Led Zeppelin tunes with his backing band The Sensational Shape Shifters for an early-evening Friday set. Plant got rave reviews on tour last year for his 67-year-old voice still holding up as he led renditions of "Dazed and Confused," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Black Dog." This will be Plant's first Florida performance in five years and, if nothing else, this year's passing of David Bowie and Lemmy is a reminder that our rock and roll icons aren't getting any younger. We need to appreciate them while they're still with us.

1. Kendrick Lamar.
It has been said that the Saturday night headliner, Kendrick Lamar, is who Kanye West thinks himself to be: a brilliant artist who just might be the greatest rapper alive. The Compton native was at the top of his game when he stole this year's Grammy Awards with a performance that mixed dramatic visuals with hard-hitting lyricism. He walked away with the much-deserved awards for 2015's best rap album and song. There is simply no hotter rapper alive right now (sorry, Drake), and the timing to see Lamar literally could not be better. 

With Mumford & Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, Bassnectar, and others. March 3 to 6 at Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave., Okeechobee. Three-day advance passes start at $269.50. Visit okeechobeefest.com.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.