The first day was insane. It was just Adam and I as Matt decided to go to see the B-52’s play in Chattanooga. (To each their own my friends…) Being the nice guy that I am I dropped his ass off down by the river in Chattanooga and then headed to Bonnaroo with Adam for our first day of the four day weekend.
Bonnaroo is just as great as I remember it. Tons of people all sharing the same vibe. Music playing all over the place full of different genres. Vendors selling their crafts as well as food and taking donations for various causes including something called “Mountain Top Removal“.
It was a little scattered on the farm as many people would not be arriving until Friday. People would actually be piling in all night long as some were not as fortunate as myself in having an extended weekend.
There are plenty more booths that need to be checked out and I will be doing some more of that today.
I saw some great acts I have never seen before as well as some favorites like Those Darlins. Yes, I am aware that I talk about them entirely too much but once you see them live you will understand my liken for the bunch. Not only is their music fun and catchy but the girls are super cool too. After their set Kelly Darlin spotted me and recognized me from her last show in Cleveland. She gave me a huge hug and chatted for a moment. I’m not starstruck or anything, but how cool is that? I know I am an unforgettable guy and all but for someone who has been non-stop touring for months and seen millions of faces, to remember one is pretty rad
John and Katie from Thirty Tigers were there too. I seriously love those two, they are great. Where I would have liked to have hung with them more after Those Darlins rocked out it was thunderstorming way too much and they had to help get the girl’s gear to their van. I’m hoping to run into them today.
So I leave you here with some photos I took with my little camera yesterday. I am not sure that I want to take in the good camera with the threat of storms and whatnot. I prefer to come home with no damaged equipment. We are prepared though. I purchased a rain jacket and waterproof box and Adam and Matt both got ponchos.
The time has come for one of the more exciting highlights of my year. Of course I speak of Bonnaroo!!!
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:
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!
I have to say that Bonnaroo 2009 is looking pretty good this year. Tickets go on sale this Friday and I already envision a sellout with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street band performing as well as Phish (2 shows mean major hippie joy). I am more excited to see Coheed & Cambria, the Beastie Boys, NIN, Andrew Bird, Wilco, Elvis Costello, Down (seriously???), and Jenny Lewis.
More Artists to Be Announced! (Line Up Subject To Change)
Tickets go on sale this Friday. They will run you about $224.50 at first and then will escalate to $249.50 after the early tickets sellout. Pricey, indeed, but this year Bonnaroo is making it easier for you to go as they have introduced a payment plan. Call it a rock layaway of sorts… Here is some info on that:
GA PAYMENT PLAN
General admission tickets will also be available for (5) payments of $50.00 plus applicable fees through our payment plan.
Payment plan ticket fees are $28.90 per ticket, which includes a $6.00 facility fee, $3.00 contribution to Coffee County, $1.00 charity donation, and $5.00 payment plan fee ($1.00 per payment), and service fees.
There is a limit of (10) general admission payment plan tickets per order.
GA Payment Plan Schedule*
Payment 1 $90.90 including all fees DATE OF PURCHASE
Payment 2 $50.00 Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Payment 3 $50.00 Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Payment 4 $50.00 Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Payment 5 $50.00 Tuesday, May 19, 2009
*For each GA ticket purchased starting on Saturday, February 7, 2009.
That is a great idea if you ask me. Everyone these days are hard on cash so this payment plan will pull in those folk who may now have been able to dish out all the loot at once. Keep in mind though that if you do the payment plan and miss just one payment, Bonnaroo will keep the ticket, keep your money, and still bill you for the balance. I knew there was a catch to this. Always make sure you read the fine print or in this case the part that says “IMPORTANT“:
IMPORTANT: If, for any reason, any of your payments are declined, in whole or in part, then all of the following will apply: (i) your order and your tickets will be canceled (ii) any payment received as of that date will be kept by Bonnaroo as partial offset for your default, (iii) you will still owe the balance of the full amount due for each ticket and you authorize Musictoday and Bonnaroo to charge your credit card for any balance due, (iv) Musictoday and Bonnaroo will be entitled to pursue all of their legal and equitable remedies to recover the full payment from you, and (v) you agree to pay all costs of collection incurred by Musictoday or Bonnaroo, including legal fees, that they may incur in collecting the balance of each ticket price. Payment plan tickets are subject to all of the other terms of the ticketing agreement.
I can only afford one festival this year. That is my limit. So far Bonnaroo is winning me over. One thing about Bonnroo that deters me though is the camping. I don’t camp anymore. I especially do not camp with 80,000 other people with camps set up as far as 3 miles from the venue.
I went to Bonnaroo in 2006. We stated in a dump hotel but it the the best thing we could do. We could come and go when we wanted to as we were not jammed into to the camping area like sardines. Trust me, once you park your car and set up camp you are done. There was hardly any traffic movement during the whole weekend as if you camped you were stuck.
No showers, no air conditioning, no running water… yeah I am too old for that these days… I can rock it at an all day long summer festival no problem, but at the end of the day I need a bed with some A/C cranking after a shower.
Just look at the picture below. The lower half of the picture is the festival grounds. The top half is the camping community. There is also an equal portion of the camping community behind the festival grounds too. Honesty it is an incredible site…
With tickets on sale at the end of the week I am really wishing the Virgin Festival line up would release so I can figure out which way I am headed this summer… I lean towards the Virgin Festival mostly because I have been to all of them so far so why ruin a tradition? This Bonnaroo line up though has me very interested…