I am still trying to figure out how one can "recap" an event like Bonnaroo. Actually, in many ways, I am still trying to figure out exactly what happened to me. Bonnaroo is an experience like none other. It feels like a four day marathon and each day you run a new 26.2 in the dreadful Tennessee heat in the middle of June. But instead of running with your ipod in you get to experience live, wonderful, new, different, music. It is exhilarating. It is tiring. At many times, especially at 4 in the morning dancing at the Girl Talk concert, I felt very close to death by exhaustion coupled by the fact that my feet felt like they were on fire. But, it was still downright awesome.
Just in case you are looking for some clues as if you would enjoy a festival such as Bonnaroo, let me give you the following tips. 1. VOLUNTEER! This is probably the best decision you could ever make. First, you get to come early, set up your camp site early, and you get a spot that is much closer, bigger, and away from the massive crowds of the general admission folks. You get three free meals. FREE SHOWERS. Yes, I will say it again. FREE SHOWERS. (of course, I only took one because the lines were so long, but if you care more than me about cleanliness you could wait in the lines more often). You get an awesome T-shirt (I like T-shirts as it is one of the reasons I run so many races). There is a volunteer bbq the first night which is yummy and fun. You also get to enter Centerroo without waiting in the large general admission line which I think is a reason all in itself to volunteer. The drawbacks are that you might miss some of your shows, but I was able to tell my volunteer coordinator where I wanted to be stationed so I actually got to see and hear every one I wanted.
Here are my other final tips:
2. Drink water constantly & bring your own water for the camp site as the water there tastes like eggs and if you are like me, you probably will not be able to stomach it. But the water in the main area is fine.
3. Apply endless amounts of sun screen if you are Casper like me
4. Wear comfortable shoes
5. Bring toilet paper everywhere if you can't "drip dry"
6. Be patient (long lines)
7. Take advantage of any time that you can sleep
8. Baby wipes - this was how I managed to stay somewhat clean
9. Hand sanitizer- I used two full travel bottles
10. Have fun and wish everyone a Happy Bonnaroo. Help your neighbors and friends!
So now I am going to provide a list mostly for my own personal record of the acts that I saw:
1. Freelance Whales
2. Kopecky Family Band
3. Hayes Carll
4. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
5. Ray Lamontagne
6. Ben Sollee (2x)
7. Florence and the Machine
8. Arcade Fire
9. Chancellor Warhol
10. Bobby Long
11. Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons
12. Chiddy Bang
13. Man Man
14. Portugal. The Man (briefly)
15. Wiz Khalifa
16. Mumford & Sons
17. The Black Keys
18. Buffalo Springfield (briefly)
20. The String Cheese Incident (briefly)
21. Girl Talk
22. Neon Trees
All in all an awesome experience with my bestest friend in the entire world. I definitely would do it again! I am going to post some videos from the trip in another entry later. Of course, I will also cover the epic road trip portion, which includes our stop at The Minister's Treehouse in Crossville, TN.