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Bonnaroo 11'

Michigan Planner

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I went to Bonnaroo every year from 2003 through 2007 (and Coachella in 2004 through 2008 and Lollapolloza in 2005, 2006, and 2007) and it was always a blast. The weather can make or break you though - if it's too hot or too humid it just kills you and you are dead tired by the time the good nighttime sets get going. One trick I learned was to bring a camp shower (or even a few gallon jugs of water) to use to really thoroughly wash off in the middle of the day to help keep you refreshed and awake.

Of all the big festivals I've been to Lollapolloza was always the best run, Bonnaroo had the best atmosphere, and Coachella was the best mixture of value/atmosphere/party/organization/convenience (I have still never made it to ACL though or Sasquatch and I'd like to try both of them).

This year Bonnaroo looks to have one of their better lineups of the last few years and if I didn't have a new daughter at home, I'd be planning on going again.
 

Pinhas

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Originally Posted by Michigan Planner
I went to Bonnaroo every year from 2003 through 2007 (and Coachella in 2004 through 2008 and Lollapolloza in 2005, 2006, and 2007) and it was always a blast. The weather can make or break you though - if it's too hot or too humid it just kills you and you are dead tired by the time the good nighttime sets get going. One trick I learned was to bring a camp shower (or even a few gallon jugs of water) to use to really thoroughly wash off in the middle of the day to help keep you refreshed and awake.

Of all the big festivals I've been to Lollapolloza was always the best run, Bonnaroo had the best atmosphere, and Coachella was the best mixture of value/atmosphere/party/organization/convenience (I have still never made it to ACL though or Sasquatch and I'd like to try both of them).

This year Bonnaroo looks to have one of their better lineups of the last few years and if I didn't have a new daughter at home, I'd be planning on going again.


What other good tips can you share with a new goer? Anything specific I should bring with me?

Also, how is security there? Do they search every car and person or just look inside the vehicle?
 

Michigan Planner

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Originally Posted by Pinhas
What other good tips can you share with a new goer? Anything specific I should bring with me? Also, how is security there? Do they search every car and person or just look inside the vehicle?
Note, I haven't been there in a few years, so if things have changed significantly, I don't know about it but... Regarding searching cars, they never really made a big deal about it before but I imagine a lot of it depends on who searches you. I also never looked like a dirty hippie and wasn't driving a 30-year-old Vanagon packed to the gills with camping gear left over from the last Dead tour. I was however able to sneak in a case or two of bottled beer hidden in various portions of my gear (glass bottles are generally forbidden). They never searched the people in the vehicles when they were entering the grounds. Entering from the campgrounds to the festival security is a little more tight and seemed to tighten each year. The first few years I was always able to sneak in my large SLR camera and multiple lenses and a bottle of beer or two but not the last few years. Other tips I have:
  • Even though I speak of beer, my last few years, I stopped bringing any to camp. The alcohol combined with the heat and humidity just tired me out too much. I much prefered water or little things of juice.
  • If you want a good camp spot, arrive as EARLY AS POSSIBLE on the first day that the campgrounds open and arrive from the south. If you are coming on I-24 from the North, take it past the venue for a few miles and then turn around and come back. I don't know why this works, but it always helped me get a spot in tent city less than a 3 minute walk to the gates. The one year I entered from the North, I was camping about a 20 or 25 minute walk away even though I arrived relatively early.
  • Make friends with the people camping right near you because they will look out to make sure strangers are not messing with your stuff (unless you have crappy neighbors) because stuff will get stolen (even sometimes while you're sleeping right next to it).
  • This is not a StyleForum meetup. Do not wear clothes that you care about getting dirty, sweaty, or muddy. Cargo shorts and loose fitting shirts rule the day because comfort is key. As for shoes, wear something comfortable. I always went with a good sturdy pair of hiking or trail shoes and good socks. And take extra socks to change often during the day when it's really sweaty or dusty.
  • If you make a schedule of which acts you MUST see once the set times are released, only plan to actually accomplish about 75% of it.
  • If there is an act that you want to be right up front for, get to that stage at least two sets beforehand. If it's one of the headliners, get there first thing in the morning. In all honesty though, even if you are halfway back from the stage the view is still pretty good (regardless of whether it's the big stages or one of the tents).
  • The years that I had the best times were the years I went by myself because I didn't have to worry about anybody else's schedules or where they were or what they wanted to do.
  • Pack light. The best years were my last two when I went alone (I also went alone my first two) and packed nothing but a few changes of clothes, my iPod, a sleeping bag, camp shower, folding chair, cooler with juice/water, and a few snacks. When I arrived it took me about 2 minutes to be set up and about the same amount of time when I wanted to leave. I got all my meals from the trucks inside the venue.
Don't forget small things like a flashlight, hat with a brim all around, sunglasses, sunscreen, a few cheap disposable ponchos, plastic bags for garbage, possibly a set of swimming trunks in case it's absolutely pouring down rain (you'll dry a bit quicker). Lastly, pace yourself! Don't overdue it early in the day and not be able to stay awake for the good late-night stuff! Try to squeeze your way into the air conditioned movie tent if you can in the middle of the day and take a nap!
 

Pinhas

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Thanks for the tips MP; these are great.

Now that tix are purchased need to rent a car big enough for 4 guys and our equipment, and we are good to go.
 

Pinhas

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Its Roo time. Heading to TN tomorrow for my first major music festival.

Anyone else going?
 

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Pinhas

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Sheeeeeeit its hot at Bonnaroo! Had an awesome time but damn I wish I brought more shade tents.

Its one of those experiences where you look back and smile realizing how much fun it was, but while there I wanted to kill someone so that they will take me to an air conditioned cell.

Eminem was awesome, Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, Basenectar, STS9 and Ratatat made the party happen at night and My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, Black Keys and Florence had great performances as well. (wish F+M wasnt so early; 5pm is still a killer)

Will probably go back but much more prepared; RV rental is probably the way to go if you can get enough people.
 

Ole War Skule

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Hangout Fest>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Bonnaroo
 

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