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STATIC and FEEDBACK correspondent

Summer is just around the corner and means the beginning of the
music festival sesason, and speficically, Bonnaroo.
Bonnaroo is held in Manchester, Tenn. (one hour south of Nashville), a
quaint town with a Wal-Mart, Wafflehouse, truckstops and a couple of
hotels and campgrounds. If you drove through it, you wouldn’t think you
would miss much, but from June 16-18, it becomes the third largest
“city” in Tennessee.

A history of festies        

I would like to tell you a little about myself.  First, this will be my 5th
festival — three Bonnaroos, Phish’s finale in Coventry, Vt., and
Gathering of the Vibes in upstate N.Y.  I still consider myself fairly new
to the scene, but with a few under my belt, I have a faint idea on what to
expect. Once you are on (or even near) the festival grounds anything,
and everything can and will happen.

The first two Bonnaroo experiences that I have been a part of were
incredible.  I was able to partake in this massive shin dig for one
reason and one reason only;
Clean Vibes. Clean Vibes is imperative to
a festival.  They (myself included) are responsible for setting up,
maintaining and cleaning up the trash and recycling that is collected or
sadly (and aggravating) left behind.

The Clean Vibes crew members responsibility include working 10 hour
shifts spreading the good word of recycling. Even with this work load I
still have plenty of time to get down and schwilly! (If you don’t want to
work during the festival, you can always volunteer and work a couple of
days after the show; you will receive a ticket free of charge for your
“hard work”). Music surrounds you while you are on the festival
grounds, whether they be on the main stages (all 5 of them: What
Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent), or an
impromptu drum circle in the campgrounds. I love experiencing the
festival in this spectrum; rather than staying on your campsite waiting
for the artists to get on stage, mix it up and meet the people.
Continued  1  2  3
A day in the life at Bonnaroo:

■ Start the day off without enough
sleep. Stretch and greet your
neighbors that have either just
woken up or just made it back to
their tent.

■ Make yourself a Bloody Mary, to
give you that extra kick in the pants,
as you greet the sun to wake yourself
up.  Relive what shenanigans took
place the night prior.

■ Make yourself that instant oatmeal,
or walk down Shakedown to get your
grilled cheese or egg sandwiches
(Just watch out for the passed out

■ Relax; You have a LONG day/night
ahead of you.  Apply some sun
screen, drink some water.

■ Hit up the first stage of the day, play
Frisbee with your new friends.

■ Sit back, relax, drink more water,
and apply more sunscreen. Walk to
Centeroo, see the information booth,
meet up with friends, etc.

■ Hit up a music stage; start dancing!

■ Pick up some trash and recycling
to be a good role model.

■ Lather, rinse and repeat (minus
the whole cleansing part).  
The highlights of my first two Bonnaroos (’04, ’05) for me was meeting Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (at
the time he was solo with the New Earth Mud). I wound up accidentally walking to a beer tent where I thought I
had the legit credentials to, but later found out that I hadn’t.  I sent a photo taken with him to Maxim’s Blender
magazine, which won me a digital camera.

Last year, while I was hanging out with my Clean Vibe supervisor we made it backstage on the final night, when
Widespread Panic was playing on the main stage! It was totally surreal to see the musicians, including Robert
Randolph, so close while watching the enormous audience throwing their glow sticks in the air, leaving all of
their troubles behind. I can just imagine what is in store for me; hopefully, the third will be a charm!

What to bring, what to expect, and wookies           

OK, so enough about me; time to talk about Bonnaroo and what to expect, bring and whatnot.  Now, I don’t know
all the answers, but I also don’t think a veteran knows what to expect all the time. I have learned a great deal
from my experiences and would like to share them with you, to give y’all an idea.

The word Bonnaroo ('Bon-nah-rue, n.) comes from the Creole meaning “good times”, and boy is it ever! This is
the fifth installment of this arts/music festival.  This was their last year of their contract, but they apparantly
extended the contract with the town — they are promoting the raffle of the grand prize of two tickets for next years
‘Roo. The party is hosted on a huge farm property where the campgrounds are flat fields that are adjacent to
neighborhoods, including a church who like to let their presence know when all the “freaks” run amok.

Bonnaroo is more than just music. There are art vendors, shopping for your enjoyment (and necessity; the
country store has all your camping supplies), yoga, and most importantly, massage tents. You can expect
glassblowing demonstration, drum circles within the drum vendors’ tent, jamming on dijeredoos, and a new
energy drink that “we all must try.” It becomes a very eclectic community. I can guarantee you will not be bored
just walking around, which I highly recommend.

Walking around not only will get you acquainted but you get to “people watch.” This is a fun activity to do while
you are on your way back to the tent or heading to the stages. Go and explore, you may bump into someone that
you haven’t seen in months, even years!  Peruse the campground area to meet your neighbors (your new found
friends) as well as to find the nearest port-o-johns and, most importantly, the trash and recycling bins! (Please,
please, please pick up after yourselves and recycle. There will be no more recycling propaganda. I promise.)