This past Saturday, January 21st, eight bands – some having traveled hundreds of miles – converged at The Beacham in downtown Orlando. The Mission: to shock and awe, demonstrating their skills as musicians. The Prize: the prestigious honor to be counted among Kings of Leon, Flume and Bassnectar at the second annual Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in Florida. Let the BATTLE BEGIN!
Each of the bands had a three song time limit to show the crowd what they are made of. As I sat in the pit watching each group make their way to the stage, I realized this wasn’t just a battle involving musical skills, but a battle of the fans, who were truly the secret weapons. The most humbling side of this event was the turnout of loyal fans for each band. As the bands recycled themselves on and off stage, the crowd seemed to recycle itself out.
Ben Choy-Yuen of Jen In The Right Light
Of all the acts and fans that duked it out at The Beacham, I have to give extra recognition to J Buzzi, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist hailing from Jenson Beach. Buzzi definitely exploded on the stage as a vocalist, dropping some sick hip-hop / trap sounds. He was the only hip-hop act to take the during stage the battle, and he definitely left his mark. Buzzi has opened for artists such as Caskey and members of Cash Money Records, and has been all over the southeast music circuit. His club-friendly, trapped out style showed why J Buzzi will be a name we shall hear in the upcoming festival season.
Jenson Beach native taking the party from the shores to the stage!
Congratulations to each of the eight bands who showed up and did their thing. It was a hard fought battle, but in the end, Gary Lazer Eyes took home the prize and will be gracing the Okeechobee stage come the first weekend of March. See you all then!
Guitar and Vocals Austin Young of Gary Laser Eyes preps for his winning performance at Destination Okeechobee’s Battle of the Bands
For more info on Destination Okeechobee visit: http://okeechobeefest.com/destination-okeechobee/
ABOUT OKEECHOBEE MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL:
Kings of Leon, Usher & The Roots, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights Live Band and countless more powerhouse headliners are set to appear at the 2017 edition of Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival on March 2nd-5th. The four-day event will feature swimming, camping, art, dance, yoga, local food, all-night music and much more. For more info and tickets visit http://okeechobeefest.com.