I arrived at Okeechobee Music Festival with zero expectations. As it was my first-ever camping music festival, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. But as soon as my SUV rolled past security (phew!) I “entered the portal” to an entirely different land. It had seemed as if all the hippie dippie freaks of the world had flocked to Sunshine Grove for three days of music, camaraderie and questionable drug usage.
Now, I’m not one to judge, and I’m sure someone saw me getting pretty weird during Odesza’s set on Sunday night, but some of the acts I witnessed ranged from hilarious to downright bizarre. Here’s what I saw, and what I saw was good.
1. Free Massages- Yes I was skeptical and no I did not get one.
2. #Skrillary2016- If you’ve never been to a music festival, people carry around tall objects, called totems, to stand out among the crowd. Though they were all creative in their own right, one stood out, as it was a Photoshopped image of Hillary Clinton x Skrillex. Not to get political, but this totem would have my vote.
3. Boobies!- What do you get when you combine warm Florida sunshine with free-spirited gals? Let’s just say the nipple was freed.
4. Ditch Sleepers- Maybe they couldn’t make it back to their campsite or they just wanted to be one with nature. Either way, these party people got real dirty, real fast in the swampy ditch water that lined the road to the main stages.
5. Lollipops That I Thought Contained Drugs But Were Really Just Lollipops- My mom taught me to never take candy from strangers, so when a fairy princess tried to pass me a Blow Pop, I was more than skeptical. Turns out it was harmless candy and that some people are just really nice.
6. Some Guy Laying In The Middle Of A Crowd, Staring At His Light Up Gloves- As I watched this college-aged kid rolling on the ground, flailing his limbs in the middle of the audience at Skrillex, the term “rolling face” came to mind. Whether the man was on drugs is not up to me to decide, but he sure was entranced by the lights on his gloved fingertips. And I sure was rubbing my shin from where his rouge leg accidentally caught me.
7. MOM?!- Nope, just one of the few middle-aged, fanny pack-clad ravers who happened to look like me. Phew.
8. Some Dude Silly Stringing His Own Car- Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
9. A woman in a kimono serving hot tea– This one threw me for a loop because as soon as I drank from that tiny cup, I realized the very real possibility that the “special herb blend” could mean a lot more than chamomile. However, one hour and a few panic attacks later and I was still sober as a gopher.
10. A Group Of 30,000 People Coming Together For A Weekend Of Enchantment. Like I said before, I started out as a festival virgin, but after surrendering to the flow of good vibes and great music, I get it. I get why people trek to Bonnaroo or spend all their savings on Firefly. The goodwill and good vibes overflowing at Okeechobee Music Festival brought everyone together to celebrate the happy and bizarre marvel that is human nature.
Lexi Williams is a senior majoring in journalism. As the Executive Editor of Distraction, she spends most of her time sniffing out new stories, crying about copy edits and drinking copious amounts of caffeine or wine (depending on whether we’re on deadline). She has big dreams of taking the editorial world by storm, but for now, you can find her on Instagram straight flexin’ (@lexi_foxie).