Let’s talk about Bonnaroo 2014

Every festival is magical. There’s no way around that fact. Even the huge mega-festivals like Bonnaroo are sprinkled with some sort of fairy dust. The rainbow greeting us on Thursday was a good sign.

This was my third year at Bonnaroo. Honestly, it gets better and better every year. Part of that improvement is my ability to prepare for it but it’s more about knowing what to expect and how to interact with the people who make Bonnaroo tick. Although there are definitely a lot more people at Roo than most other southeastern festivals, I never felt overcrowded. Even when the group I was with was way up in the front for Sir Elton John, we were able to hold our ground and have room to dance, which is all a girl wants!

Banks – 6/12/14 Bonnaroo
Banks – 6/12/14 Bonnaroo

I’m not sure if I have ever been to a festival with better weather than the 2014 Bonnaroo. It sprinkled a little on Thursday afternoon-just enough to keep the ground from being too dry. The rest of the weekend was bright and sunny! It got pretty hot by 9AM…so, sleeping was difficult after that time. Sunscreen was definitely a necessity. So was knowing where you could go to get out of the sun for a bit. I found shelter from the sun in the shade of the trees by the Which Stage and at the Sonic Stage, which was great because I got to listen to music while I chilled!

Because of the wonderful and ever-glorious sun, water was an absolute necessity. Especially, if your festival drink of choice is Franzia (guilty). After being slightly hungover on Friday, I learned my lesson and made sure to drink at least 2 bottles of water between when I got up and when I went out to Centeroo for the day. I might bring an umbrella next year to packing list for an extra protection from the sun….

Bonnaroo has thousands of people. The organizers expect them. They count on them. However, they still have yet to fully accommodate the masses with enough port-a-potties. This year, the organizers did add a couple of extra potty points inside the festival. So, it really wasn’t too bad once you were inside Centeroo. However, the camp grounds definitely could have used more numbers. It was definitely more times than not that I stepped into a potty to find it full and without toilet paper. That’s why I always travel with some extra TP at Roo.

The farm’s grounds were definitely updated in other ways this year. Out by pod 7, there was a new café. It’s a large open wooden barn with a small coffee shop in it. Great covered place to sit and eat and chill. Of course people found a way to climb up on the rafters to charge their phones off the extension cords. There were also little air conditioned rooms sponsored by Olay Fresh Effects! These were women’s only areas where you could use a mirror to freshen yourself up. They were also giving away free samples! Definitely an oasis I took advantage of each day! Apparently, they also had outlets where you could plug in a hair drier or straightener. Again, people mostly just used those to charge their cell phones. There was also a new stage in Centeroo-the Kalliope Stage!!! It was awesome! During the day there was a big screen where World Cup games were broadcasted. At night, the place was a scene from Burning Man. Surprise DJ sets (Skrillex among the names), light up cars with speakers, and music until 6AM.

Skrillex, lasers, full moon….?

THE MUSIC: This really was a great Bonnaroo. So much incredible music everywhere you looked. You could really wander around Bonnaroo for three and a half days without a schedule or phone or watch and see some great stuff. *note to self: try that one year* Some amazing music that I saw included the elusive Banks (I want to be her, she’s a goddess….which is what her Fall tour is called), Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Kanye West (I know, everyone loves to hate him and he did go on multiple “I am a rockstar” rants but he went back in time to perform some of his classics like “Touch the Sky”), Disclosure, Skrillex, Die Antwoord, Damon Albarn (probably my favorite of the fest!), John Butler Trio, Chromeo, Jack White, The Flaming Lips, Darkside (second favorite), The Glitch Mob, Broken Bells, The Avett Brothers…..and finishing off the weekend in one of the best ways possible with Elton John!

Wow….after looking at that list, that’s why I have and will continue to go to Bonnaroo. You really cannot see so many incredible artists in one place in the US. I also really like that Bonnaroo still has its quirkiness. The organizers recognize that adults value nostalgia at a high price. We all want to have a few days where we dress up as unicorns and dance around like a bunch of kids!

For more info on Bonnaroo http://www.bonnaroo.com/

Next up….Electric Forest!!!!!