Okeechobee 2018 in pictures (Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, more)
Okeechobee, FL’s Okeechobee Festival is one of the first out of the gate for music festivals in the US this year. Attendees took advantage of the warm weather to get weird for a long weekend (3/1-3/4) while acts like Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, Travis Scott, Bassnectar and Khalid played. They also were treated to an Okeechobee tradition, the PoWoW collaborative jam session, which this year included Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Chaka Khan, Trombone Shorty, and Cory Henry, among others.
Arcade Fire was predictably self-important, taking the stage decked out in “Everything Now” clothes (did nobody tell them it’s not cool to wear your own merch?) with a massive, smoke-themed light show in tow. In a bright spot, frontman Win Butler spoke out about gun control and the recent shooting in Parkland, FL, and dedicated a rendition of “The Suburbs” to Stoneman Douglas as the screen behind him read “#NEVERAGAIN”
Arcade Fire’s Sunday night mainstage set, which was intended to be a stirring end to a four-day retreat, was embarrassingly empty. Arriving ten minutes before the set was slated to begin, I easily strolled up to within ten feet of the stage. This could be attributed to the group’s sinking popularity, the fact that they were stacked against Zeds Dead on the NOW stage, or simply because it was late on a Sunday and many attendees left early because they had work the next day.
Speaking of getting weird, The Miami New Times, who were there, wrote:
Okeechobee at times can feel like a forcibly merged pair of festivals. Grateful Dead flags and totems are just as easy to spot at campsites as Bassnectar T-shirts. Yet instead of homing in on a particular music fan, organizers have leaned into the dissonance, thus widening the tent for more onesie-clad weirdos.
“Onesie-clad weirdos” indeed, as costumes, totems, kigurumi, and glitter abounded on the grounds. Check out pictures of the scene,and the music, in the gallery above.