Bonnaroo 2016: my first music festival! 4 days of incredible music, food, camping, and fun. 6 of us rented a van and did a road trip down to Nashville (mainly because we had so much stuff to bring for camping, and most was disposable in the end), and then all flew home. Here are some pro’s and con’s of the Bonnaroo experience:
- The music! Bonnaroo usually has an awesome line-up, and so many cool artists performing that you’re always having a good time. I loved hearing artists that I didn’t know of as well too. Usually when I don’t know songs at concerts, its kind of just like, ugh. But at Bonnaroo the grounds are so big that you can just lay a blanket down a little further back, sit back, snack, and enjoy life.
- The beer tent: beer tasting in the middle of Bonnaroo? Yes please. Many breweries bring a couple of their favorite picks; you get a tasting glass, buy tickets, and then get to try which ever you want. Its bliss.
- The festival grounds itself (not the camp grounds) have huge, clean, bathrooms.
- Food: so many local vendors bring a variety of foods! You can have corndogs, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, chicken kabobs, salads, mac and cheese, strips of bacon in a cone (at baconland :)), alligator, gumbo, Chinese noodles, ice cream, and more. Food venders are located all around the camp grounds as well.
- Camping: I love camping! So this to me was a “pro” and a staple to the whole Bonnaroo experience. There a bunch of blogs and websites out there that tell you what to bring, do, and what not to bring on this trip. I highly recommend doing the research before venturing to Bonnaroo. If you don’t like the idea of not showering, don’t fret, you can buy a shower! They are pretty clean, good water pressure, and located all around the camp grounds. I lasted three days and then had to buy one- it felt amazing.
- Activities: waterslides, ferris wheel, the mushroom shower, yoga in the morning, tents where you can watch movies, local vendors (shopping!), and more!
- The overall vibe: chill, inviting, happy, free. Bonnaroo is a place where everyone is there for a good time, and you come as you are. If you want to paint your whole body and glue feathers to yourself, while carrying around a ten foot pole with christmas lights and a dinosaur head at the top… seriously, no one will blink twice.
- Heat: the worst thing, in my opinion, was heat exhaustion. STAY HYDRATED! I get dehydrated very quickly, and the beer definitely didn’t help. There were times where I couldn’t enjoy an artist because I was so tired and hot. We didn’t pull any all nighters and do any of the night raves because we were so. pooped. But many did, and hats off to them! Also, you won’t be able to sleep in because the HEAT will wake you up every morning and you’ll be clawing to get out of your stuffy tent.
- Road-trip: ok, so this is a personal one. My friends LOVED the trip down. We had a good time, the music was awesome, played games, etc. But if you know me, you know that I am not, in any way, a road trip gal. No bueno.
- Port-a-potty: oh god, disgusting. There are many around the gigantic camp grounds and if you’re unfortunate to be placed next to them for camping, I am so sorry. We got a little lucky – we were close, but far enough away that we couldn’t smell them. I tried to use the bathroom in the festival grounds as much as I could.
Fried alligator bites. Amazing.
Nashville: A few of us stayed an extra day to check out Nashville! We got to try Hattie B’s famous hot chicken (a Nashville staple – it was incredible), go out to Honky Tonk Central and check out live country music at some amazing bars, and go to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Whenever I heard a band play “Wagon Wheel”, I lost my marbles. Nashville is beautiful, charming, and super clean.