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That time I went to Bonnaroo

June 19, 2013

BonnarooFor years I’ve said I wanted to go to Bonnaroo and couldn’t find a soul to come with me. It’s always been a bucket list item of mine (including running a half marathon – CHECK!) But Nic Martel, he’s such a winner that he volunteered his partnership for four days of no showering, 90 degree summer Tennessee heat and lots of music. The music totally makes up for it!

This year we decided to go before I knew the lineup or the dates for 2013. I saved up some cash and bought two tickets. For months it was all I could talk about and a colleague helped fuel the fire by going to Coachella just two months shy of Bonnaroo. We reveled in musical glory for months discussing swag bags and awesome perks of going to such a great musical festival.

Then came June and Nic and I prepared to leave. We were such newbies we packed our bags with everything from the Bonnaroo packing checklist I found online. It was by the book.

We left on Wednesday and drove all the way there. After 8 hours and being re-routed due to an accident, at long last we arrived at the farm! We went through security and parked our car next to our new neighbors for the next four days, one of which was from Bloomington! There were 130,000 people there and we parked near three Indiana cars! It was awesome. IMG_0332

I loved everything about the farm and the festival. Everyone was so nice, helpful and peaceful. Combine alcohol, music and drugs with 90 degree heat and you’d think there would be some fighting, but there wasn’t any at all! Everything was extremely peaceful. It was the closest I think I’ve come to world peace in my entire life. Everyone just radiated positivity and it was glorious. Just some first timer tips I didn’t consider that everyone should know and understand:

1. It is VERY hot during the day and VERY cold at night. You’ll go to sleep in sweatpants and wake up in a sweat. It’s gross. That brings me to #2.

2. You won’t see every concert you want. Sleep is much too important and should be taken during the nighttime hours. Although I definitely stayed up till dawn while Pretty Lights rocked it out – sleep is ever so important.

3. You’ll wait in line, for everything, which kind of goes back to #2. Decide what’s more important, Passion Pit at the Silent Disco or some band you want to learn about. (Go with the Silent Disco!)

4. You will get confused. I think Bonnaroo staff do it on purpose, but they named all the stages What Stage, Which Stage, That Tent, This Tent, and The Other Tent. Yes those are ACTUALLY the names.

And finally,

5. The water fountain is only awesome in the beginning of the week. Being that Bonnaroo is so green, they recycle the water in the fountain. With no showers and 130,000 people – well you guessed it, that fountain’s water is pretty nasty at the end.

My favorite part of the whole thing was probably seeing Xander Singh of Passion Pit do a DJ set in the Silent Disco. The Silent Disco is a tent you can go into where they give you headphones and a receiver. You listen to the concert through your headphones. It’s hilarious to take them off for a second and watch because everyone around you is jamming, dancing and having the time of their lives and you can’t hear a thing. Even more crazy is watching from afar if you aren’t sure what they are doing. The guy was awesome and finished with “Livin’ on a Prayer” which he asked us to sing. Now, being that it’s SILENT, all you could hear was thousands of us screaming the words at the top of our lungs, probably very out of key! It was magical, definitely.

All in all, the greatest part was being IN the farm. Bonnaroo prides itself on branding for Out There (the world we live in) and being In Here (at Bonnaroo). Disconnecting from the world with no cell phone or internet was the most glorious experience and truly freeing.  I had been so stressed from work and life in general and I was feeling like I needed to disconnect from everything and everyone and run away. I truly appreciated the opportunity to press the reset button. It was the first time in a while I’ve felt completely secure with myself no matter what. I could be comfortable to enjoy the music, life and myself. Moral of today’s story – there’s nothing live music can’t cure!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 21, 2013 8:41 am

    I heard there was a really cool sign interpreter there? 🙂

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