Bonnaroo: know before you go

Bonnaroo kicks off today. In fact, at this precise moment, music-lovers anticipating one of the best weekends of their respective summers are pitching their tents and working out which bands they’ll see tonight. I remember this feeling. I went to Bonnaroo last year and had such a blast that I got passes for this year’s festival, as well. Unable to make the trip at the last minute, I am living vicariously through festival-goers, flipping through their Facebook photos as they roll into my news feed. The photos will chronicle the fun they’ll inevitably be have. If you’re gearing up for the next few days of Bonnaroo, here’s a little run-down of things you should know before you go. This will help you to get a little more acquainted with the festival before it swings into full gear and, with any luck, it will increase the chances of you having a smooth and stress-free experience.

  • Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place every year in Manchester, Tennessee. It’s held at Great Stage Park and this year’s festival is #10 for Bonnaroo. The term ‘bonnaroo’ originated in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans a slang interpretation of the French words ‘bon’ (good) and ‘rue’ (street), which translated to “the best on the streets” in New Orleans. The term was popularized by Dr. John with his 1974 album Destively Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo has invested its resources since the beginning in sustainability and for this reason, it is one of the most Earth-friendly music festivals out there. The festival drew in roughly 75,000 fans last year, most of them having traveled to the festival.
  • Tickets. Tickets are sold out. If you don’t have a ticket, you’re not going. Start saving up for next year’s festival.
  • Alcohol. No glass containers or kegs are allowed on the premises of Bonnaroo. No outside alcohol is allowed inside of the What Stage Venue or Centeroo.
  • Grilling. Grilling is permitted, but only with small grills and camping stoves.
  • Fires. Absolutely no open fires are allowed.
  • Gas. There is no gas available on the festival grounds, so make sure you fill your tank before entering the festival.
  • Pets. No pets, none at all.
  • Re-entry. No vehicles can leave the grounds before 9pm Friday night and expect to re-enter. If you do leave Friday and expect to re-enter, then you must depart from either the East or West Tollbooth. You will only be allowed to leave and re-enter once during the festival.
  • Day parking. Those parking just for the day may only enter and depart through the West Tollbooth.
  • Leaving on foot. Patrons are permitted to leave on foot if they are scanned out by the East or West Tollbooth.
  • Wristband. Do not put it on before you get to the festival. Period.

ADVICE

  • Be neighborly! Bonnaroo is a friendly place–embrace it.
  • Schedule music-seeing carefully. You won’t be able to see everything you want to see, just know that and prepare for that.
  • Have a shade-solution. It will be difficult to find shade for certain shows, so come with a parasol or sun hat at least.
  • Bring cash and avoid ATM fees.
  • For every alcoholic beverage you consume, consume a glass of water. This is a good rule of thumb in general, but especially when you’re outside in the heat all day. Bonnaroo has seen its share of alcohol or drug-related deaths–take care of yourself.

THINGS TO BRING

  • Spare set of keys
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Plenty of sunblock, a sun hat, a sun umbrella, whatever you need to combat the sun and heat.
  • Aloe
  • Cooler with food
  • Flashlight
  • Raingear and mud boots
  • Camping gear
  • Blanket for seating
  • Bandana
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra toilet paper
  • Flag or balloon to identify camp site
  • Small luggage lock for tent
  • Earplugs
  • Camera WITHOUT detachable lens
  • Pen/Paper
  • Phosphate and sulfate free soaps
  • Ashtray for cigarette smokers

THINGS NOT TO BRING

  • Fireworks
  • Weapons
  • Illegal substances
  • Vending materials of any kind
  • Bicycles, scooters, or any other personal motorized vehicle
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Styrofoam coolers

THINGS PROVIDED

  • Drinking water
  • Medical assistance
  • Wash stations
  • Showers
  • Portable toilets with toilet paper
  • General store
  • Food, beverages, and snacks for sale
  • ATM machines

COMPLETE LINEUP
COMPLETE SCHEDULE
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS
COMMUNITY
GALLERIES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Bonnaroo 2011: Why you should go

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival