Whether you’re already a hardcore camper, a raver or just a music fanatic, the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival puts your stamina to the test. Because it’s a fairly new fest, the four-day event has the potential to trip up even the most seasoned festival goers. It’s even more challenging for first-time attendees.
Here’s how first-timers can survive and thrive at this year’s Okeechobee Fest.
The festival spans a massive space called Sunshine Grove, which isn’t easy to get around at first. Make sure to have a festival map on hand and, after looking over the line-up schedule, mark your tentative path. Know which stages you’ll be at and at what time, and of course, make sure to highlight the food area for when you’re taking a much needed break.
Light It Up
The Grove gets dark after hours, even with the stages’ spotlights and attendees’ light-up attire. Packing a small flashlight ensures you’ll be able to see at least what’s in front of you, and don’t be ashamed to throw on a pair of light-up sneakers or some homemade glow stick headgear so your party can spot you easily.
Give It Up
Last year’s festival lacked a modern-day essential: Accessible wi-fi and cellphone signal. The Grove is close to The Middle of Nowhere, Florida, so Facebooking in between sets may be difficult. So, in the true spirit of getting in touch with the Grove, pocket your phone and let go of the urge to Instagram photos of your feet or tweet the lyrics of your favorite songs.
Check for free wi-fi once you’re inside, but don’t check more than two or three times. Letting your phone constantly search for a signal can deplete its battery.
Pack It Up
If you’re planning on camping on the festival grounds, make sure to pack more than enough refreshments for as many days as you’re attending. The closest CVS may very well be miles away.
Stock up on packs of water bottles and accessible snacks – you won’t want to drop a five dollar bill each time you’re thirsty. Bring chargers for phones and entertainment devices. And don’t forget hygiene products: Be mindful of your showering schedule and daily routine, but be willing to adjust. You may not be able to get your daily facial in.
Amp It Up
Be “extra.” Throw some glitter in your hair, wear your holographic flare pants, tie some bendy glow sticks into your hair. Learn to shuffle, learn to hoop dance. If you’re willing, go all out.
Okeechobee Fest only comes around once a year, and it’s an eccentric weekend of weirdos. Amping up your look isn’t a festival essential, but it often attracts attention and potential festival friends. While it takes loads of confidence and creativity, standing out could definitely enhance the Okeechobee experience.
By Carina Vo