Bonnaroo – Music Festival Packed with Tons of Southern Hospitality and a Summer Camp Vibe!

Bonnarooo is a rite of passage for many music lovers—four day of sun, fun, peace, music and love are at the center of this southern festival! At Bonnaroo, attendees gather together to camp it out, all while enjoying time with friends, family, and favorite bands.

What is Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo attendees gear up to camp out the entire weekend.

Attendees gear up to camp out the entire weekend.

Over 80,000 people gather together in June to make their annual pilgrimage to Bonnaroo. This iconic festival is first and foremost all about community as most attendees gear up to camp out through the entire weekend. This summer camp feel is what guests love most about the Tennessee festival—friends and family can let loose and become one with the music and the fun.

Bonnaroo’s lineup features big rock bands, alternative and indie artists and popular music acts—offering something for lovers of every genre. Bands like Pearl Jam, Dead & Company are the kind of headliners to expect, as well as popular artists like J Cole, Ellie Goulding and more.

Tickets for Bonnaroo begin at $34.90 for general admission but are only sold in 4-day packs. In addition to purchasing tickets for all four days of the festival, you will need to purchase separate Car Camping Passes or Car Parking Passes to gain entrance to the festival if riding in a vehicle. Consider going VIP if you want to camp in style. VIP tickets for two are priced at $1598.50. With VIP access, guests get premiere parking areas with Car Camping Passes, VIP access to festival grounds and facilities, yoga classes, exclusive access to amenities and showers and many more.

Keep in mind that Bonnaroo is NOT a festival to go to unprepared. As soon as you get your tickets, it’s time to start planning!

Welcome to the City of Bonnaroo
Bonnaroo takes plays on 700 acres of Tennessee farmland. Before you even get there, you’re going to want to know the lay of the land. Visit Bonnaroo’s website to take a look at the maps to learn how to best plan for your trip. Once you arrive, take a moment to locate the PODS, or information tents, that house the Security Tent, Medical Tent, info booth, bathroom amenities, and hand washing stations. All water in the PODS and on the campgrounds are filtered and safe for consumption.

Centeroo is the center of Bonnaroo. Here, attendees will be able to locate the Comedy Theatre, the Cinema, This Tent, That Tent, Which Stage and the Other Tent. Next to Centeroo is the main venue where festival goers can see the amazing headliners playing on What Stage.

Restrooms and Water Stations
In recent years, Bonnarroo decided to up its game and install permanent on-site toilets! For people unfamiliar with Bonnaroo, this doesn’t seem like a groundbreaking announcement, however, for attendees that have grown use to port-a-johns and the great outdoor toilet, permanent restrooms are manna from heaven. Bonnarroos newest additions feature two bathroom buildings, each with 150 toilets. This is a God-send to most Bonnaroo regulars that have for years been hauling their own bathroom amenities to the campsite.

With the installation of the new water line installed in the campground, Bonnaroo can now add permanent running water to its list of services for campers. The new water line made adding over 150 new showers possible as well. Perhaps the portable shower can be left at home this time around!

Think to Drink: What You Need to Stay Hydrated
When attending Bonnaroo, it may be hard to think about the basic need to drink water but it is very important! Four days of camping on the farm in the sun, the rain, and the mud can tire you out before you even notice it. To avoid any emergency situations or simply pure dehydration, make it a point to consume a lot of water.

Carry at least one refillable water bottle with you and set aside time in the day to drink. Bonnaroo attendees may also want to install a phone app that records how much water you need to drink to stay healthy. If you are feeling ill at all, remember that medical tents and staff are on side 24 hours a day. Avoid using alcohol or illegal substances to make sure your health is in the best condition possible.

Staying Safe at the Campsite
Many of you will be living in the Bonnaroo campgrounds for the entirety of the festival. Keeping yourself and your belongings safe is a number one priority. Always travel using the buddy system. If your phone dies or isn’t working, have an alternative way to contact friends, whether it be through a meeting place, a totem or flag, or memorizing phone numbers in order to call from a different phone.

In a sea of so many campers, you will need to pay attention to your surroundings. Never put anything valuable in a tent; there’s no telling who will come in or out. Bonnaroo offers lockers throughout the campgrounds in order to make sure your valuables stay safe. When consuming drinks at the festival, don’t accept open drinks and don’t leave your drink unattended. If anyone is making you or another camper feel unsafe, let someone at the Safety Tent know! Bonnaroo’s campsite policy is “if you see something, say something,” so don’t be afraid to speak up.

Getting to the Festival
Most Tennessee natives or residents of neighboring states will drive into the festival. The best and most efficient way to experience Bonnaroo is driving there, parking your vehicle, unloading supplies and setting up camp. With a record amount of attendees, Bonnaroo becomes it’s own metropolis for the weekend. Once you are in the festival, it’s better to camp out the remaining days than to try to commute back and forth.

Bonnaroo promotes carpooling with the app Zimride to ease the commuting process. For those among you that aren’t campers, there are shuttles available to transport attendees to and from nearby hotels.

Off Campsite Lodging
When purchasing tickets for Bonnaroo, buy early! On-site camping gets sold out quickly, as do the hotels partnering with the festival. Apart from hotels and motels, you may want to look into Air BNB or Couch Surfing to find strangers that will open their doors and rooms to festival goers.

Dressing for Bonnaroo
When planning for Bonnaroo, consider the weather and your accommodations. If you are camping on-site, it is likely you have your suitcase with you and will be able to change into several different outfits daily. If you are staying elsewhere, come dressed with clothing choices that can easily go from day to night.

When packing for Bonnaroo, consider taking loose, light clothing. All festival goers seem to swear by shorts—as they are the most versatile and practical festival wear. When choosing footwear, ALWAYS choose comfort! You may very well be walking for half of the day, so you will need a pair of shoes that you know can support you.

You will also want to think about outwear when preparing for Bonnaroo. Yes, it will be hot, but you’ll thank me for that poncho as soon as it starts to pour. Consider sunglasses, visors, bandanas, and protective headwear as well.

What to Bring To Bonnaroo
Many concert lovers and festival goers hate to have extra bags that tie them down during concerts, but at Bonnaroo, a backpack is the way to go. Due to the long days and the fact that the festival is outdoors, you’re going need to have your belongings handy. Bring extras of everything from water bottles, to socks—you never know when you will need a spare. When packing your suitcases or backpacks for Bonnaroo, think about your bodily needs. Pack bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, ear plugs, and towels or a chair to sit on. Bring vitamins, snacks, medication, cash, first aid equipment, extra toilet paper, a watch, flashlights, batteries, and anything else you would normally take to any campground.

How to Make it Through Bonnaroo

Give yourself a few hours to get situated at Bonnaroo.

Give yourself a few hours to get situated at Bonnaroo.

So after you’ve nailed your supplies down, purchased your tickets, marked down key spots on the map, it’s time to seek out sage advice before you start your Bonnaroo adventure. Take note that it will take time to settle in on the first day of the festival. Arrive that Wednesday or Thursday and give yourself a few hours to get situated. Be open to sharing with strangers and caring about your neighbors—you’re all in it for the long haul.

For Bonnaroo on-site campers—go the extra mile and splurge on good quality equipment. The die hard Bonnaroovians will tell you that through the four days of wind, rain, and endless sun, you’re going to need to best of the best for shelter, shade, and protection while you sleep–you never know what the weekend may have in store.

When all is said and done, don’t forget the true meaning of Bonnaroo! Make new friends, rock out to your favorite music and live life as one loving, happy camping community. So what are you waiting for? Make your way out to Bonnarroo, it’s guaranteed to be a trip!

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