Written by: Selena DiGiovanni
I lay on a tarp in the midst of a sea of tents. It is midday and I am amongst friends; some old, some very new. We are quiet, listening to music in the distance. It is too hot to talk but we enjoy each others company nevertheless.
A man walks into our unofficial compound and asks, “You guys looking for Molly?”
We politely decline his offer, the others inquire after his milder stock, and when he leaves, we return to our silence.
This is Manchester, Tenn. and this is Bonnaroo, one of the largest up-and-coming music festivals in the world.
Started in 2002, Bonnaroo takes place every June on a 530 acre plot of repurposed farmland in the small town of Manchester, Tenn. The festival spans three days, a time in which those who have purchased tickets are invited to camp outdoors, spend time with friends and enjoy good music.
There are a variety of activities which are available for campers at Bonnaroo. One of the best loved activities is the Silent Disco tent. Here, campers are given a set of wireless headphones upon entrance which sync with the DJ’s output. The end result is a tent full of people dancing to music which no one on the outside can hear. There is also the Graffiti Wall, which surrounds Centeroo, the central area of Bonnaroo. Campers are invited to bring spray paint to Bonnaroo with them in order to cover the Graffiti Wall with street art in their down time. There are also a multitude of food and artist stalls, a mushroom fountain, and of course, concerts.
Shows beginning each afternoon and continuing into the wee hours of the morning. These shows take place at several venues all located within Centeroo. The main venues are What Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent, and the Comedy Tent. Other smaller venues include the Solar Stage, Lunar Stage, Sonic Stage, and the Cinema Tent.
Past years have featured headliners such as Eminem, Dave Matthews Band, and Radiohead. There have also been lesser known bands such as Futurebird, as well as comedy shows and film screenings . In the past, the lineup has been made widely available long before Bonnaroo takes place, but this year the list of bands performing has been kept under lock and key. Clues in the form of haikus have been scattered across America, increasing the excitement of fans everywhere. The full lineup will be revealed on February 19th, in a “Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon” hosted by Weird Al Yankovich.
To learn more about Bonnaroo, stay up to date on the latest Bonnaroo news and purchase tickets, go to www.bonnaroo.com.