Okeechobee sells out, draws capacity crowd


  • photo by Thad McCollum
The inaugural edition of the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival got off to an auspicious start Thursday, as the festival organizers announced that they had sold out their 30,000-plus capacity venue. This bodes well for music lovers hoping that the festival turns into an annual event on the scale of Bonnaroo or Coachella. Main stage acts started Friday, and the highlights included former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, Hall and Oates, Joey Bada$$ and Bassnectar.

Soundslinger, the company behind the festival, is giving plenty of attention to the aesthetics of the venue and stages, with art installations and lighting decorating the Sunshine Grove and Moonlight Oasis areas. The surrounding campsite areas, on the other hand, lack any significant landmarks or signage, leaving many festivalgoers we talked to frustrated as they searched for their camps.

Still, the level of investment that Soundslinger has funneled into Okeechobee, along with the fact that they sold out their first year, means that they should have at least a few more chances to work out the kinks.