This year’s Bonnaroo is going to be something special, I can feel it in my bones. With a line-up of unprecedented caliber, a bevvy of food trucks and microbrews and a sold out festival – all the ingredients are in the mix for something epic.
But, before we jump into the madness in Manchester – lets visit a quicklist of ten DOs and DONTS of Bonnaroo X.
First the DOs:
1. Remember to bring sunscreen and remember to re-apply frequently. Its like frying bacon out there in the open summer sun of Tennessee.
2. Free your mind…and the rest will follow. Not to bite on some old En Vogue lyrics, but seriously, Bonnaroo is a festival to grow your musical horizons and take in something new. The line-up this year is spectacular – boasting heavy hitters from many subgenres as well as up and comers. Do your best to see at least one new act because that is part of what festival culture is all about – discovery!
3. Tweet @bonnaroo. Its always more fun to get the community involved and you may make some new twiends.
4. Sample the culinary delights and libations. Bonnaroo and Superfly really went all out on whats necessary to please not just the ears, but also the palate. Kerry Black (Bonnaroo co-founder) pulled out the big guns This year brings the FOOD TRUCK OASIS and the BROO-ER’s FESTIVAL. Attemdees should get a handsome serving of regional fare from great food trucks like Miami’s gastroPod, Pot Kettle Black from South Carolina and Petro’s Chili and Chips from Knoxville, Tennessee. The brew portion boasts at least 21 microbrews including popular Blue Moon, Sierra Nevada and Abita, as well lesser known purveyors of ale like Brooklyn Brewery, Sweetwater Brewing Company, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company, Highland Brewing Company and more!
5. Drink lots of water. The sticky heat can leach a lot of it out of you and you don’t want to get dehydrated.
6. Leave your mark, but not a footprint. Make your presence known and tag the walls bordering Bonnaroo with your cool designs…but clean up after yourself if you do.
7. Check out the comedy. The line-up is pretty stacked this year – with a live version of The League being a real highlight. Not only will you get to laugh in the comedy tent – but you can cool down too. Its one of the spots with air conditioning on site.
8. Do visit shakedown street. It is part of the culture and the vibe. Even if you could avoid it because you’re VIP – its still worth checking out if you want the full ‘Roo experience.
9. Stay until the end. In year 10, you never know what might happen on the final night.
10. Last, but certainly not least, do attend the SUPERJAM with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Dr. John. The blues, rock and funk that will emanate from this session is certainly going to be great and will likely feature a host of great musicians!
On to the DON’Ts:
1. Don’t be irresponsible. Consume what you consume – but do it safely.
2. Don’t forget your belongings. Remember what you’re bringing with you. Despite people feeling the love at festivals, my experience is a lost item is a lost item. That said, Bonnaroo does have a lost and found.
3. Don’t fall asleep in the sun. Find some shade – there is plenty of it around and waking up to a wicked sunburn is not a good recipe for comfort.
4. Don’t get dehydrated. This goes along with the DOs of drinking water – but seriously. Dehydration will drain you, make you sluggish and might result in you missing that late night set you were pining for…
5. Don’t miss the SUPERJAM. 7:00 pm on Sunday in That Tent.
6. Don’t bring glass of any kind. If its not for your optics then the glasses aren’t allowed. Buy a cube of pseudo-water instead if you like ale (they have microwbrews on site) and put your alcohol in a listerine bottle if you like the hard stuff.
7. Don’t miss Jovanotti. This guy is legendary overseas, but is getting his shine midday on Saturday at The Other Tent at 3:45 pm. I was the DJ at his sold out show at The Viper Room last summer and the Italian crooned an amazing cover of Snoop. You won’t be disappointed.
8. Don’t forget to be courteous to the volunteers and staff – they do make this whole weekend possible.
9. Don’t forget to pick a meeting spot for you and your crew. There is a strong likelihood of getting lost, draining your cell battery and/or having different interests in music than the rest of your entourage so make sure you pick a convenient location to reconvene.
10. Don’t let the weather get you down. With potential thunderstorms looming and certain humidity, there is no doubt that weather conditions could be more ideal. But, it is a festival and part of the unpredictability and the potential for bad weather is what gives the event such unique energy. A torrential downpour could lead to the most epic rock set of all time – so don’t let the weather take its toll on your spirit.
and, of course don’t forget to enjoy yourself! See you in Tennessee!