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Bonnaroo 2012


NewRider
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Shit balls. I went in '03 and '04, and said I likely wouldn't go back. This might be the one that changes that. It's a gonna be nice.

But for me it was '05 and '06. And my call about likely not going back had nothing to do with lack of having a great time. Its just far, and hot, and with a little man it makes it so much tougher now. But. This line-up is quite the carrot.

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So I'm looking for tips in attending this festival. How does the booze situation work? Can you drink anywhere or just in special tents? Is there a hefty search trying to get into the area where headlining acts play? How long of a walk is it from camping areas to stages?

Yeah, these questions may sound dumb but they're not covered in the FAQ so any help is greatly appreciated.

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Shit balls. I went in '03 and '04' date=' and said I likely wouldn't go back. This might be the one that changes that. It's a gonna be nice.

[/quote']

But for me it was '05 and '06. And my call about likely not going back had nothing to do with lack of having a great time. Its just far, and hot, and with a little man it makes it so much tougher now. But. This line-up is quite the carrot.

Totally. Also, the last time I went I found out that I have a severe allergy to Brazil nuts, which resulted in my spending most of an entire day in the medical tent (geekiest ever reason to be in the Bonnaroo med tent). It was a long way to go to miss a good chunk of the bands I had wanted to see.

So I'm looking for tips in attending this festival. How does the booze situation work? Can you drink anywhere or just in special tents? Is there a hefty search trying to get into the area where headlining acts play? How long of a walk is it from camping areas to stages?

Yeah, these questions may sound dumb but they're not covered in the FAQ so any help is greatly appreciated.

I haven't been since '04, so my answers might be outdated, but:

-You can drink anywhere, technically, but you are not allowed to bring you own booze into Centeroo (where all the shows are) and you're searched as you enter from the camp grounds. As with other shows, your ability to bring booze in from the tents to the shows largely depends on how stealthy you are and how much the person searching you cares about his job.

-You can buy drinks at standard festival prices once you're in Centeroo, and there are no restrictions on where you can carry them.

-The camping area is huge, so you can be looking at anywhere from one minute to twenty minutes of walking to get to Centeroo, depending on where you are. Your best bet for being close is to go with the no-car camping area right next to Centeroo. You have to park in a regular camping area (I think) but you then haul your stuff (or drop it off before you park) into a field that is right beside Centeroo. It's definitely the closest place to camp, and everyone I've talked to who has done it has said that it's a great way to go.

-Of the two years I went, one year we were camped really close, and the other pretty far. While it was a little inconvenient, I preferred being farther away, as when were closer it felt like being camped in a 24 hour Shakedown with no escape from "the scene." A constant parade of spunions and nitrous tanks loses its charm after a couple days.

-It's disgustingly hot. Be warned.

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I did 6 Bonnaroos in total - 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 09.

The advice given above is excellent although I'd disagree with staying further from Centeroo. The further you are the more time you spend in the sun getting cooked walking to the venue, the less likely you are to head back once you're in for the night, the harder it is to catch a nap when you need one (and you will need one) etc etc.

Water and shade are your best friends. Skip either of these and you'll be in the med tent or worse.

Bring footwear that's comfortable and you don't mind getting ruined.

Bring a spare set of car keys in case you lose your only set (happened to me - not my fault - miraculous ending to the story)

Don't expect to get in the front row for your favourite band.

Rain gear is a must.

If you're a poster collector bring a big empty tube and a big empty credit card.

There's a waterfall near Manchester that's pretty cool.

Jack Daniels distillery is a quick drive but it's in a dry county. I think you can drink at Maker's Mark on the way home...

Nashville is fun. House Of Cash is terrible (although haven't tried to go there since 03 so could be drastically different.)

Kentucky is fun.

Cincinnati is fun.

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The only thing I don't see here so far.....

Bring bandanas or medical masks- it can get dusty and they'll save you from a case of particulate induced cotton mouth and gritty tooth washing.

If you are worried about spending too much on booze bring a couple of Platypus bags:

http://www.amazon.com/Ounce-Omega-Replacement-Bladder-Reservoir/dp/B000X25ZB4

Buy your beer inside because anything you sneak in will be warm anyways, bring in your own hard stuff.

Finally, do not plan your trip to Tennessee around a long list of bands you just have to see their whole set. Its only a four day festival and no matter how hard they try there will be major overlaps. See 2009, Sat 2am: NIN, Ben Harper, moe., MGMT. Be flexible and willing to catch half sets, and this can be an easy hurdle to clear as most overlaps will be just that.

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Thanks so much people.

I expect major overlaps in sets. I've seen the schedules from every year and know it's likely The Shins, Bon Iver and Feist will all play at the same time.

Not sure what to do about the camping situation. I'd like to be as close as possible but I'm unsure if I can camp away from the vehicle. I'd feel a lot safer knowing valuables are locked up.

Has anyone done the Jack Daniel's tour? I would love to check it out if it's worth the time.

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AD - can you tell me where that waterfall is?

Old Stone Fort State Park, right beside Manchester to the west. Lots of cool stuff around there, beautiful countryside. The mountains to the northwest and all the reservoirs created by the Tennessee Valley Authority provide lots of good scenery and places to camp / swim / detox.

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Finally, do not plan your trip to Tennessee around a long list of bands you just have to see their whole set. Its only a four day festival and no matter how hard they try there will be major overlaps. See 2009, Sat 2am: NIN, Ben Harper, moe., MGMT. Be flexible and willing to catch half sets, and this can be an easy hurdle to clear as most overlaps will be just that.

Awesome advice. I would typically pick one set per day that I really wanted to see in its entirety (aside from headliners who had nobody playing opposite them) and resolve myself to partial sets and wandering around aside from that. It was pretty liberating once I started looking at it as one big whole to be taken in, rather than a series of invididual shows that I had to try and see (though this might be obvious immediately to others).

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