If you know anything about music festivals, odds are you know about Bonnaroo, one of the biggest festivals in the US, held in the mountains of Tennessee. It's on the weekend of June 13-16th this year, and here are a few things you can expect to hear from your friends that went.
1. A lot of people.
Bonnaroo has one of the biggest crowds for music festivals in the US. In 2015, there were more than 80,000 people on the property during the festival.
2. Expect to hear music you've never heard before.
With such an eclectic lineup, there's a music style for everyone.
3. It's (relatively) family friendly.
Music festivals are not a place I'd take anyone under the age of 16. However, Bonnaroo boasts its "family-friendly" vibe by having attractions (more like distractions) for younger children. Be advised, while attending any music festival, nudity and "party favors" are common, making it an unlikely place to take a child. However, if you're going to bring your parents to any festival, it should be Bonnaroo, with its wide variety of entertainment types and music genres.
4. Get ready to say "Happy 'Roo" a lot.
Bonnaroo attendees take pride in being happy-go-lucky and carefree. While there, it might feel like everyone is your friend. Bored? Look at the person next to you while waiting for your next favorite artist and say "Happy 'Roo, man," and they will smile at you and say it back and offer you a hit of their blunt, to which you will politely decline.
5. Bring sunscreen.
Tennessee is not as hot as Florida, but during the day it will get upwards of 85 degrees with the sun directly overhead.
6. Low Wook Population
If you've attended a festival, you know about Wooks. They're often white, dread-headed young people on a multitude of drugs. They preach "wokeness" and "love" and "vibes" and talk about the positive effects of LSD and DMT, but are actually smelly fake-hippies that will steal from you when you're not looking. Luckily, Bonnaroo has a low population of these, which probably helps the festival's "family friendly" marketing point.
7. Stage confusion
Bonnaroo has a festival experience that feels unique, partly due to all these things mentioned prior, and partly due to the stage names. Stage names include "This Stage," "That Stage," "Which Stage," "That Tent," etc. Since everyone is given a map of the grounds when they walk in, coordinating with your group about which artists you will go see can be hilarious. Asking people for directions to a venue can become a bonding moment with them as you try to figure out if they mean "Which Stage" or are asking you what stage you mean.
All in all, Bonnaroo was my first music festival and it was amazing. What you can really expect at Bonnaroo, though, is to have one of the best weekends of your life.