If music is your mistress, don't stray too far from Miami this week. You can camp out at the new Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, or chase an alligator show with a Willie Nelson performance. Or, if your vibe is more musical accompaniment, check out the onscreen stories of the Miami International Film Festival.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
March 4–6 | Music festival
Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival
The inaugural Okeechobee Festival has already hit some milestones. First, there’s the lineup of Mumford and Sons, Kendrick Lamar, and Skrillex, amongst other big names. Then there’s the title of Florida’s largest camping event on record. Okeechobee is the newest endeavor of the creative masterminds behind Bonnaroo, so expect that large-scale festival feel to persist, though the execution is brand new. The coolest new idea is the Okeechobee PoWoW!, which is gunning to make history by pairing up renowned musicians from different genres (think Miguel and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, or a band comprised of John Oates and The Meter’s George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste). The result will be a series of once-in-a-lifetime collaborative performances guaranteed to wow your inner music geek.
Festival gates open at 12 p.m. on March 3 | Sunshine Grove, 12517 NE 91st Ave., Okeechobee | From $260 | website
March 4–13 | Film festival
Miami International Film Festival
The Miami International Film Festival does not take its title lightly. This isn’t a film fest boasting of international features with only a handful of movies to back it up. Expect plots ranging from a fast-paced comedy from Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia in Mi Gran Noche to a look inside the true story of a Punjabi gangster in Canada from Indian director Deepa Mehta in Beeba Boys. There are plenty of local voices too, of course. Don’t miss them at I’ve Never Not Been From Miami, a series of short films by Miami and South Florida filmmakers.
Times & locations vary | From $13 | website
March 5 | Concert
Gator Jam featuring Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is the main act at this weekend’s Gator Jam hosted by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. Come early and check out the surrounding village, where you can learn the Miccosukee tribe’s way of life though tribal artifacts, old photographs, unique clothing, and special tools at the Miccosukee Indian Museum. Or, catch an alligator demonstration—in which a tribesman performs ancient rituals in a pit full of gators. Then settle in for a warm night of music from Nelson and his opening act, Los Lonely Boys, plus a host of food and drink vendors.
6 p.m. | Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, 500 SW 177th Ave., Miami | From $50 | website
March 5–6 | Escape the city
There’s no better time than right now to go camping in South Florida, and there’s no shortage of campgrounds to explore. Pack your tent (sorry glampers, RVs or trailers are prohibited) and set out for Peace River. Once there, hop in a canoe, hunt for fossils on the campground, or chill out on the shore. Any way you slice it, you’re in for a relaxing weekend surrounded by nature. You can (and trust us, you should) pitch your temporary home right at the edge of the river, then enjoy an unplugged weekend of BBQ, board games, and fireside stories.
Peace River Campground, 2998 NW Highway 70, Arcadia | (863) 494-9693 | From $15 | website
Now open | Restaurant
Plant Food + Wine
This new Wynwood eatery is the second outpost of chef Matthew Kenney’s raw vegan concept restaurant (the first, perhaps unsurprisingly, is on the very cool, very hipster Abbott Kinney Boulevard in L.A.’s Venice neighborhood). Menu highlights include green gazpacho, kimchi dumplings, and tropical fruit desserts like a mango parfait and a strawberry hibiscus cheesecake. Next door, Matthew Kenney Culinary Miami will teach students from around the world the art of cooking raw and vegan, from the fundamentals of raw cuisine to culinary nutrition.
105 NW 24th St., Miami | (305) 814-5365 | website
Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and the blogger behind Miami Nice. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.
© 2016 AFAR Media