J and I went to Bonnaroo this year. We were festival virgins before this. I can honestly say it was a unique experience, but not necessarily one I am anxious to repeat. If I ever go again the bands would have to be even better than this year, and I would for sure do VIP.

Day 1:
I placed our tickets into a Ziploc bag, that way I would know exactly where they were!
One last family picture before we began our (very long) trip. A didn't even cry. She went and sat down at her table and yelled bye as we walked out the door. She had a great week with her Nana, she did not ask about us even once!
Just for perspective, here we are at the beginning of our trip. I drove the first part, until Memphis, then J took over. 

We arrived in Manchester around 4:30 Thursday morning, marking 12 hours from when we left home. This is a fairly accurate depiction of our feelings.

From here we met up with my cousin, then took a "secret" way into the grounds. This meant we only had to wait in line 2 hours to get in, as opposed to 5+ from the highway routes. About an hour into our wait, we encountered a man calling himself "Spoony". I regrettably do not have a picture of Spoony as I had no beer to trade him. Ah well, I will never forget him!

Wristband on! This means we were officially in the grounds. We were supposed to get in line behind D (my cousin), but we were routed to a shorter line. The volunteers that were checking cars did a cursory glance into our windows then asked us if we had glass, fireworks, or anything else illegal. We said no, which was true, but come on, it would have been no trouble to lie. They barely checked anything. The lady put our wristbands on, gave us our map, and we were off!

To wait in another line.

This line was the one that would take us to our campground. We ended up in Pod 9, at Camp Dr. Peter Venkman.
This is the view from our tent. It was a total land grab from the moment you got parked.

After setting up our tent, we headed into Centeroo to check things out.
This is the view of the line to get in! it moved fairly quickly, all things considered. The paint job on the arch was beautiful.

Day 1 (Still!) This picture is us at our first show Futurebirds. A great start musically! It was soooooo hot though. Thankfully, about 10-15 minutes into their set, the sun went behind some clouds and the wind started blowing. After the Futurebirds, we caught Karen Elson in the hopes that Jack White would come out, he didn't, but I thought he did. There was a very pale man, with long black hair, and a tie playing with her, but it wasn't Jack. Then we stayed for Best Coast. I had intended to stay for Sleigh Bells, but instead we went to the Cinema tent and watched game 5 of the NBA playoffs. Then we were exhausted (by this time we had been up for basically a day and half) so we went back to our tent and crashed.

Day 2:
J and our tent. I think we had a good setup. We had shade, and really that was the key to everything! I did a lot of research on and thank goodness I did. Our neighbor to our left had no shade and he ended up sleeping in his car all weekend.

This is one of the weird heads. I thought they were neat. It was insanely hot this day as well.

The first picture is from Grace Potter, the second is while we were waiting for The Decemberists. On the second day we listened to Jessica Lea Mayfield, Phosphorescent, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Decemberists, and My Morning Jacket. The Decemberists were easily my favorite show of the weekend, but I have a bias. I really regret not staying for the Arcade Fire show, but once again, we just couldn't stay up.
The Lil Wayne show woke me around 2:00 though, so that was great. (Not really.)

Day 3:
Okay truthfully, I was ready to go home by day 3. I was tired, stinky, hot, dirty, and bored until we got into Centeroo everyday. I missed A, and J was having issues with his time off work, so I was worried. I think we would have been better off doing a shorter fest our first time. With all that 3 was the best day musically.
We started out in the shade at Alberta Cross (FANTASTIC band!), then stayed in that same shady spot for The Low Anthem, Deer Tick, and Portugal. The Man. I can honestly say that all of these bands were excellent! It was a superb six hours. We intended to go to Mumford and Sons, but it was a nuthouse. Way too many people on a not nearly large enough stage. So instead we caught half of Wiz Khalifa whom I know only because of Chelcie and her singing Black and Yellow at work.

After Wiz were The Black Keys. This picture shows how far away we were for that show! Insane. They sounded great, but they started late and did not fill their set time, so that sucked. We planned on staying for Eminem, but it started to rain. We headed back to our tent, not having ponchos with us. By the time we got to our camp, it had stopped raining. We didn't go back. We did however, hear the whole show from our tent. I fell asleep intending to get up for a late night at Gogol Bordello, but I didn't wake up. I was pretty upset about that in the morning. As you can tell from the picture of us, we were tired, sunburned, and in desperate need of a shower!

Day 4: We didn't get to see any shows on Sunday. J had to be at work at 8:00 on Monday morning and we figured with the 12 hour drive ahead of us we had better get going. I was totally bummed from a music stand point, but psyched to get to see A, shower, and sleep in my own bed with air conditioning!

Final verdict: Bonnaroo was musically everything I hoped it would be. However, as someone who likes to sleep 8 solid hours, doesn't smoke, drink, do drugs, or dance, some of the fun was lost on me. If I ever do it again, I would for sure pay extra for VIP. I would also try and to have more days like Saturday, where we were in one spot all day out of the sun.

This post is super long and I haven't even mentioned the neighbors to right of us, the roaming drug dealers, the actual drive there and back, the boobies, the tats, or the people....Maybe I will write a follow up!


  1. Wiz Khalifa!?!?! hahaha, that's great! i had to re-read that to make sure you had really said that. sounds like you had quite the experience! glad you're back safe and sound!

  2. Such a fun experience. Wish my Fiancë was here so that we could have trips like this too. Great photos. =) Thanks for sharing.
    And also, amazing blog. I am following. And maybe youll visit me someday too.

  3. Whoa! Sounds like you had a real experience there.

    We are hosting a Pamper Yourself Giveaway (from your tale you probably need a relaxing day)! Stop by and enter for your chance to win.