Bonnaroo: Highlights Days 3 and 4

All of our headdresses came out to play

 –Saturday: The day of the most beautiful harmonies. Great day to be a music fan. 

Brandi Carlile. We knew it was going to be a great day when this was the first song we heard: 

(The video isn’t the best quality but once you hear the song, you’ll understand.)

-Then we let the music take us and came across The Sonic Stage: a small, intimate setting. Big Sam’s Funky Nation got all soulful and we all got down, way, way down. We set up our blanket and danced all over the grass. They turned ‘When the Saints Go Marching In,’ into ‘Oh when the saints, win the Superbowl’ And I felt like they just won the Superbowl that day. 

Mumford and Sons. Again, the harmonizing took us up, up and away. As they sang, ‘Rain down, rain down on me,’ during ‘Thistle and Weeds’ the skies listened and the rain fell. The universe was working in full force that weekend. Sophia Bush and her boyfriend, another One Tree Hill cast member, also walked right past our blanket during this set. 

Stumbling upon the Ford music tent and seeing Dawes play an intimate, acoustic performance. The band was sitting on stage and there were probably only 30 other people in the room. 

Our Savior

 –The Magic Mushroom. This was a highlight of the whole weekend. This thing literally saved our lives. 

 -Tennessee Sunsets: My new favorite time of day. Just as the sun was setting, it spewed out pinks, oranges, blues; a glow like no other. 

Seeing Stevie Wonder (Even if I only caught the very end of his set, it was still awesome to see a legend) 

Jay-Z. Similar to his performance at Coachella (check out what I had to say here) but he’s still my main man.

After Jay-Z we caught the end of Thievery Corporation’s set. They called all the ladies up on stage to dance. I ran to the front, climbed over the bar, danced in the section before the stage, tried to climb on to the main stage, but got pulled off by a security guard before I made it. Still loved it though. 

The community. Again, this was a highlight of the whole weekend. I had a blast with the group of friends I went with, and enjoyed getting to know our neighbors. Because of the tight quarters, everyone is basically forced to cozy up with their neighbors, which is a definite good thing. We met some really cool people. And everyone was willing to share and help out whenever they could.

Us and two of our neighbors

My wonderful friends

John Butler Trio at the Sonic Stage. 

John Butler Trio

 As they sang, ‘Good Excuse’ I fell in love with the lyrics, ‘Go take a step outside, see what’s shaking in the real world.’ They jammed for at least 10 minutes in the middle of this song. All around it was just a good-feeling, happy, sun-shining set. 

-Our Gift Exchange. All five of us brought gifts to give each other during the weekend. On Sunday when we were just jamming and hanging out before DMB, we passed our gifts in a circle like hot potato and eventually yelled stop.  




Dave Matthews Band 

Lanterns took over the sky during DMB's set

A great finish to an incredible weekend. 10, 15, 20 minute jams spread out over a few songs. Dave’s scatting, and free-styling throughout songs, the non-stop dancing and grooving and feeling-good. In the middle of ‘Jimi Thing’ Dave started saying, “All the sexy mother fuckers shaking that ass, shaking that ass, shaking that ass.” My friends and I just looked at each other in disbelief: “Is this really happening!?” As he kept repeating those lines, we kept shaking our asses.

Bonnaroo: Getting there

Strapped for cash and humbled by my experience with WET, I decided to volunteer at Bonnaroo. To my dismay and horror all the WET applications were filled up when I looked (they re-opened about a week later). So I looked at other volunteer options. And let me tell ya, I thought I was a pretty decent google-searcher, but searching for volunteer companies at music festivals showed me otherwise.

Luckily my friend told me about Clean Vibes,  a company dedicated to waste management. I signed up, anxiously waited 72 hours to hear back, and shortly after I was all set to work Post Shift Clean-up. My friend Brittany did the same, and we were ready to go.

One problem solved, onto the next.

We were car-less. Luckily my Dad is the man/the nicest guy in the world and let us use his car for the trip. My lovely little Saturn wouldn’t have lasted that long a drive.

Britt made this sign for our car ride!

We made it to Chattanooga, TN in about 14 hours. That night we stayed with a friend of a friend’s (now a friend of ours 🙂 ) We were exhausted from the drive, but still didn’t get to sleep until pretty late. We stayed up executing our plan to ensure a good camping spot. We all set our alarms for around 7 a.m. to try to beat the Bonnaroo traffic. Some camping spots are an hour walk to Centeroo, the main area of the festival, and we didn’t want to get stuck with one due to poor planning. (Turns out planning doesn’t even matter in regards to camping spots at Bonnaroo. Most of it is sheer luck.)

“Check your cars to make sure no one broke in,” We woke up hours late to our host, Beth, saying. Someone broke into her boyfriend’s car. Frazzled and suddenly alert we checked our cars and found out they were safe. It was time to depart.

Us with the whole city of Chattanooga behind us

After about 40 minutes of cruising down Route 24 we saw a huge trail of cars stopped on the shoulder. According to our handy-dandy GPS directions we were still a couple miles from the exit but this appeared to be the line. So we tried to cut in. Not a good idea. Out of nowhere a state trooper on a motorcycle appeared at our car window, screaming, “Are you trying to cut in line?”

-Me, replying meekly and weakly, “No.”

-Crazy testosterone-pumping-in-every-body part-man inches from my face, “GET OUTTA HERE! DO YOU WANT A TICKET!”

Bonnaroo Traffic use Shoulder

We quickly ditched that idea and tried to find a spot elsewhere. Luckily enough some cars let all three cars in our party in together. And it was miles from that scary, power-driven man. Two bad starts to the day, but the excitement and anticipation built up nonetheless.

We had about five miles, probably less to our exit. We waited in shoulder traffic for six hours.