Bonnaroo 2015: Wednesday

Bonnaroo Chris brings ShelterBox back to Bonnaroo 2015.
Well we're all in the mood for a melody. And you've got us feeling alright.

Bonnaroo Arch - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Arch 2015

I awoke Wednesday morning in the back of a rented cargo van with the windows completely fogged up and an urgent need to pee. I stumbled out of the side door and through the adjacent tent system to the camp road. It was early sunrise and I stopped to soak in it's soft light and warmth. It was good to smell the morning dew and farm grass. No one from the ShelterBox team was awake and there was little movement in the rest of the volunteer/vendor camping. I shuffled to the nearby by porta-potti thinking about the journey to Tennessee that started over 24-hours earlier ...

My trip to Bonnaroo actually started when I forgot to set my alarm correctly and my buddy Alicia showed up at 2:45 am to find me disheveled and half awake but ready to go. We made good time from Sarasota, picking up Mike just north of Atlanta at almost exactly 11:00 am. We stopped for lunch in Monteagle, just 30-minutes and half a mountain away from Manchester, TN. Jim Olivers Smokehouse Restaurant offered delicious options and I went with the salad / hot bar for $10. By 1:30 pm, we were parked at the vendor meetup location and within 30-minutes, the entire team was onsite. Ron returned for another year from Michigan while Derek and Kevin came down from Pennsylvania. Last minute additions Stephanie and Felix made the drive from Florida like us, We made our way to the campground and got setup for the week ahead.

Ron pulled out a vat of vegan chili and began heating it up. The evening was a perfect ice breaker for the team to get to know one another. We met our neighbors, all of whom were volunteers or non-profit vendors. Different factions of the Bonnaroo family preparing for the main event. The mood was friendly and festive. We ate, drank and slept.


It's 9:30 am and the team is corralled and walking into Centeroo. The shuttle is running but we wanna show the newbies the long way just-in-case they have to walk. It's a flurry of activity as most sections of the concert field are still under construction. In Planet Roo, we secure the gear and begin to layout the area for a ShelterBox tent.

ShelterBox Team building the tent - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
ShelterBox Team prepares to raise the tent

It's hot. We take a break in the shade and use benches being built by one of the local carpenters. He tells us stories of his current projects and years past. Nearby, the folks from Acro Yoga put on a gorgeous demonstration. They rotate and flip each other around using hands and feet. Soon after, they are each flipping willing participants as much or as little as they want.

Acro Yoga - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
Acro Yoga at Bonnaroo
Stephanie gets airborne
ShelterBox Tent in Planet Roo - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
ShelterBox Tent in Planet Roo

The tent is complete and looks great. The team scatters for awhile but most of us show up for the Planet Roo happy hour at 5 pm. They serve a keg of Miller Light and we network with other the volunteers and learn what everybody is representing. Alicia pulls up the Stanley Cup on her phone (#GoBolts). I spend the evening exploring Centeroo and watching the construction, which will go on through the night.

Tomorrow it begins!

Planet Roo Post Office - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
Planet Roo Post Office

Stanley Cup Final #GoBolts
Stanley Cup Final #GoBolts

Ferris Wheel - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
Ferris Wheel

MTV Booth - Bonnaroo Chris 2015
MTV Booth 

First people to find Bonnaroo Chris 2015!
First to find Bonnaroo Chris 2015!

Time for bed. For the second year, I'm sleeping in the booth tent, in Centeroo. There is no music but plenty of construction noise as vehicles rumble by or beep-beep-beep as they back up. Metal clangs in the distance. People work through the night to get everything setup.

I snooze comfortable on my cot, eager to see how my favorite festival does this year.