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Bonnaroo - who's got insight?


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So I've never been but obviously know what it's all about. I've been tapped to write a piece or two to drum up support in the Canadian press and need some quotes from folks. I guess the angle I'm going with is It's Worth The Drive to Manchester- so anybody who's been more than one year and made the trek I'd love to hear from. Anybody got insights?

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I went the first two years, but I'm not going this year.

To me, it's a whole operation. Just scheduling everything properly, bringing the right supplies, waiting in the 16 hour line to get in and out, it takes persistence.

The late night music is definitly the bread and butter. It's the only thing going on, everyone is in total party mode and the band's respond accordingly. The days are hot as hell, mostly spent wondering or backstage for me both years. Saw chunks of bands, but very few full sets. It's a good play to taste test alot of different styles and types of music.

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I have attended the first two bonnaroo's and will be going again this year as well. It has definitely been the musical highlights of my last two summers and I am anticipating that this year will be no different.

In the first year I saw seventeen different groups. Of those shows eleven were complete sets. I also witnessed seven groups for the first time during the first festival.

When the second year bonnaroo rolled around I knew what I was getting into and was more efficient in my music watching. In year two I saw twenty-one different groups. This time I saw twelve complete shows. And five first timers.

This year I should see at least seventeen to twenty bands with at least two to five first timers. I am going to push the envelope of past years and try and see thirteen to fifteen complete sets.

Each year I've waited twelve and fifteen hour respectively to get into the venue, but it is well worth the wait. Looking at this year alone to pay to see Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews & Friends, The Dead, and Trey Anastasio Band you would be paying more than the cost of admission to bonnaroo. At the festival I can see these four bands plus another twelve to sixteen acts.

Not to even think of the possible interplay between the artists. In the first year the great Steve Winwood came out to perform with the String Cheese Incident and Widespread Panic. In the second year Dr. John who's album back in the seventies is where bonnaroo got it's name was apart of the superjam. Also John Popper showed up as well. These are just artists that were not on either of the festivals bills. Artists like DJ Logic, Les Clapool, and especially Warren Haynes perform with acts through out the weekend.

I'm definitly rambling now but in my opinion you can not beat bonnaroo for how well it is organized and the quality of artists on the stage, period. If you don't like crowds or waiting in lines don't go, but if that doesn't bother you and you are into even just a few of the bands on the bill find some cash and put it on your credit card and buy a ticket.

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I went to the first two, and I 'll be heading to the fine town of Manchester again this June.

It's like a Star Trek convention for music fans.

Some people even dress up.

I saw a tonne of music both years and had an amazing time. I know people though who barely saw any music and are going again for the sense of being around folks who "get it".

I also know one guy who spent the weekend dealing with some mushrooms while half-conscious in the film festival tent for a whole weekend who says he had a good time---I don't think he remembers though.

It's a great place to go to remember, or realize, that the world is actually full of real people who are into real music despite what the recordng industry would like for us to believe.


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