The weekend that I’ve been looking forward to for the past month and a half finally came, and it definitely did not disappoint! In addition to seeing 16 different bands perform, I also met some pretty incredible people and made several priceless memories during my 3 days on the farm. Needless to say, Amanda, Colleen, and I have already started discussing plans to attend Bonnaroo again next year! I will do my best to convey how amazing Bonnaroo was in this post, but the only way you will be able to really understand is by experiencing it for yourself!
The girls and I drove through the night on Wednesday and arrived in Manchester, TN around 4:30 am the next morning. We got to our parking spot by 5:45 am and finished setting up our campsite about an hour later. Once we were done unpacking, Amanda, Colleen, and I spent some time getting to know our neighbors before beginning to explore our surroundings. Since we were amongst the earliest arrivals to the festival, we were able to really enjoy the beauty of the farm. Below, you can see our campsite and our view of Centeroo (the heart of the festival where all of the stages and attractions are).
We were amazed by the layers of beautiful graffiti covering the walls surrounding Centeroo and overcome with euphoria once we saw what was contained within them. The grass and trees were a vibrant shade of green, and every structure was painted with a wide array of bright colors. After only a few hours on the farm, I was in love and had decided I was never going to leave.
On Thursday, we saw The Wild Feathers (3:15-4:00 at The Other Tent), The Unlikely Candidates (4:15-4:30 at the New Music on Tap Lounge), Allah-Las (4:45-5:15 at That Tent), and ZZ Ward (6:00-7:00 at That Tent). Amanda and Colleen were exhausted and went to bed around 8:00, but I stayed up to see Cherub (9:00-10:00 at That Tent) and hang out with some other friends at their campsite. ZZ Ward and Cherub were my favorite performances of the day. I especially enjoyed ZZ Ward’s cover of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home.”
Friday was our busiest day, and it started with a performance by one of my favorite bands, Hunter Hunted (12:00-12:45 at the Sonic Stage). We also saw The Naked and Famous (5:45-6:45 at The Other Tent), Vampire Weekend (7:30-8:30 at What Stage), Phoenix (8:45-10:00 at Which Stage), Ice Cube (12:00-1:00 at Which Stage), and Skrillex (1:30-3:30 at Which Stage). Hunter Hunted, Phoenix, and Skrillex were absolutely amazing, and I think those three performances alone were worth every penny I invested in the trip. Hunter Hunted (left) and Skrillex (right) are pictured below.
On Saturday, we were all worn out (and a little hungover, to be honest), so we decided to hang out at camp with our neighbors instead of seeing Royal Canoe and Desert Noises. Eventually, we made it to Centeroo and saw Grouplove (5:00-5:45 at That Tent), Cage the Elephant (6:00-6:30 at Which Stage), Chromeo (7:30-8:30 at Which Stage), Zedd (9:15-10:30 at Which Stage), and the Skrillex and Friends Super Jam (12:00-1:30 at This Tent). Grouplove and Zedd were my favorites of the day. I was particularly excited when it rained confetti during Zedd’s finale!
Unfortunately, my dream of staying on the farm forever did not become a reality. Amanda and Colleen needed to be back in South Carolina by 10:00 Sunday night, so we had to leave around noon and miss some artists we were really looking forward to seeing that afternoon/evening (Capital Cities, Arctic Monkeys, Broken Bells, and Wiz Khalifa). One benefit to leaving the festival early was that we were able to avoid traffic and make it back to Atlanta in only 3.5 hours!
Despite the fact that we had to leave a day sooner than we would have liked and the fact that I still haven’t caught up on sleep, I would not change a single thing about my first Bonnaroo experience. Those three days on the farm were literally the best of my life, and I cannot wait to go back next year! I would highly recommend that anyone with even the slightest inclination to attend Bonnaroo make it a priority to save up and fit the trip into your schedule – I promise it is worth every cent.
P.S. I apologize for not posting about this sooner. Between Bonnaroo and my trip to Orlando last week, I’ve only been home for 2 of the past 10 days. Over the next week or so, be on the lookout for a post reviewing the products I used during my stay on the farm as well as a post about my family vacation in Florida.