Infinite Shuffle

June 5, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011: The preparation

Filed under: Bonnaroo — assman41 @ 4:00 pm

Attending Bonnaroo started out as a pipe dream, first conceived during a drunken conversation several months ago with a friend who had already purchased a ticket and was planning on catchin’ a ride with some random people he knew.

Fast-forward to today, and I’m anxiously entering the final stage of preparations for my trip to Manchester, Tenn. I say “anxiously” because, after reading numerous B’roo survival guides online, I’m more than a little concerned about what I’ve gotten myself into.

From what I’ve surmised, at its best, Bonnaroo can be a transformative experience filled with amazing live music and getting back to basics in a large communal atmosphere. But at its worst, it’ll be a week of ceaseless discomfort that will test me physically, mentally and maybe emotionally.


Normally, when I do a Google search for something, I’ll click on one or two links — maybe even four or five. When I searched for “Bonnaroo survival guide,” I ended up combing through about three pages of links.

The overriding moral I came away with was, “Do not go into this half-assed. Be prepared.”

  • The first guide I read was probably the best. It laid out everything simply. It also lead off on a sobering note, telling of a friend who died of heat stroke at the 2009 festival.
  • The Consequence of Sound blog had a nice breakdown of things.
  • The Apiary blog imparted some useful nuggets.
  • The most interesting thing about this Facebook post was the ravioli advice.
  • The blogs full of tips are great. But personal festival recaps like this are also helpful.
  • NPR is always a good source for music festival preparation.
  • A few interesting tips from a local journalist.
  • There seemed to be an inordinate amount of posts from the fairer sex. And I occasionally gleaned a tidbit that I probably wouldn’t have from a dude.
  • Tips from the other side of the aisle — a hip-hop/electro/techno fan.
  • A hippie imparts some of the vocabulary of Roo.
As you can tell, if you actually clicked on any of those links, there are a ton of obstacles when it comes to enjoying B’roo. The traffic into the festival is a nightmare, the quarters are tightly packed, the heat is nearly unbearable and the funk will likely be like nothing you’ve ever smelled before.
But it’ll all be worth it if the music is good.


Yes. I’ve made it this far without actually talking about the music. That should tell you something about how I’m approaching this festival. When it came to preparing for SXSW, all I did was listen to a crapload of new bands, figured out which ones I liked and then ended up seeing a totally different slate of groups.

While a lot of the previously linked blogs mentioned discovering new bands at B’roo, that’s not why I’m going. That’s what SXSW was for. I’m going to Manchester to see a bunch of great bands I already know I love.

The two big ones I’m most excited about are Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons. Also near the top of my list are The Decemberists, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket and the Black Keys. There are also a bunch more I’m eagerly awaiting, but those are the heavy-hitters.

Here’s a look at the whole lineup. I’ll admit it, I’ll probably try to go see Eminem — just for the novelty of it all.

If I’m still alive in a couple of weeks, I’ll be sure to update everyone on my B’roo experience.

I would assume that approximately 99 percent of the people in this picture reek.


1 Comment »

  1. […] you may have noted in my post a couple of weeks ago, I was rather apprehensive about this whole Bonnaroo thing. All signs pointed […]

    Pingback by Bonnaroo 2011: After the dust settled « Infinite Shuffle — June 19, 2011 @ 2:26 am

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