It’s been two years since the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival last transformed Sunshine Grove into a hotbed of cultural excursions and explorations, but Florida music lovers’ long wait is about to come to an end.
Returning for its first iteration since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the live music world to a screeching halt, the 2022 OMF experience is sure to reignite the same passions that its four previous iterations have brought to life, with a lineup that features some of the biggest names in indie-rock and electronic music.
With that said, here are some quick tips for first-time attendees who don’t know the ropes of making it through a camping festival in one piece. And for anyone who’s grown rusty since the last time Okeechobee graced the Sunshine State, they may very well serve as a refresher course.
- Do not forget your water bottle. Of all the necessities that a camping festival requires, this one is undoubtedly the most crucial. Don’t be caught without it.
- Prepare your wardrobe for any and all weather possibilities. Don’t make the same boneheaded mistake that this writer made in one of the festival’s first years—it may very well get cold at night. Just because we’re in Florida doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortably warm for the entirety of the long weekend. Temperatures in Sunshine Grove have been known to dip into the 50s in the wee hours of the morning, and the ground underneath a tent can be cold and unforgiving.
- Arrive together. Being stuck with a long hike from your campsite to the stages is bad enough; don’t get caught miles away from your friends. Campsites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so you won’t be able to hold a spot for your buddies who are running a few hours late.
- Plan your schedule in advance. It’s not as easy as you may think to get from stage to stage, and none of us can be in two places at once.
- Pace yourself. Four days of music that stretch late into the night are taxing even on the most energetic attendees. Be careful not to party too hard on Thursday night, or you may just ruin the rest of your weekend.
Sets we’re most excited for:
A completely and totally subjective preview featuring the sets that we’re most looking forward to at Okeechobee 2022. As with the 2020 iteration of OMF, the festival’s greatest strength is that its lineup can appeal to fans of many different genres in equal measure; these just happen to be the acts that piqued our interest.
- An Evening with No Name Honoring CharlestheFirst. This memorial set will pay tribute to the late CharlestheFirst, a burgeoning electronic producer who passed away suddenly at the age of 25 late last year.
- Tame Impala. Duh. The biggest name on the 2022 OMF lineup is a coup of an inclusion, and this Australian psych-pop superstar act—and former Coachella headliner—may be the best act of the weekend to unite the festival’s often-divided indie and electronic faithful. Still supporting their 2020 LP The Slow Rush, the main project of multi-hyphenate virtuoso Kevin Parker will be making its only Florida stop of the year, and its first since a shockingly intimate performance at Miami Beach’s Fillmore in 2019.
- Gary Clark Jr. One of a handful of artists on the 2022 OMF bill that doesn’t quite fit the electronic-leaning mold of the rest, Gary Clark Jr.’s particular brand of fiery and analog blues-rock revivalism will be a welcome respite from the weekend’s onslaught of DJs and electronic acts.
- Caribou. This beloved indie-electronic producer will be making a rare stop in Florida, presumably in support of the fantastic and underrated 2020 LP Suddenly. As of now, the appearance is set to be one of only a handful of stateside performances this year amid an extensive overseas tour.
- The Backseat Lovers. One of a select few traditional indie-rock acts on the lineup, this burgeoning Utah quartet will flesh out feel-good tracks from its young discography, which includes the 2018 EP Elevator Days and its unexpectedly successful 2019 debut LP When We Were Friends.
- PoWow! Featuring George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Okeechobee’s own version of the beloved Bonnaroo “SuperJam,” this year’s unpredictable mashup performance will feature the legendary legacy act George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic alongside experimental bassist MonoNeon and virtuosic 18-year-old guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.
- Megan Thee Stallion. This firebrand rapper has taken the hip-hop world by storm over the past five years, and will take to the main stage at Okeechobee this year with a healthy selection of hit songs in tow, including #1 Billboard smashes like “Savage” and “WAP,” among others.
- Washed Out. Georgia singer/songwriter/producer Washed Out was dubbed by Pitchfork to be “the godfather of chillwave”—a psychedelic subgenre of electronic music dripping with notes of nostalgia and lo-fi bliss—and will be performing on the relatively intimate “Now” stage in support of his underrated 2020 LP Purple Noon.
- Papadosio. Here’s one for the jam-band heads—Ohio quintet Papadosio will bring its particular brand of “space rock”—in this case a blend of rock, jazz, and buzzy electronic jam music—to the main stage for an extended 95-minute set on Saturday evening.
- Jungle. London electronic duo Jungle will take over the main stage on Sunday night for an hour of its bombastic blend of accessible funk and neo-soul. This danceable set is especially recommended for those attendees who typically shy away from electronic acts.
- Flying Lotus. One of the most acclaimed and admired hip-hop and electronic producers of the past ten years, Flying Lotus will take to the “Now” stage on Sunday evening amid a particularly prolific period of his career that has included the release of the 2019 LP Flamagra and the successful 2021 soundtrack to Netflix’s Yasuke. We’re holding out hope for plenty of selections from his 2014 opus You’re Dead!
- Strfkr. This Portland indie-pop trio embodies the euphoric sound that made stars out of acts like Foster the People and Of Montreal in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and will bring selections from its consistently sunny and synth-tinged discography to the main stage for an early-evening sunset set.
- Mt. Joy. Perhaps the folkiest inclusion on the 2022 OMF lineup, young Philadelphia quintet Mt. Joy will bring sing-alongs like “Astrovan” and “Silver Lining” from its duo of LPs to the main stage for the final guitar-based showcase of the weekend.
Boca magazine will be on site at Okeechobee 2022 to share the best and worst of South Florida’s signature camping music festival experience. Keep an eye on our Instagram account for live coverage, and check back here on Monday, March 7 for a post-festival review.
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. March 3-6, Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave, Okeechobee FL. www.okeechobeefest.com
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