Bonnaroo in review

June 24, 2011

by Mary Timmons, Associate Editor

MANCHESTER, Tenn.-For the last ten years more than 80,000 people have traveled to this small town outside Nashville to spend four days in the intense summer heat and listen to music.

As boring and unentertaining as it all sounds, the Bonnaroo experience is unlike any other.

According to it’s website, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival gathers musicians from multiple genres to play four days every June. Along with performances by various artist, Bonnaroo hosts different attractions and activities to keep it’s guests busy. With peaceful vibes Bonnaroo is a revolutionary experience that has been listed as one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll by Rolling Stone magazine.

Along with thousands of others, a handful of Tech students sat in lines for hours to get their musical fix for the summer.

Amanda Jamroz, a junior studio art major, said that with such awesome bands, who wouldn’t want to spend four days in the hot sun and dusty air?

“l feel like it has become a very popular festival for those who just want to experience freedom and enjoy awesome music,” Jamroz said. “There is music for every type of ear. It’s such an awesome experience, but I feel the area has actually become too small to hold the amount of people who want to experience it.”

Despite the dust and the heat Bonnaroo has one specific purpose that continues to bring people in each year and that is to entertain.

On its 10th anniversary, the music festival had a diverse selection of activities including, film screening, a silent disco, hula-hoop lessons, a custom beer tent and sports bar.

Vendors are on site selling crafts, such as blown glass, tie-dyed clothing and handmade musical instruments. Selections of southern style foods, Asian cuisine and Thai inspired meals are set up around the grounds.

Water fountains are available to keep guest cool and hydrated and volleyball tournaments hosted to keep them entertained.

Drew Ballinger, a junior photography major, said he particularly enjoyed the light show and Grace Potter’s cover of “White Rabbit.”

“Bonnaroo is one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life,” Ballinger said. “It’s the perfect vacation for anyone who loves music. With over 100 amazing artist and tons to do, one of the only problems is having to choose who to go see.”

According to it’s website, the “Roo” staff and crew do their best to ensure that the festival experience is enjoyable for everyone.

Along with restrooms and showers there are charging stations for cell phones, ATMs, telephones and medical stations. Campers are encouraged to bring tents, sunscreen, blankets, good vibes and a smile. Bicylces are permitted within camping grounds, but fireworks, wepons and illegal substances are not allowed.

Rappers Lil’ Wayne and Eminem were both anticipated headliners this year.

Other artists such as Mumford and Sons, Girl Talk and The Black Keys are veterans who have made multiple performances over the last ten years.

While bands like Freelance Whales played during the afternoon, at night strobe lights were moving and DJ’s and electronica groups played into the early hours of the morning.

Arcturus Forbis, a senior geography major, said he enjoyed the Sound Tribe Sector 9 performance above all others.

“Sound Tribe was pumping so hard I thought I was going to throw up bass,” Forbis said. “It was nice to hang out with my brother and introduce him to the music festival world.”

Sadly, Bonnaroo only comes once a year, but summer is the perfect time to travel and catch other festivals across the nation.

Forbis said he has been to eight festivals, and Bonnaroo is one of his favorites but this years’ was not as good as he anticipated.

“I really think that last year was better and other festivals stand out more to me, but I still had a good time,” Forbis said. ” I won’t be attending ‘Roo’ next year but I hope to catch more festivals in my future.”

As a magical, musical utopia that presents a verity of music to “Rooers,” Bonnaroo is more than just your standard concert. It is an event that allows you to open your mind and embrace a lifestyle that cannot be described but only experienced.

Email comments to mnt005@latech.edu.