Well, I have officially been home from Bonnaroo for a week and I’ve done nothing but think about Roo since I’ve been home. To say that it was hands down the best experience of my life is an understatement. I had never been before and truly wasn’t knowing what to expect, but everything I had heard or watched was nothing compared to the real thing. Every part of it was amazing, even the camping experience. If you haven’t gone, then mark your calendars for next year because it will change your life.
When we got there, the first thing we had to do was set up camp. Not going to lie – I was nervous for this part. Not only had I not camped in years, and I mean years, I was with one of my friends and not my father, the king of camping. Well, I definitely proved my father wrong when he said I wouldn’t be able to make it.
We had a pretty nice setup but there are some things I would do differently for next year. For instance, I would put down a rug under our shade tent, I would get a free standing hammock or cot so that I could lay down outside of the tent when it got too hot in the morning, and I would look into the camping shower tents so I wouldn’t have to pay $10 to shower again. We also kept everything in our car so that it wouldn’t crowd the campsite.
Once we set up camp, it was time to head into Centeroo. Centeroo is where all the stages were along with activities, food, shopping and parties. It was a 20-30 minute walk from our camp to the center. When I saw the arch for the first time, it took my breath away.
The first thing we did once we got inside was explore the grounds to see where everything was. And of course, I made a stop at the merch tent to purchase all of the goodies that I saw online. Once we figured out the schedule for the evening, I got myself a corndog and a beer and I was one happy camper. We sat down and started to listen to some bands and discover new music.
As the night went on, we sat on the lawn and listened to some incredible music. It was a late night and after we saw all of our planned shows we ended up at Kalliope, which was this amazing stage where DJs came and performed until the morning pretty much.
Day two was the day that I was most excited for because I was seeing one of my favorite artists of all time, for the first time. So we got ready and headed over to Centeroo for a couple of hours to listen to some new artists before I took my nap to prepare for J Cole.
One of the things that Bonnaroo is known for is the ‘Before I Die..’ wall and of course I had to write something. So what did I write? That before I die, I want to live overseas.
After my nap, it was time to head back to the farm for the performance I had been waiting for. When we walked back on to the farm, I saw these murals of J Cole’s lyrics painted along the wall and they were breathtaking. Also, the first picture in this series is the infamous fountain on the farm!
Once we had got our food and water, it was time to wait in front of the stage for J Cole! In the first picture is right when we got there to watch MisterWives who were incredible! Well after their set, we realized that in order to get as close as possible to the stage, we had to wait in a pit line. So we made our way over to the line where we waited for three hours until it even began to move in the slightest way. Once it did, it was mad chaos. Everyone was pushing and cutting and all things that come with lines like that. They let in a few people at a time and people raced in to get as close as possible. I didn’t get as close as I wanted, and I mean like I wanted to be able to reach out and touch him, but I can’t complain about where I was.
Once we were in the pit we waited an hour for J Cole to come on, and in that time we obviously made friends with those around us. When he came on, it showed the ‘Dreamville’ logo and then there he was. It was seriously one of the greatest moments of my life. During the set, he talked about stories from his life and other things. But then the greatest thing happened, he brought out Chance The Rapper. I was so excited that I literally cried and couldn’t stop jumping, shaking or singing. It was incredible! But honestly, there aren’t words to describe it. I mainly got videos but if you look at the picture above, you can see how close we were.
In these pictures, you can see some of the farm at night. It’s really quite hilarious because at Bonnaroo they name the stages ‘What Stage,’ ‘Which Stage,’ ‘This Tent,’ ‘That Tent,’ and ‘The Other Tent.’ It can get confusing but it is so funny to listen to all the drunk people trying to direct their friends’ places.
This is from Ellie Goulding’s performance and man, was she amazing!
These are from Judah and The Lion’s performance. They were so high energy and so much fun to watch!
These are just more pictures from the farm. They have so many interesting things all over. From a Ferris wheel to these giant bobble heads, Snake Jake’s Christmas Barn and just more artsy things that you can find everywhere.
Also, on our last day, we saw The Oh Hellos and X Ambassadors, which are pictured above. They put on an incredible show!
Just some more pictures from the beautiful farm. The canopies by the solar stage where you could often find people lounging in their enos at all hours. The giant statue of the hand holding the world. The arch that is the entrance into Planetroo. The view from the back of the lawn while watching Death Cab For Cutie on the main stage. Some of the people at Bonnaroo brought in a tent and wrote ‘We Love You Orlando’ on the top, which truly just shows how amazing the people are there. And last but not least, the beautiful sunset on the last night of Roo.
As I was walking away, I couldn’t help but snap some pictures of the main stage as Dead and Company played and of the arch as it would be the last time I saw it for a whole year.
Bonnaroo – you changed my life for the better. Most people probably won’t understand when I talk about how a music festival on a farm actually impacted me so much but it did. This experience opened my eyes, calmed me down, and made me so grateful for everything that I have. I didn’t want that weekend to end and I am still having some major post festival depression but I am already counting down the days until next year. I’ll see y’all on the farm!