Preparation will make Bonnaroo more enjoyable
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 00:06
For those lucky enough to be able to make the trip to Manchester, Tenn., this weekend for the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, here is a short guide for all your festival needs.
With headliners such as Radiohead, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish, this year’s Bonnaroo doesn’t seem like it will be a disappointment. But even with an incredible line-up, having a safe and fun time is mostly up to you.
There are preparations that must be taken before entering the festival grounds and items that must be with you to ensure a safe and memorable Bonnaroo experience.
For one, Tennessee is hot and humid this time of year, so you will need to bring plenty of water and ice. It would be a travesty for the weekend to turn sour after becoming dehydrated; heat stroke can happen to anyone.
Make sure you have a couple of flash lights and plenty of batteries. A late-night search for your campsite is difficult when you can’t see.
While there are plenty of venders who have delicious food available for purchase, buying food there will be expensive. It may be a better idea to bring your food with you as well as a small propane camping grill. There is no reason to pay $10 to eat bacon and eggs in the morning.
It’s also a good idea to fill your gas tank up before entering the festival. You will thank yourself when the heat is almost unbearable and you are sitting in the comfort of an air conditioned car, taking a break from it all – unless your vehicle doesn’t have air conditioning, in which case I suggest you make a friend who does.
With a guest list of roughly 80,000 people, it is easy to get lost in the sea of tents within the area. It’s a good idea to hang a flag or an easily visible marker for you to see in the distance. There is nothing more frustrating than losing your campsite.
The festival is huge and there will most likely be scheduling conflicts with artists you wish to see. Don’t overexert yourself; accept the notion that you may not get to see everything. Make a personal itinerary for the weekend so you can prioritize which artists and events you want to see the most.
Music festivals get a bad rap for being an illicit drug haven, and Bonnaroo isn’t much different. While the festival discourages all drug use, the organizers acknowledge its presence. Do your best to stay away from drugs and alcohol during the event. If you happen to notice someone who is over-exhausted (whether it is due to drug use or the heat), contact someone at the medical tent immediately. The Bonnaroo medical tent has a "no questions asked" policy, so you will have no reason to avoid getting the required help.
For those who have never been to a summer festival before, it will be a learning experience. There will be mistakes made and items forgotten, but always remember them for next year. Make a list of everything you wish to bring such as sunscreen, a toothbrush and plenty of extra clothes.
Have fun, and be safe.