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How the Okeechobee Music Festival is transforming Florida's live music landscape

Kendrick Lamar is among the headliners for the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, March 3-6 in Okeechobee.

Kendrick Lamar is among the headliners for the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, March 3-6 in Okeechobee.

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Starting March 3, the inaugural Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival will take flight about 2 1/2 hours southeast of Tampa.

It's an ambitious and well-funded experiment that aspires to become Florida’s version of Coachella, Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. Sunshine State music lovers have heard all this before. Other new festivals have promised much the same thing, only to fizzle out quickly.

But with a stable of resourceful organizers, an A-list lineup (Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar, Robert Plant, Skrillex) and a one-of-a-kind setting — white-tailed deer and all — Okeechobee could, at long last, be the real deal.

Already, Okeechobee’s impact has been felt around the state. Billboards for the festival have long greeted commuters on Interstate 275 in Tampa, with ads and contests targeting Tampa Bay music fans as well. There’s also evidence to suggest Okeechobee has sucked some live music out of Tampa Bay by precluding its performers from booking other gigs around Florida.

“We’re going to have what I think is the best music venue in the country,” said co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Paul Peck, “and it’s going to be here in Florida.”

For our full story on the Okeechobee Music Festival, click here.

[Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 12:13pm]

    

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