our first night at bonnaroo was freezing and we were completely unprepared. through all of our pre-trip research, all we heard was how scorching hot Tennessee is in june. so we packed 9 jugs of water each, shorts, floppy hats, sunscreen, and bathing suits. not once did i think about packing a sweatshirt or pants. luckily i brought a blanket, because without it, i might've had to do some serious cuddling with amber for warmth.
but when the sun came up Thursday morning, temperatures rose quickly and before we knew it, it was too hot to even change in the tent. so thanks bipolar Tennessee weather, for contributing to a weekend without much sleep.
we spent Thursday morning/early afternoon checking out the vendors down the road from our tent. there were tons of food, clothing, and art vendors, all tempting us with pretty, unique things. i bought a gorgeous handmade poncho from Nepal to keep me warm at night.
the gates to Centeroo (the concert area) didn't open until noon on Thursday, but once they did, they stayed open for the entire weekend. the initial line to get in wrapped around the whole left gate of Centeroo, further than we could see. we waited a couple hours before going in, because there weren't any bands playing that we particularly wanted to see.
the line was still fairly long later in the afternoon because the volunteers checking bags are pretty thorough the first day (but just the first day... by friday the lines moved fast and by saturday i didn't even need to unzip my backpack). but regardless of the length, the wait is made exciting by all of the antsy and intoxicated people all amped to get in. there's lots of cheering, chugging, and high-fiving. and once, on Sunday morning, after it had rained, a path was cleared in line and a guy ran and slid on his belly through mud toward the bonnaroo arch.
but Thursday was gorgeous and sunny. Thursday was for exploring.
once we got into the roo, we walked around our beautiful little weekend world. i was amazed and so very impressed with everything bonnaroo had to offer. aside from the many food and clothing vendors (which were all so appetizing), there were so many things to see and do.
there was a huge mushroom shaped fountain to cool off in, a cinema tent, a comedy tent, a silent disco, multiple digital music lounges, a Garnier Fructis salon, and even a post office--just to name a few. my favorite might have been the Fuse barn, where we went to sit in air conditioning and charge our phones a couple times over the weekend.
Thursday was mainly spent getting familiar with where the stages are located, since they're so cleverly named to confuse sober and intoxicated people alike. the stages are: What Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, and The Other Tent. bonnaroovians have a crazy/cruel sense of humor. the following is a conversation that went down while at What Stage:
"does anyone know where Grouplove is playing?" -random guy
"yeah, at This Tent." -random girl
"wait, which stage?" -guy
"no, not Which Stage, This Tent!" -girl
"you mean HERE?" -guy
after a couple hours of Centeroo exploring, amber and i split from our friends to go back to the campsite for shade, food, and beer. when late afternoon rolled around, we perched ourselves on top of the 4runner with a few budweisers for an amazing view. up on the roof, we could see the entirety of the tent city all around us. we could see the Centeroo entrance arch, the clock tower, and both ferris wheels. we even had a direct view of the What Stage, where all the big acts played. granted, it looked sort of tiny from our tent, but we could hear the music and that's all that matters, right?
but i still can't decide whether my favorite part of our view was the brilliant sunset we got to enjoy in its entirety, or the parade of incandescently happy people passing by before us. as the sun sank into the horizon behind us, lighting up the sky with hues of pink and purple, a beautiful variety of character walked in front of us, most of whom either waved, said hi, complimented us, invited us to come with them, or simply threw their hands into the air and yelled out, "bonnarooooo!"
one guy passing by yelled out, "bonnarooo! well... bonnaROOF!" :)
bonnaroof quickly became one of my favorite spots on planet roo.