I always come back from a festival with a list of things in my head that I would do different next time, and then I’m so tired, hung over, brain dead, that I don’t write anything down, and then I forget.
Well, not this time.
Things to know about BONNAROO:
1. There are a bunch of places to refill water, so bring a refillable water container - preferably something that will latch onto a purse or pack so you don’t have to carry it.
2. PERSONAL FANS! - whether it be a handheld you can walk in with, or a table fan to have at your site, I can’t tell you how many mornings I stumbled out of the tent (that had become something closer to a sauna) to lay under the canopy with a fan directed at my face.
3. DUSTY AS SHIT. Seriously. I couldn’t take deep breaths by day 2. Not awesome. Bring a hanker chief to tie around your nose and mouth. Or a gas mask. Maybe goggles. I am not even joking, if I do Bonnaroo again, I am definitely bringing a mask and goggles. I will look like a freak, no doubt, but I will be able to breath, sooooo probably worth it.
4. Bring your own toilet paper to the porta potties. Every time. Also bring your own hand sanitizer or wipes too. They clean them by spraying them down with water, sooo everything on the seat, in the urinal, on the ground, really just gets sprayed everywhere around the inside of the porta potty - this includes back onto the seat, onto that pole that sometimes acts as a balance aid, aaaand onto the hand sanitizer dispenser. Ya. Ew.
5. WAITING IN LINE FOR PORTAPOTTIES SHOULD NOT BE SINGLE FILE!!!!! Buuuut apparently that’s how they do it. Sooo If you see this, go around the back and just walk into an empty stall. What happens with this single file line craziness, is that everyone only ends up going into stall that they physically see someone come out of, but there are several (if not most) that remain unoccupied until you, now the smartest of the bunch, go in. AND now everyone in that single file will watch you come out, so you have in effect actually opened up another bathroom for them! Good looking out!
6. SOLID SHOES ARE A MUST. Coachella I go barefoot the entire time, but even without the forewarned rain, the terrain is much too difficult to not wear shoes, not to mention that even with the lack of water, there still ended up being a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of swampy, dirty, sewagey areas that I was even nervous to walk NEAR. I would even recommend light boots or sneakers rather than sandals cause there is grass, sand, rock, wood, metal … you name it, that you are walking on…
7. The first area that you walk into when going to the stage is the MOST crowded, if you walk through this for a little bit, you will be able to get closer AND have more dancing room!
8. It is HOT AS HELL, soooo bringing in a piece of fabric or a scarf and getting the vendors to dip it in their ice is clutch. Do this, wrap it around you and for a brief moment of utter ecstasy you remember what it was like to be cold, and then you are hot again.
9. Don’t lose your map/schedule. They run out.
10. People are usually pretty nice and easy going at festivals, but this is another story! EVERYONE is super social and wants to talk to you and help you out if you need it. If you are in trouble, need some water, a charger, food, beer, shade, anything … just ask around and probably 10 people will jump to help you out. I’ve never been to a festival alone before, but I feel like you could not only survive Bonnaroo by yourself, but you would leave with a hundred new festival amigos :)
11. Phones don’t work. Texts are delayed. Calls take forever to get through. Have a time and a meeting spot, and keep to it. Mushroom fountain works.
12. Don’t buy shirts from the inside merch tent. A TON of really awesome, super cheap shirts are sold by people at the campsite. They come to you. All sizes. Don’t have to lug it around. I got an awesome shirt for $10. ya.
13. Unlike other festivals, Boannaroo goes ALL day and ALL night. Literally, bands will extend their sets for hours and all of the sudden you will notice that the sun is rising – and you’ll probably be pissed because you’ll realize that you have only a couple hours left of weather cool enough to sleep in.
14. If you have to choose, better to miss Thursday than Sunday.
15. Stay hydrated. Remember to eat. Don’t mix too many drugs. and be prepared to dance and sweat and dance and sweat and dance and sweat and dance and sweat …