Photo credit: Morgan G. Harris
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take over the small town of Manchester, Tennessee, June 11th-14th, offering fans four days of live music, comedy acts, hands-on art activities, and so much more. The festival hosts as many as 90,000 attendees on a 700-acre stretch of farmland just a few hours from Memphis.
Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, and My Morning Jacket are among the musical acts headlining this year’s fest. More than one hundred bands will play across several stages in Great Stage Park throughout the weekend. Comedians set to perform in the festival’s comedy theater include Chris Hardwick, Reggie Watts, Jeff Ross, and Ralphie May. The full 2015 lineup can be found here.
Though this mega-festival’s main focus is music, Bonnaroo offers attendees a slew of other activities. There’s a Cinema Tent in which a variety of movies are screened throughout the weekend. Beer lovers can stop by the Broo’ers Festival, which features craft beer from 25 breweries across the U.S. Foodies can enjoy a variety of tasty offerings from gourmet food trucks in the Food Truck Oasis or order up a “bacon flight” from Hamageddon & BaconLand. For those not wanting to ditch their health and wellness regimens, the festival offers yoga and meditation sessions and a 5K run. To add to the fun, there’s Splash-a-Roo (an on-site giant waterslide), outrageous nightly parades, a Silent Disco, a ferris wheel, and so much more. To read more about some of the other activities, go here.
Bonnaroo is a camping festival, which means thousands of folks set up tents or park RVs and make the grounds a temporary home.
An aerial shot of the festival grounds. The smaller area in the upper left is the fest’s main events grounds — known as Centeroo — where all of the action takes place. The rest is rows and rows of campers’ tents and RVs. Photo credit: Morgan G. Harris
This (slightly edited) Bonnaroo-provided list of must-have items for campers will make the weekend much more enjoyable:
- Camping gear (tent, tarp, sleeping bags, an awning or pop-up tent for campsite shade, etc.)
- Rain gear (just in case)
- A hoodie or light jacket (sometimes it gets chilly at night, even in June)
- Extra shoes/sneakers (flip-flops are not ideal festival shoes but bring some for the showers)
- Bug spray (it’s Tennessee farmland, mosquitos and ticks are out)
- Sunscreen (lots of it and reapply often)
- A shade hat (the sun is unforgiving out there and on-site shade is sparse)
- Sunglasses (you need ’em)
- Aluminum or stainless steel container for water (there are watering holes throughout Centeroo to make staying hydrated easy)
- Toilet paper (just in case; the porta-potties run out often)
- Earplugs (for shutting out noise when you’re trying to get some sleep AND for protecting your ears when the music gets a little loud; this year I’m testing out DUBS Acoustic Filters, the official earplug of Bonnaroo)
- Lantern/flashlight/headlamp (I bring a headlamp for instant, hands-free lighting when I’m entering dark, questionable porta-potties at night)
- Batteries (for flashlights, hand-held fans, etc.)
- An extra set of keys (losing your keys or locking your keys in your car at Bonnaroo is not fun)
Once you’ve packed up the essentials, you’ll be ready for an epic weekend. Bonnaroo 2015, here we come!
Festival attendees in the festival’s main events grounds, known as Centeroo. Photo credit: Adam Macchia
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit bonnaroo.com.