written by Alex Rowland
photo by Zorn Photography
Bonnaroo is arguably one of the biggest and best festivals on the East Coast. For years I have heard stories about this amazing festival, but I have never had the opportunity to make the trip down to Tennessee to experience it for myself. This year, that all changes when I join thousands of excited Bonnarrovian’s from across the country for four days of fantastic music, community building experiences, beautiful artwork, and so much more. June 8th-11th 2017 marks the 16th anniversary of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and although a lot has changed since 2002, the spirit and energy of Bonnaroo remains the same.
The 2017 lineup contains 150 star studded performances spread out over numerous different stages across The Farm. The lineup offers a variety of musical genres including rock, rap, EDM, jam, bluegrass, indie, and folk just to name a few. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, Major Lazer, Umphrey’s McGee, Greensky Bluegrass, and Rezz are just a couple of the musicians that I’m looking forward to seeing. On top of a stacked lineup, Bonnaroo also offers a number of comedians to kick back and laugh with at the Comedy Theatre. What would a music and arts festival be without the arts?! Hundreds of local artists and vendors will also be set up throughout the festival showing off and selling some of their artwork. The wide range of entertainment offered this year ensures that you’ll be able to find something you love!
The community and The Farm are undeniably the most important aspects of your weekend at Roo. The Bonnaroovian Code lays out the framework of what is expected of you during your time at the farm. Respect your neighbor, lend a helping hand, focus on random acts of kindness, and leave your worries at home. Thousands of people that have experienced a weekend here talk about the positive energy throughout the farm and the lasting friendships that they have made. Bonnaroo would not be what it is today without the hundreds of acres of Tennessee land that hosts this festival year after year. Sustainability is a key focus of the weekend. Simple things such as refillable water containers, picking up any trash, and recycling what you can ensures that The Farm will be around and healthy for many years to come.
Bonnaroo takes place over a four day span so make sure you’re prepared! Summers in Tennessee can bring all types of weather ranging from hot sunny days to chilly nights. Summer showers are also likely so make sure you pack accordingly! There are many different camping options available including the GA/VIP campgrounds, car camping, community camping, Le Bon Tents, and even places to hang up a hammock. Last year was the first year that the new permanent bathrooms with running water were up and operational setting Bonnaroo apart from other festivals. Showers and water stations are also available. There are a couple general stores located throughout the festival grounds just in case you forget to pack something. If you need to escape the hot summer sun there are multiple places to go including The Bonnaroo Cinema, The Grove, and The Fountain.
Words cannot begin to describe the energy radiating from this festival. Bonnaroo is a unique place where people from all walks of life come together year after year to cut loose and leave their worries behind. Positive vibes and clean living are the key to a successful weekend at Roo. The only way to truly understand the environment here is to make your way to Tennessee to experience it for yourself. With an endless amount of music, artwork, activities, and food there is something for everyone here. I’ll see you all on The Farm!