Area non-profits participate in music fest

OKEECHOBEE — Fans attending the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (OMF) March 1-4 will no doubt have lots of fun seeing performances by Arcade Fire, Bassnectar, Halsey, Snoop Dogg, The Flaming Lips and more than 100 other acts. But they’ll also be doing lots of good.

Thanks to the efforts of HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit group that registers voters at live music events, OMF will feature a “Participation Row” social-action village again. At last year’s Participation Row, fans took more than 5,000 positive actions and helped raise $10,800 for participating organizations through a custom memorabilia auction.

At Participation Row, fans exploring the grounds will have a chance to register to vote with HeadCount in the lead-up to the 2018 elections. They’ll also interact with organizations from Okeechobee County who focus on issues such as health care, domestic abuse and feeding the hungry.

Participation Row is an integral part of the unique community vibe that is found in every corner of OMF.

The first thousand fans to complete actions with any four non-profit organizations will receive a limited-edition, numbered pin featuring the OMF portal logo and the word “VOTE.”

Last year, fans were so excited to get pins on Participation Row that lines of eager festival goers formed at the gates of the Participation Row area as it opened.

Each fan will also be entered into a free drawing for a D’Angelico guitar signed by the festival’s headliners.

Moreover, a second signed guitar will be auctioned in the VIP sanctuary lounge, with the proceeds split among all the non-profit organizations on Participation Row.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with HeadCount as it allows us to bring back our local non-profit partners to Participation Row,” said Kevin Collinsworth, Soundslinger’s CEO.

“We love the opportunity to connect our attendees with the causes we care about and that affect our local community.”

Okeechobee is a special place for New York based HeadCount, which registered more than 1,000 voters at the inaugural OMF in March 2016 and helped another 1,778 young Americans register or sign up for local election alerts last year.

Out of the dozens of festivals at which HeadCount hosts voter registration drives (more than 100 over the last two years), OMF consistently ranks in the top five for most engagements.

OMF starts as the unofficial kick-off of festival season and HeadCount’s 2018 voter registration campaign.

“OMF really stands out among all the music festivals we work with,” said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s Executive Director. “The crowd is just really eager and positive, and many are just turning voting age.”

Participation Row will be located in the ChobeeWobee Village area at the festival, alongside various art installations and craft exhibitions. The featured organizations will include:

• Archbold Biological Station;
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River & Okeechobee Counties;
• Helping People Succeed;
• Hibiscus Children’s Center;
• Home Builders Institute;
• Humane Society of the Treasure Coast;
• Martha’s House;
• Okeechobee Fraternal Order of Police;
• Okeechobee Substance Abuse Coalition;
• The Warrior Center;
• Treasure Coast Food Bank; and,
• HeadCount.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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