I'm sure by now most of you have heard about the music festival Bonnaroo, but you may not know that it happens only about an hour away from where we live, in Manchester TN. Because of the proximity, it seems that lots of Nashvillians have music connections with someone and happen to make it down to the festival last minute to hang out and enjoy some tunes... which is exactly what happened for us! our beautiful friend Anna works for an organization called Global Zero and was going to be at Bonnaroo all weekend with a tent set up, had a couple extra passes and needed some help staffing their table so she invited Keith and I along. We spent the entire week leading up going back and forth on our decision whether we were going to go or not, debating whether the pros out weighed the cons of camping and port o potties (and no showers) but in the end we packed up our Element and hit the road on Friday for Manchester. There were lots of obstacles that popped up Friday evening, but despite it all (and me telling Keith I just wanted to give up and go home) we finally made it in to the camp site and were able to listen to some great music.
The first thing we went to on Friday night after entering the festival was LUDACRIS. Craziness. Seriously though, it was insane haha. So much fun, and I can honestly say that I know a lot more Ludacris songs than I thought I did haha. Keith was hysterical with his singing and dancing (ATL pride) and after his set was done we listened to a little bit of Dawes then made our way to the GZ tent to drop our stuff and unite with friends. We heard some of St Vincent from our tent and then made our way to the insanity that was Radiohead. Thanks to my parents I've seen them a few times before so I had something to compare it to, and I must admit that this wasn't my favorite set of theirs. I don't think that it was because of Radiohead or how they played, I think it's just so hard to actually enjoy a show like theirs in a venue like that. Imagine 80,000 people all trying to be in the same place at the same time and you might have a better idea of the absolute battle we were facing haha. By the end of their two hour set I was literally asleep on my feet and we made our way back to our campsite to catch some sleep.
Saturday morning we fixed ourselves breakfast on the tailgate and packed up all our beers and lunches for the day to set out for the Global Zero tent. Keith and I didn't have many bands we wanted to see so we were content holding down the fort and talking to anyone we could about eliminating nuclear weapons haha. Keith wandered off a couple times to check out the craft beer tent, or Bad Brains and Flogging Molly. Later in the afternoon we stopped and watched the Punch Brothers before we headed off to the BBQ put on by a management company Keith works with. It was so stinking nice! Like a little oasis away from the smelly muddy people. We ate as much free food as possible and had quite a few beverages as well (free is free people!), I even got to go on my first tour bus! It was real fancy and comfortable, even if I was just there to go to the bathroom haha. Once it got dark out we went back to the GZ tent to hang out with Anna and Erin, tried to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers, got annoyed with the huge crowd and then went back to the campsite for sleeping.
Sunday morning started with another comfy breakfast out of the back of our vehicle before heading into the festival grounds. We spent most of the afternoon at the GZ and then devising a schedule for who was going to see what and when so that there was always someone to watch the table and everyones stuff. Some of the bands we saw: our friend Ben in Fly Golden Eagle, The Beach Boys, BEN FOLDS FIVE!!!!. Bon Iver and fun. Such a great day of music, I only wish that the 6:00-8:00 block wasn't so packed with great things because I would have liked to see more of The Shins or to have made my way over to the Civil Wars. Still, we were very content. There was some hustle and confusion getting everything at the Global Zero tent packed up and put away but by around 10pm Keith and I were saying farewell to our Bonnaroo family and heading the 60 miles north back to Nashville.
Overall, we had a total blast. There were definitely some things that could have gone better or that we would do differently if we went again but we got to see a lot of great bands, and we had plenty of quality time with friends Anna and Erin (and new friend Will who was also there helping). Final verdict... I would go again. Only if we had vendor or artist passes though. General admission camping looked like an absolute nightmare of crazies and if we had been over there we wouldn't have been able to bring in any of our food and beer (which would have made for an extremely expensive weekend). Honestly, on Sunday I was kind of thinking to myself that if I could find a good shower that I wouldn't mind staying a little bit longer haha. But anyway... without further ado, here are some of our weekend photos (there are more on Erins camera and Keith's phone but I cannot be bothered with all that tonight haha):
|Keith getting out of his mind for Ludacris|
|Sunset on Friday night.|
|The dusk sky was the best out in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee|
|Cuddled up on our air mattress in our Element. Seriously though, I wanna camp all the time no that I know how comfortable it is! No bugs and no threat of getting wet from rain. Win/win.|
|Erin in the GZ tent.|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr in the Ford tent that was giving out bandanas filled with ice, hence our stopping by to watch them haha|
|Working the crowd.|
|Anna and I!|
|FREE ICE CREAM! Bonnaroo buzz just happens to be my actual favorite B&J's flavor too (coffee malt ice cream, whiskey caramel and heath bars. yum yum yum!)|
|Tour bus bathroom.|
|Anna dancing her brains out listening to a band from our tent spot.|
|Anna, her friend Andrew and the terrible henna tattoo she gave him hahaha|
|Car campers :)|
|Ice cream lovers.|
|Soaking up all the Bonnaroo|
|At the Beach Boys showing off our Global Zero shirts|
|Ben Folds :):):)!|
|Bon Iver, another highlight|
|fun. !!! We had such a blast during their set!|
|<3 day 3 of no showers and still in love haha|