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Bonnaroo Survival Guide: 2014

Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

06-11-14 centeroo 001MANCHESTER — This week the gates will open to what traditionally becomes one of happiest places on earth for four days each summer.

Thousands of music lovers will begin their descent upon The Farm for four, fun-filled days of music, food, art and much more known as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

While a good attitude and a wristband are really the only requirements for the festival, there are a few other things one should carry with him or her when headed out to the The Farm for the long weekend. While the gates will open in just a few hours, there is still time to put together the needed Bonnaroo gear.

While most of the items on this list are just common sense, a little reminder never hurts. The following offers a survival guide for mind, body and soul.

The Basics

While you don’t want to pack everything you own, it’s better to be over-prepared than to regret not bringing something. Whether you’re an out-of-towner camping or a local heading home for the night, here are some basics to bring along.

  • Back pack: It’s the easiest way to keep everything you need in one place and with you wherever you go.
  • Water: Bonnaroo specifically mentions no glass bottles, so buy the biggest plastic water bottle you can find and drink it while you wait in line to get in. You’ll be able to refill it all day.
  • Cash: Most transactions will require cash. There will be ATMs available, but expect long lines and hefty fees. Bonnaroo is also promoting paying through Paypal, with incentives such as free tickets for 2015 Bonnaroo for using the service. For more information, visit
  • Spray sunscreen: Spray is quicker than lotion and gives you better coverage.
  • Poncho: Lighter and easier to pack than an umbrella, but just as effective.
  • Hand sanitizer: You’ll be using Porta Potties and sweating all day.
  • Toilet Paper: It’s not just a festival … it’s a camping trip.
  • Phone charger: Your phone isn’t going to last four days, so prepare accordingly.
  • Lightweight towel: To sit on during down times.
  • Small folding chair: If the towel isn’t good enough for you.
  • Hoodie: Because you’re camping and despite the hot days, Tennessee nights do get cool.
  • Spare shoes/boots: You’ll be glad you listened if it rains.

Other must-have essentials are bug spray, earplugs, band-aids, SPF Chapstick, and, for those who have long hair, pins or ties are a must. 

06-11-14 bonnaroo crowd 001 Stay Connected

While you shouldn’t plan to be on the phone the whole time, you do, however, want to capture some of the awesome moments that the festival offers.

It’s also a must to stay alert as the festival tweets and messages out surprise performances and other important information.

Stay in touch with the following social media sites:

Instagram: @bonnaroo

Facebook: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Twitter: @bonnaroo

Tumblr: Bonnaroo

SnapChat: @BonnarooSnaps

Don’t forget to use #Bonnaroo when posting throughout the weekend to see yourself on the big screens, the webcast or The Fountain. 

Lineup Preparation

Seeing your favorite bands is the whole reason to go to The Farm in the first place.

The festival has made scheduling the performances of favorite concerts easy with its website and smartphone app.

You can set alerts, share lineup with friends, and categorize them by days and location all with a swipe or your finger or click of your mouse.

Don’t forget to plan out a meal or two. In the past few years the festival food has become just as popular as the lineup. The app offers a complete list of vendors, locations, and even menus to browse for a true epicurean’s delight.

The app can be downloaded on any Android or iPhone smartphone device or through

Radiate Positivity

According to festival planners and festival veterans, The Farm is an aggro-free zone. The whole goal of the festival is happiness, which is achieved by smiles, high fives and random acts of kindness.

Sure, there will be long lines, heat and dust, but the smiling faces will also outweigh the bad that you will experience.

Festival planners also advise for both new and old Bonnaroonians to show respect to staff, fellow festival-goers, The Farm’s neighbors and to do one’s best to leave a positive impression.

Be Environmentally Minded

There is a chance to recycle almost everywhere you turn at Bonnaroo.

New this year, the festival is introducing the Refill Revolution. The goal of Refill Revolution is to raise awareness about waste and to reduce plastic cup and bottle consumption associated with the tens of thousands of beverage servings made during the course of the festival. It’s also a great way to take Bonnaroo home with you, and to re-use your cup or bottle daily to further cut disposable waste at work, home and play.

The Refill Revolution water bottles will be available at concession stands for $5 each, and can be refilled endlessly at any of the free water refill stations at Bonnaroo. The steel cups will be available at beer stands for $15 each — a cost that includes a cold beer, the durable cup, and to-go carrying strap — plus an additional $1 discount off all subsequent refills made with the cup at beer stands throughout the remainder of the festival.


—By KALI BOLLE, The Tullahoma News Lifestyles Editor

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