The inaugural Okeechobee Music Festival took place this weekend, featuring standout acts from Kendrick Lamar, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Robert Plant, Odesza, Hall & Oates, and so many more. Throughout the four day event, festival goers could be seen going from the campsite to the stages in droves. However, many were also able to find ‘entertainment’ elsewhere – like the pop-up Sheriff’s office on-site.
Many campers, like Val Camarillo, David Wilson, and Missy Salomon, who found themselves camped out next to the makeshift offices, were enthralled by the bevy of attendees the officers kept bringing back. Camarillo recounted some of the sights over the weekend, including, but not limited to, “a young woman who was so hysterical, she only calmed down after deputies allowed her to have a cigarette. There was another group of people who were rounded up by deputies after the drug dog started barking. And then there was the guy who hid cocaine in a container of peanut butter.”
As of Friday afternoon, the second day of the festival, 36 arrests had been recorded.
However, not everyone was so quick to find humor in the situation. Theresa Cooper was a few tents down and complained that the K9 units were barking at all times – at all times.
“This was not where we wanted to camp at night,” she said.
Overall, the festival seems to have been a success – typical complaints included traffic getting out and the like, so nothing out of the ordinary. For an inaugural festival of its size, we’d say it did pretty well for itself. However, policing festival campsites with drug dogs and actual deputies is far from the norm in the festival circuit. Dreamville at TomorrowWorld, for example, played host to a handful of outsourced security guards and paramedics. In comparison, the presence of actual police and drug dogs seems excessive and invasive, to say the least.
via South Florida