One of Florida’s most diverse music festivals will not be returning in 2019. Based on the accounts of multiple ex-employees, Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival’s parent company Soundslinger LLC has closed its business and laid off all employees. The company has been closed since Labor Day, however all employees have been paid through the end of the year. This is following multiple red flags about the festival including no announcements and no tickets.
The festival typically occurred at the beginning of March and hosted a wide variety of musicians from several genres including indie, hip-hop, jazz, reggae, EDM, gospel, rock, and alternative. Previously artists such as Bassnectar, Halsey, Travis Scott, Sofi Tukker, and Solange have performed at the four-day festival. But what made the festival stand out from its counterparts was its horde of activities that consisted of yoga workshops, meditations sessions, a swimming zone, tea ceremonies, and even skit performances. Almost any activity you could ask for was present on Okeechobee’s expansive festival grounds.
This isn’t the first time Okeechobee has experienced rumors of being cancelled. Back in 2016, its founders Steve Sybesma and Paul Peck both resigned from the company due to apparent “philosophical differences.”
In a tweet by Festival Owl, Several artist management and publicity outlets have been sent emails saying that the “Festival is on hold for 2019. Not 100% coming back.” Rumors stating the event never made any money further support Okeechobee’s cancellation. You can see the full thread below as we await an official Okeechobee response.
Update #3: Told it IS possible someone takes over the rights to Okee and produces the event once more. Again, this is coming from multiple angles so hold tight. pic.twitter.com/ReZ05IJNh7
— Festive Owl (@TheFestiveOwl) September 13, 2018