When the term music festival is mentioned, most people automatically assume an unsafe atmosphere filled with drugs and alcohol, limited washing and hygiene facilities, packed with people who haven’t taken a bath in days listening to very loud music. The music, and nothing else, is the draw. However, the Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival turns all of those assumptions on their heads. It is a four-day music festival extravaganza held in Great State Park in Manchester, Tennessee. Started in 2001, it will mark its 10th year of existence with the 10th annual event scheduled for June 9-12, 2011. It has been declared as the ‘most fun’, ‘festival of the year’, and ‘best festival of the summer’ by various media outlets.
Although The Bonaroo Festival always features a stellar line-up, it is also especially known for the numerous activities and entertainment options available to festival goers in between music stages. One such example is the Silent Disco, where each person is given a pair of headphones upon entering. This allows everyone in the tent to hear the music and the DJ while dancing, while those outside the tent will not be able to hear anything. Festivalgoers also make good use of a large slip and slide area called Splash-a-Roo and a mushroom fountain to cool off in the summer heat. There is also a Comedy Tent where some top-notch comedians have performed in the past, and an air-conditioned Cinema Tent which shows both mainstream and indie movies.
The festival also allows opportunities for the festival goers to go beyond pure music and celebration as a number of non-profit organizations which provide information on resource conservation and healthy lifestyle can be accessed in the Planet Roo Tent. An Academy which offers various workshops (this year’s academy will include art, theatre, belly dancing, break dancing, percussion, sustainable and urban gardening, composting, and growing of vegetables using heirloom seeds) is also available for those who would like to increase their skills in certain areas. The Broo’ers Festival tent, where festival-goers can buy beers brewed from all over the United States, is more celebration-oriented. Aside from their inner person, participants will also have a chance to groom and improve their outer appearance, as a Salon which offers complimentary hair washing and styling (and free shampoo samples) will also be put up on the grounds, and yoga sessions will be offered one of the main stages.
Despite all these worthy activities, however, there is no doubt that music and the festival lineup is still the biggest draw at the Bonnaroo Festival. Released in early February, the lineup for the June festival includes Eminem, the Arcade Fire, Lil Wayne, Widespread Panic, Buffalo Springfield, Joe Vitale, My Little Jacket, Robert Plant & Band of Joy, and many more. Fans have lauded the lineup as hewing to the Bonnaroo tradition, combining major figures from pop and hip-hop with big touring independent bands and other up and coming players.
Can’t wait for June and Bonnaroo? Download this free bonnaroo-2011-lineup wallpaper in order to increase your excitement for the festival.