Bonnaroo Is Almost Here…

The time has come for one of the more exciting highlights of my year.  Of course I speak of Bonnaroo!!!

Aerial shot by Taylor Crothers
Aerial shot by Taylor Crothers in 2006

When you go to any four day festival there is a lot of planning involved.  Not only do you need to pack enough to survive four days on a farm in the middle of Tennessee, but you also need to plan ahead with what bands you want to see.  Then there is the food you might want to bring, the mixes you need to make for the ride to and from as well as plan how you are going to get there.

Luckily I went in 2006 so I know how to get there and where to go.  Just in case you do not though, Bonnaroo posted this funny clip:

How to Bonnaroo tip 2 from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.

Now when I get there, who is it I wanted to see?

Well thanks to Bonnaroo’s website I was able to plan the performances I wanted to see.  Of course this is subject to change…

Thursday June 11th, 2009
Roger Alan Wade – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Black Lillies – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
MURS – The Other Tent 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM
Those Darlins – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
People Under the Stairs – The Other Tent 10:15 PM – 11:15 PM
Tobacco – Troo Music Lounge hosted by Budweiser 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Friday June 12th, 2009
Portugal. The Man. – Sonic Stage 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Gomez – Which Stage 12:45 PM – 2:00 PM
Animal Collective – Which Stage 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Which Stage 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Grizzly Bear – This Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Al Green – What Stage 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
TV on the Radio – Which Stage 6:45 PM – 8:00 PM
Lucinda Williams – This Tent 6:45 PM – 8:15 PM
Beastie Boys – What Stage 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM
David Byrne – Which Stage 8:45 PM – 10:45 PM
Phish – What Stage 11:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Public Enemy – This Tent 12:30 AM – 1:45 AM
Paul Oakenfold – This Tent 2:15 AM – 4:00 AM
Girl Talk – That Tent 2:15 AM – 3:45 AM

Saturday June 13th, 2009
Heartless Bastards – Which Stage 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
William Elliot Whitmore – Café Where hosted by AT&T 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Booker T & the DBTs – Which Stage 3:00 PM – 4:15 PM
Raphael Saadiq – That Tent 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Heartless Bastards – Sonic Stage 3:15 PM – 3:45 PM
Gov’t Mule – Which Stage 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Jenny Lewis – That Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
of Montreal – This Tent 5:15 PM – 6:30 PM
Wilco – What Stage 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Elvis Costello Solo – That Tent 6:45 PM – 8:15 PM
The Decemberists – This Tent 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
The Mars Volta – Which Stage 7:15 PM – 8:45 PM
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – What Stage 9:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Nine Inch Nails – Which Stage 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM
moe. – This Tent 1:00 AM – 4:00 AM
MGMT – That Tent 2:15 AM – 3:45 AM

Sunday June 14th, 2009
Cage the Elephant – That Tent 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Other Tent 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Dillinger Escape Plan – That Tent 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Jessica Lea Mayfield – Café Where hosted by AT&T 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
High on Fire – That Tent 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Erykah Badu – What Stage 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Andrew Bird – Which Stage 4:15 PM – 5:45 PM
Shadows Fall – That Tent 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Merle Haggard – This Tent 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Snoop Dogg – What Stage 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Band of Horses – Which Stage 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Coheed and Cambria – That Tent 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

PHEW!  That is a lot of bands.  This is the first time I have actually planned out a festival in advance and I am pretty sure that I will not stick to this.  There are plenty of other acts that might catch my ears as I walk through the festival grounds.

As most of you know I am attending this amazing trip with Matt from Addicted To Vinyl and his new roomie Rad-am.  I will be blogging as much as I can about my experiences here on this site as well as will try and create nightly wrap-ups once we return to our hotel at the end of the day for Blogcritics.Org.

Hotel you ask?  Bonnaroo offers hotels?

Not at all.  It is a camping environment.  Unless you have a hotel lined up somewhere in the general area, when you get to the farm in Manchester you park your car, set up camp, and hang out within the area for the duration of the event.

When I say 80,000 I mean it.  The picture above shows just 1/2 of the camping grounds.  It is surreal once you are walking around the place.

Now why the hotel you ask?

Seriously, do you honestly think I was going to camp with some 80,000 other people?  Hell no.  I need AC, bed, and most importantly a freaking shower!  I also need internet access, more AC, and peace and quiet when I am trying to sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, Bonnaroo will offer most of what I need sans AC, a bed, and peace and quiet.  It is impossible to think all 80,000 people will be sleeping at the same time so that rules out the peace and quiet.  Plus I am not much of a camper anymore and really hate it when the sun rises and turns the tent you sleep into an oven and you have to rip open the door just to breathe.  I am also a light sleeper and am sure I would not sleep a wink there.  That is why we got a hotel.  Plus I like AC.

When I think about it, it will be worth the extra money shelled out for the hotel.  It was when I went in 2006.  Even if I only spent 6 or less hours a day at that crap hotel we stayed at I got a shower and a sound sleep thanks to AC.  I am thinking though that the hotel I got this time will be a little better.  We are staying at a Holiday Inn Express about 30 miles south of Manchester.  I do not mind the drive at all seeing when I was at Bonnaroo in 2006 our hotel was about the same distance.

The food served inside Bonnaroo is not too overpriced and you can bet your sweet you know what that Matt and I will be eating as much Sonic as possible.  I am sure I will be eating breakfast at Krystal’s too.  I love me some grits.  I am also psyched to learn there is a Waffle House right by our hotel so that means a meal when we come back to the hotel around 5am…

Parking was not that bad either.  There is a visitor lot just to the north of the farm that has easy access to the highway as well is only about a 15 minute walk to Centeroo – the main festival ground where all the fun happens.

The guys and I are leaving Bonnaroo Sunday most likely after Coheed & Cambria around 8pm and were going to pull an all night drive back to Ohio but the more and more I think about it I think I am just going to drive as far home as I can and then get a hotel.  We shall see what happens…

Stay tuned to Brokenheadphones for Bonnaroo 2009 from my eyes.  Should be a pretty interesting!

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