Ladies and gentlemen, Bonnaroo is upon us. We're so excited for our BGS Superjam (as well as a few other sets we plan to hit up in our downtime) that we're all packed and ready to, counting down the hours until we can head down to Manchester from Nashville on Thursday morning. As seasoned veterans of the 'Roo, though, we know that it isn't all fun and games, and each year we learn a new lesson — sometimes the hard way — about how to navigate a weekend at the Farm. So, here are some survival tips for making the most of your Bonnaroo experience.
Learn the rules: Check the Bonnaroo site so you know what you can and can't bring. Toilet paper? Yes. Firearms? Not so much. If you aren't sure what should be on your packing list, it's a great place to start.
Fill up your gas tank: The lines to drive in and out of the festival are always long, and the last thing you want is to be the asshole who holds everyone up because your car ran out of gas. Stop for gas as you're approaching Manchester, and go ahead and grab a snack or two for the long wait ahead.
Don't skimp on your campsite: We all wish for a rain-free festival, but sometimes Mother Nature has a different idea. Bring a tent that can withstand the elements, and make sure you have a shaded area to hang out in and rest on sunny days. If you think you'll have a difficult time finding your campsite after a beer or five, put up a flag or a large balloon so you can see your tent from far away.
Pack comfortable clothes and shoes: This is a no-brainer. You're going to be out in the oppressive Tennessee heat for three-and-a-half days, so throw your fashion concerns out the window and get comfy. Your feet will thank you.
Stay hydrated: Drink water. So much water. Don't stop drinking water. Ever. Really.
Bring your own food: Food at Bonnaroo is expensive and not always the healthiest. Save a little cash (and a lot of time waiting in long lines) by packing your own snacks and meals.
Take care of your skin: Nothing will harsh your Bonnaroo vibe faster than a sunburn, so keep applying that sunscreen! Hats and bandanas are great ideas, too, for the less follicly inclined among us. Don't forget the bug spray, either!
Try to get some sleep: Yeah, we know, this is a hard one. When your favorite band is playing a 2 am set, it's hard to trudge back to your campsite to catch some zzzs. Just remember: It's a marathon, not a sprint, and you'll enjoy those Sunday shows more, if you squeezed in a little rest.
Keep your phone charged: With tens of thousands of people in one area, cell reception isn't the best, which means your battery is going to drain more quickly than usual. Bring some form of battery backup, and be mindful of keeping your phone charged so you don't become disconnected from your group. It isn't a bad idea to memorize the phone number of someone from your campsite, too, in case you drop your phone in a mud puddle or lose it dancing at the Silent Disco. And if memorization isn't your jam, write some numbers down on paper and carry it in your pocket.
Use the buddy system: There are few things worse than getting lost in a sea of stoned festival-goers with no friend (or cell service) in sight. Make sure you always know where at least one of your fellow camp-mates is and designate an easy to find meeting spot in case you still manage to get separated.
Pack a flashlight: You'll thank us when you're trekking back to your campsite in the dark at 3 am.
And last but not least, have fun and come say hey! We'll be hanging out at That Tent all day Sunday and would love to see all your bright, shining, muddy faces. Come see us!
Lede photo credit: adamiwebb via Scandinavian / CC BY.
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