Revisited: Bonnaroo 2011

13 Jun

10th anniversary of Bonnaroo is in the books and I’m ready to get tickets for next year. Being a Bonnaroo rookie, it was all about taking in as much of the experience as possible. After an afternoon waiting for everyone to fly in, rent the truck and an off the reservation experience at Walmart, we were on the road.  Some 60 miles and one wrong turn later, we arrived.  After finding the RV and unpacking enough food and booze to feed the entire stage crew for the festival, it was time to get the party started.  Meandering through the festival grounds at night it was hard to capture just how big the Bonnaroo fields are and how over 100,000 people flow in and out.  The first time you see it during the day, your jaw drops at the sight of an entire city being created in virtually the middle of nowhere.  If that’s what it takes for people to get along, be polite and just have a good time, I can live with that.

I also learned that no matter what bands you plan to see, you can go ahead and throw that plan out, it just isn’t going to happen and that’s a good thing.  Getting a chance to pop in and out of shows, listening to some new bands (and some old), wandering around the festival grounds and just kind of going with the flow seemed to be just fine.  Photos will be coming soon (I promise) but here are some of my highlights from Bonnaroo X.

My First Show: The Walkmen

My Final Show: Apache Relay

Best What Stage Show: The Black Keys

Best Which Stage Show(s):
G.Love/Warren Haynes

Best Tent Show: Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses

Best Overall Show: Walk The Moon

Biggest Surprise: Childish Gambino

Best Legend Show: three way tie – Robert Plant, Dr. John, Gregg Allman

Random Moment Of Awesomeness: blue blinkers dropping from the sky for Arcade Fire’s set

Overall Stage With The Best Performances: On Tap Stage – shows included Band of Heathens, Apache Relay, Chancellor Warhol, Mat McHugh, Pimps of Joytime, JEFF The Brotherhood, Bobby Long and more

Most Entertaining Show: Lil Wayne for the fact that at least 40,000 festival goers/hippies knew all the lyrics to his songs – you had to be there to understand where I’m coming from

Most Disappointing Moment: Terrible sound quality for the Buffalo Springfield show made it almost impossible to listen to (this saddened me more than anyone will ever know)

Next Big Thing:  Walk The Moon and Apache Relay

Top Party: the overflowing sea of madness for Girl Talk at 2:30am

Oddest Show That Was A Blast: Primus

Funky Good Time Show: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Band I Was Sad To Miss: GIVERS

Angriest Performer: Eminem

Best Intro: Lewis Black for Warren Haynes

What Would Have Been Great: a late night set from a headlining DJ

Top Roo’er: Guy trying to make the “World’s Biggest Glow Stick” (if you saw/met him, you know what I’m talking about)

Top Sports Bar Moment: Game 6 of the NBA finals was like the March Madness scene in Vegas (video coming soon).

Best Festival Eats: Bear Creek Farms’ hand cut French fries and Gravy

Best Broo’ers Festival Beer: Ashville Brewing Company’s Ninja Porter

Best Place To Cool Off: the cinema (if no line to wait)

Biggest Waste of Time: anything that involved a line

Shocker Of The Festival: no rain

Worst Part: Dust everywhere and if you didn’t have a bandana, you were SOL

Clutch Move: renting a pickup truck

Tip For Next Year: less junk food and more healthy food, bring laxatives and don’t go off the reservation

More Tips: flip flops are your enemy, dust sucks, that fountain water is filthier than Vegas’ Rehab, expect rain, drink water and more water

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6 Responses to “Revisited: Bonnaroo 2011”

  1. Erik Kabik June 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Thanks for this recap ….really sounds great!!

    • Craig June 14, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      thanks E! Can’t wait to tell you all about it and share some pics. A must go next year.

  2. Abby June 15, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Sounds like a BLAST!! Thanks for the cliffs notes version!

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