Music festival is sold out; stores see surge in sales of camping supplies

OKEECHOBEE — The first Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival attracted a sold-out crowd of 30,000 fans to enjoy music, nature and art at the 800-plus acre Sunshine Grove in rural Northeastern Okeechobee County, March 3-6. Fans were eager to see festival headliners Mumford & Sons, Robert Plant, Kendrick Lamar, Bassnectar, Hall & Oates and more.

Okeechobee Music Festival campers were busy shopping in local stores Thursday and Friday for items they forgot, or just didn’t have room in their vehicles to bring with them.

By early Thursday morning, the Walmart parking lot started filling up with festival fans. Some used the big parking lot as a meeting spot for friends who were also headed to the festival. In order to secure camping spots next to each other, they had to check in to the festival campground together.

When local stores sold out of sleeping bags, the campers started buying air mattresses, pillows and blankets.

Sales of ice, snacks, sodas and beer were also brisk at area stores over the weekend.

Campers poured into Okeechobee County, coming from as far away as South Carolina, Virginia and Kansas. Most interviewed said they had never even heard of Okeechobee before the music festival was announced last year.

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