Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

First visit ever to Insomniac‘s The Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival taking place in Sunshine Grove outside Okeechobee, Florida. Only able to attend one day of this festival due to other commitments and yesterday was Day 2 of their event.
The first thing you notice is that this is a camping festival. Huge portions of the grounds are devoted to parked cars and their tents. (Although they do sell 1-day tickets so camping is not required.)
This is also a glamping festival as you can see by all those campers and motor homes over there.
It’s also possible to rent these air conditioned huts.
As well as these tents. Things like this are available at EDC-Las Vegas but not at EDC-Orlando.
The roads and walkways are well-posted.
But the overall grounds are huge! While it might take you 20-minutes to get from one side of EDC-Orlando to the other, some of the distances here can take 45-minutes and perhaps longer! Just remember where you parked your car if you’re just here for the day!
Walking from the day parking lot near entrance portal 4, the thumping of electronic music led me to the first stage listed on the map as the Marauder Art Car Stage. But we know this stage from EDC-Orlando and EDC-Chicago. It’s our old friend the Wide Awake Art Car.
Opening at 11AM, there was already a small crowd gathered.
Tag team set from DJ TiDDY (USA) and DJ Asian Steve (USA).
House music all day long!
The art car has seen better days but the crowd was looking good!
Heading further into the festival grounds, we encountered the entrance to Chobeewobee Village.
This central area is home to numerous food options and shopping vendors.
I only took this picture to show you the free fitness option being offered.
This is also an Art festival so there were several free opportunities to make your own art.
Couldn’t really tell what they were making here, lol.
They have their own Picasso here too. OK, well, maybe not a Picasso but it did remind me of the Picasso in the Chicago Loop.
At the back side of Chobeewobee Village is the Aquachobee area.
More art creation to participate in.
Free Yo Yo lessons were offered. Life changing skills.
EDC-Orlando offers numerous carnival rides but Okee only has this one Ferris wheel.
Aquachobee also has a lake and beach.
And more food options including that Zaxby’s over there! Wow!
It was also home to the Aquachobee Stage.
DJ Wolfram (A)
More House music, yes!
Not that many here just yet but off screen, quite a few people on the beach or under shade trees.
The Grand Artique was an interesting area.
There was a small stage in a wooded area where electronic band Sacred Cream (USA) was playing.
They had a DJ too besides just the band.
All set within this palm grove. Interestingly, not sure exactly where this stage was because I could never find it again, lol.
Back to the Marauder Art Car for a Funky House set from Fort Lauderdale-based DJ Biagi (USA) and DJ Gonzo (USA).
A lot of their selections had a 70’s Disco or 80’s Funk vibe to them. I loved their House remix of dance classic “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” which I had probably not heard in decades!
They brought their own entourage!
Good crowd down on the ground as well.
It was 2PM already…..
Time for some more House from DJ Frankie Nana (USA).
An accomplished pianist, he had played at Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in Washington DC before he was even 18 years old. Now he’s working his way into the electronic dance music world.
Set among the trees, such a great vibe at the art car!
We met lots of new peeps as we wandered the grounds!
Teach your children well.
The Grove is home to two of the main stages and it did not open until 2PM. Another interesting thing about Okeechobee are the staggered stage hours. Some stages opened before noon and closed around 8PM while some others opened at 8PM and had music artists playing all night until 4AM and 7AM!
The Now Stage was one of those main stages.
Here we found singer Allegra Miles (USA) performing a Pop set with her band.
She played the guitar too.
She was quite engaging with the audience.
She’s a former finalist on The Voice television program and she displayed that talent to us here.
At EDC there are only DJ’s performing for the most part. Okeechobee also offers bands which makes it a completely different animal.
Okee‘s main main stage is the Be Stage.
Caught the tail end of a jazzy music set from West Palm Beach-based band Guavatron (USA).
They were quickly followed by The Jungle Giants (AUS).
This picture was taken solely to show you the extra space you get purchasing a VIP ticket.
Much more crowded on the General Admission side but it offers good views too.
Definitely a 90’s vibe from their Indie Dance set.
With the lead singer bantering with the crowd between songs.
Crowd size had gotten rather large during their set.
Australia was representing!
The Here Stage was located in this huge tent.
And it was jammed in there!
DJ Steller (USA)
We had here-to-fore avoided Dubstep and Heavy Bass at Okeechobee but that streak ended here!
Based in South Florida, we had previously seen Steller play at Countdown Orlando Invasion back in early 2022. LINK
Back at Aquachobee, the place was now jammed too!
DJ Craze (USA) was on stage and blasting high-paced DnB.
A master of the craft, we had previously seen Craze at the Breaks/DnB Massive at Ace Cafe in Orlando back in 2021 LINK as well as last year’s Galaxy Music Gathering in Miami. LINK
Insomniac has embraced Drum & Bass and the crowds are getting bigger and bigger for its resurgence!
The crowd was resting between band sets at the Now Stage. That was another thing I noticed about festivals that have bands. DJ sets are typically back-to-back-to-back but bands require time to break down and set up their equipment so there are intermissions between band sets.
Indigo De Souza (USA) up next.
A light Rock/Pop set.
Had to catch this next set at the Marauder Art Car. Why?
Because a couple Orlando guys were playing! DJ Dre Mendez (USA) and DJ Caleb Dent (USA).
We always see one or the other playing nearly every weekend in O-Town.
They had a fun and lively set of House music but just not that many here to witness it.
They were followed by DJ AK Renny (USA) out of Jacksonville.
I describe her set as Bass House because it was mostly House but then at times evolved into Heavy Bass drops.
Dance floor activity had picked-up during her set.
And she too had brought an entourage!
Found another stage hidden in a pine grove. This one is called the Jungle 51 Stage it only opened after dark.
DJ Simone Gatto (I) was on when we arrived.
A set we best describe as House & Tech House.
The trees here grow shiny disco balls!
Hearing more Drum & Bass in the direction of Aquachobee, headed that way and found the source.
DJ Wilkinson (GB)
DnB is infectious and the crowd was so enthusiastic! Always searching for the next frontier of electronic music, DnB is currently that next frontier.
Insomniac has also been supporting a resurgence of Breakbeats so we hope to see that genre gain this level of enthusiasm as well.
Back into the pine grove at Jungle 51.
The lasers were flying in the darkness for DJ Davy Wreck (USA).
His Techy set reminded me of Green Velvet (USA).
He had everyone bouncing. Really impressive set!
Next over to the Now Stage for Channel Tres (USA). Not sure why but I was expecting a DJ set.
But was more of a Hip Hop/Rap set.
The audience was giving him a “what am I experiencing here” kind of attention and I mean that in a good way.
Most interesting!
Back into the forest one last time for someone I had heard of but had not seen play.
The Josh Craig (USA)
This NYC-based DJ blends Soul with Deep House.
He’s just back from a European tour that included France and Portugal.
Just a handful on the dance floor though because The Josh Craig set overlapped with the festival’s main headliner.
And I quickly realized I was headed to the main stage way too late, along with hundreds of others!
I couldn’t get near the stage; I couldn’t even get near the pit.
So we’ll post these two Odesza (USA) pics provided to us by Insomniac and taken by photographer Alex Perez of Insomniac.
The show last night was very reminiscent of their show at CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida a few years ago. Photo: Alex Perez of Insomniac.
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival exceeded expectations and a good time was had by all.