You already know the headliners. Mumford & Sons, Robert Plant, Kendrick Lamar, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Odesza, Hall & Oates, the Avett Brothers, Future, Miguel... We could go on listing the impeccable top-of-the-bill lineup at this year's inaugural Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, officially opening its gates this March 3 at noon.
But what about the dozens of other acts comprising the eclectic, multigenre lineup featuring bands and DJs from around the world? Carefully curated by Bonaroo veteran Paul Peck and his team of industry masterminds, Okeechobee Fest will feature three stages and four days' worth of incredible music across virtually all genres. And since we know it's physically impossible to make it to every one, we've picked out ten of our favorite lesser-known acts to make choosing your days' adventures a bit simpler.
Here are the top ten acts you should know about at Okeechobee Fest 2016:
10. Cameo Culture
Brooklyn-based Cameo Culture emerged early last year from his previous "Soho808" moniker as the latest Wolf+Lamb label associate to bring his particular brand of slinky, jazz-influenced beats to a chilled-out living-room hangout or steamy dance floor near you. A classically trained jazz pianist and professional mixing engineer with styles that range from disco to ambient sounds, Cameo Culture describes his latest project as "an outlet for me to take analog synthesizers and drum machines and write music people can dance to." He released his Burning Bright full-length last year and has since gained a steady following touring the world, putting out mixtapes, and dropping funky new EPs and edits along the way.
9. Damian Lazarus
Fans of underground, deep-house sounds will already be familiar with Crosstown Rebels label owner Damian Lazarus, who has has played in jungles, on the Galápagos Islands, in an igloo, and in deserts around the world. A sort of mythological renaissance man of dance music who currently lives on a farm in Italy, Lazarus has strong Miami ties and has brought his legendary Get Lost parties to sweaty WMC ravers year after year. Last May, he dropped his latest album, Messages From the Other Side, which he described as "the culmination of my life and... the record I always wanted to make," in an interview with our sister paper, Miami New Times. After dropping a dark and dreamy set at Wynwood's III Points Music Festival this past October, Lazarus will bring his signature tribal, Burning Man vibes to headline the dusk-till-dawn Jungle 51 stage.
8. White Denim
Austin's White Denim has been churning out its dub, psychedelic, and blues-infused garage-rock tunes since 2006, garnering acclaim from indie darlings like Pitchfork and SXSW ever since. With a new album, Stiff, set to drop this spring, White Denim recently shared two tracks from its jammy nine-track followup to 2013's Corsicana Lemonade. Premiered via Nerdist earlier this week,"Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" is an uplifting, feel-good funk tune chock-full of groovy breakdowns sure to get you into the festival spirit at Okeechobee.
7. Michael Christmas
Michael Christmas is the 21-year-old Boston rapper whose awkwardly smooth "Michael Cera" track and accompanying video clip garnered national attention in 2013, when he first dropped his Is This Art? mixtape. This past October, Christmas celebrated the release of his first official full-length, the super-chill, West Coast-flavored 18-track What a Weird Day, with features from Mac Miller, Logic, and D.R.A.M. A self-professed outcast, Christmas told Noisey in a recent interview his latest album is "me saying that this weird kid, who walked around this city invisible for 20 years of his life, is now being seen everywhere.” And you'll want to keep an eye out for what's next — lately, he's been caught hanging with everyone from A-Trak to Chance the Rapper.
6. Dr. Dog Dr. Dog first came together in 1999 after leads Toby Leaman (bass guitar) and Scott McMicken (lead guitar) met in the eighth grade, though it wasn't until 2004, when My Morning Jacket invited them to join on two of their tours, that they really found a following. While their early sound drew heavy influence from '60s rock classics like the Beatles and Beach Boys as well as the lo-fi indie sensibility of the '90s, their current sound is a refreshing and eclectic blend of neopsychedelia, baroque pop, and indie folk that evokes an airy timelessness as well as their small hometown of West Grove, Pennsylvania.
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE...
Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.