I’m slowly getting back into the blogging game and today I’m giving you a recap of my Spring Break: a week spent in Florida where I went to Okeechobee Music Festival before hanging around Naples! If you’re thinking about attending Okee next year, this is the post for you.
Before going to Okeechobee, I had only been to a small music festival near my hometown, Shakori Hills. SO, when I pulled up to the festival gates with my best friend Mackinzie and found out the festival was SOLD OUT with 30,000+ people, I was pretty overwhelmed. But SO excited! Attending Okee was an impulse decision; Mackinzie and I bought our tickets on a whim and decided to just figure out the details on a later date. We ended up stopping at Walmart about an hour out from the festival to get supplies and groceries! In my mind, that’s kinda last minute. Right? Spontaneous?? Yes??
Camping was first come first serve, so whoever was in front and behind you in the entry line = your neighbors. We ended up being in between two large groups, and since it was just Mackinzie and I, listening to the group conversations honestly made the trip! Is that creepy?
Like I said: we didn’t know what to expect out of such a big festival, but wow did Okeechobee exceed our expectations. Everyone there was so kind and friendly, whether they were a staff member, security guard, food truck worker, or another festival-goer.
Maybe it’s because we were a party of two, but during the day there really wasn’t a lot going on. You had a lot of time to explore the different “villages” of the festival (one of which we found right before the last day…the size of Okee got to us for sure!) and try lots of different foods. I will warn you, though: festival food is SO. EXPENSIVE. We paid $5 for a cup of lemonade and $7 for a slice of pizza…and $12 (?!) for a grilled cheese. The grilled cheese also had mac and cheese on it, so maybe that big price tag is okay, but STILL. When we grocery shopped on the way into the festival, we grabbed bread, peanut butter, fruit snacks, fresh fruit, and protein bars. Those helped a ton during the trip because we didn’t want to splurge on food every single day. So, there was a ton of time to explore during the day, but at night…
…the festival truly came alive. The music was incredible. Flume, Snakehips, Cold War Kids, Wiz Khalifa, Kings of Leon, USHER, Young the Giant, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Solange…the list goes on. The two pics above are from Cold War Kids and Flume. Flume was 100% without a doubt my favorite performance; the lighting and graphics were amazing and we were part of the best crowd!
So, here are some must know tips for attending big music festivals:
- Travel in groups. While I had the best time with Mackinzie because she’s my BFF, I feel like our experience would have been a lot more fun with a large group of people. With a big group, you have plenty of people to talk to, plenty of people to hang out with (in case another person doesn’t want to/doesn’t feel well/etc), and it’s definitely cheaper.
- Enter the festival with your faves. This means that since most big festivals have the chance of being first come, first serve, try to get in line and caravan with your ideal neighbors.
- You can never bring too much water. We had a pack of bottles in our car (you could park your car next to your tent, which allowed for easy access – and a chance to charge your phone), a cooler full of water bottles, and our own personal bottles. If it’s hot outside, stuffy in your tent, and sweaty (ew sorry) at night when you’re dancing around a bunch of people, you’re going to want to stay hydrated.
- Staff members and volunteers are your friends. They are there to help you, answer questions, and lead you in the right direction. Volunteers are usually college age kids who wanted to attend the festival for free, so they’ll be more than happy to talk! Don’t be afraid to ask for help! They’re nice, I promise.
- Give the festival info to a couple of friends before you leave. The festival grounds for Okeechobee were out in the middle of nowhere, so I had to send festival info to my parents before I lost signal. Knowing that people outside of Okee had my info and had a way to help in case I needed it made me feel a lot less nervous about attending!
Do you have any music festival tips? Have you ever been to one?