It is remarkable how the same 60,000 people can be throwing devil horns at Metallica, then dancing to Phil Lesh and Friends, then rapping Dr. Dre lyrics with Ben Folds, then throwing their hands up in adulation to the electronic beats of Tiesto. You get the sense that each band is busing their own fans in. This is the essence of Bonnaroo.
The festival has come a long way since 2002 in terms of lineup diversity, but the spirit of the first one is still there.
What is it about Bonnaroo that produces legendary sets from artists who collectively play hundreds of shows a year? From Neil Young to My Morning Jacket to Radiohead to Pearl Jam, fans of these bands consider their Bonnaroo sets to be of the best that they have ever performed.
When I see a man of about 70 years of age, with a full head of white hair, closer than me to the Metallica stage, despite my being only about 10 rows back, I know that at 29 I am far from too old to be there.
While you’re at Bonnaroo, a slice of pizza for $5 doesn’t sound like such a bad deal.
It gets really bright really fast at 5:15 AM. And shit no longer glows in the dark. Right Kanye?
No one should decide whether or not to attend Bonnaroo based on the lineup. You should go because it is Bonnaroo.
Before the festival, 95% of the people who I tell that I am staying in a hotel rather than camping think that I’m making a mistake. While at the festival, 95% of the people who I tell that I am staying in a hotel are jealous.
For making the die-hard Metallica fans around me in the pit forget, if only for a few minutes, that they were about to see Metallica, Chris Rock is a comedic genius.
After waiting in line for over five hours and then almost being crushed against a barricade, I will never forget the feeling of elation after finally being let into the front pit area for Pearl Jam’s set. It was so worth it. [Note: There are two gated pens directly in front of the main stage where 750 people are allowed into each and it is cleared when that act is done.]
I now know what gypsy punk sounds like. And I like it.