The Ultimate Guide To Bonnaroo 2015

Festival season doesn’t start for another couple of months, but the excitement has started early this year without any hesitation! With the release of several line ups for multiple music festivals earlier this month, Bonnaroo, one of the largest festivals in the United States, decided to release theirs two months in advance, adding in an interactive way to suggest which artists you would like to see this June on The Farm.

Here is the full list of artists that will be playing the summer of 2015:

lineup

For the past two years I have attended Bonnaroo’s Music and Arts Festival, so I know how much goes into planning for the four day long music festival and all of the necessities you’ll need to look your best, have fun and you know, survive the festivities to actually enjoy the fun.

We’ll start with your packing checklist, feel free to print this out when getting ready for Roo 15!

Packing

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There are a few things that are prohibited at Bonnaroo. The list is updated every year so be sure to check out the website to catch up on the rules and regulations.

Tip: Once you’ve gathered everything you need, make sure to pack your car in a way that will make it easy for the volunteers to search through. They won’t necessarily open any of your bags, but they do have to sort through what you’ve brought.

P.S. Have your cooler accessible because they’ll be checking inside of it!

Traffic

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It’s no secret in Manchester, Tennessee that once Bonnaroo begins getting around by car is next to impossible. Due to the large amount of visitors attending the festival, from different states to different countries, an influx of traffic is to be expected. Depending on when you decide to arrive to the Farm will determine how many hours you will wait in traffic, but don’t worry, the wait is definitely worth it. If you are GPS savvy, try looking up back roads to decrease your wait time and interactions with the local police department.

Tip: Police are not allowed on the property, but they are allowed to pull over any car that they find “suspicious” of attending the festival, so avoid writing anything on your windows that may hint your destination and be sure to go the speed limit.

 Setting Up

Tent-City

It’s pretty easy to set up a tent, but if you need help, follow the instructions or ask your neighbors for some help! Bonnaroovians tend to be incredibly friendly!

Tip: If you plan on caravanning, be sure to meet up with all of the cars in your group after you go through the checkpoint to assure you get to camp with each other. Although this doesn’t always have a success rate, Bonnaroo does provide a way to assure you’ll spend the four days of freedom with your friends with Groop Camping. 

 Grooming

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You’re camping outside for three nights and sometimes the idea of a hot shower is all that you need to keep you going. Bonnaroo does provide showers, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny. A cheat I’ve learned is to bring shampoo and conditioner with you. You can wash your hair at your campsite using a gallon of water jug and wiping off your body with baby wipes. There isn’t anyone to impress at Bonnaroo, everyone is just one, big smelly family so don’t worry if you don’t look perfect.

But if you are dead set on getting your hair washed, Garnier Fructis sets up a hair washing station inside Centeroo where they will wash and style your hair for free, the only problem is you’ll spend half of your day waiting in line.

Tip: If you go on a good day, the lovely stylists from Garnier Fructis will hand out free samples of shampoo, conditioner and usually a bonus gift.

Centeroo

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Some days you’ll get caught up at your campsite, though it’s a blast to sit around and hang out with your friends, don’t stay for too long. Half of the fun of Bonnaroo is meeting new people from all around the world, so be sure to go into Centeroo early on.

Tip: Stay and watch a band you’ve never seen before. Dance and go crazy! Be sure to give out a lot of high fives!

Stay Hydrated

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Tennessee summers are undeniably hot, so it’s important to get a lot of rest and to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you, Bonnaroo has set up a free fountain full of fresh and filtered water just for you!

Tip: Also heavily consider cooling off in the mushroom fountain. You won’t regret it.

 Food & Drinks

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Food and drinks are very expensive on the Farm, so I suggest you bring snacks. You won’t be able to bring in any alcoholic beverages into Centeroo, but they do sell beer for the whopping price of $7.00, so drink what you need to before you go in or you’re in for one crazy expensive night.

Tip: Go get an Amish donuts. It’s worth it, don’t ask questions, just do it.

 Nightlife

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Attending Bonnaroo is one of the most exciting and exhausting events you’ll ever experience. There’s simply too much and not enough time to see everything you want, but I suggest you stay up for the nightlife. Glow sticks, a group of friends and some of the best live music you’ll ever see makes for an unforgettable evening.

Tip: Try catching some sleep under one of the stages or under a tree during the day so you’re well rested by nightfall.

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In my two years of attending the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, I can honestly say that it’s the only place that I’ve ever experienced true freedom. There aren’t any limitations on what you can do, say, or see and it’s truly beautiful to witness. At the end of it all, it’s about spending time with friends and complete strangers, listening to great music and making a few mistakes, but also a crazy amount of memories. So buckle up, hold on tight and get ready for one of the most memorable experiences of your life.

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Isabella Roy

Contributor, Savannah College of Art and Design Major: Writing Her heart belongs to: Zach Galifianakis Her guilty pleasures: stand up comedy, short stories, Quentin Tarantino, Mindy Kaling and Jack White.

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