How To Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Chris - Tips, ideas and memories from the Bonnaroo Music Festival


Hi, I'm Chris, I love music and I'm a huge fan of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival which I first attended in 2007.  I've met thousands of people and have witnessed some amazing music and comedy performances. Each year I've attended is a badge of honor that I wear proudly.  #RooLife

With a lifetime of attending concerts, I have a box full of concert tickets and so many fond memories. I decided to catalog every show I've ever been to. It is a labor of love in progress which can be viewed on my Concert Timeline.

This page is dedicated to everyone who has gone or wants to attend Bonnaroo and wants to maximize their experience. None of the content here is officially sanctioned by the festival, just so we're clear.

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  ~ Helen Keller

HOW IT WORKS 

Get to Tennessee and into a line of cars. Upon entry, a team will search your vehicle and your coolers and apply wristbands (your ticket). You will be directed to park next to a campsite the size of a parking spot. The tent city will grow as people arrive through the day and night. Go to a nearby Plaza for necessities and fun. You'll meet folks from all places and of all ages, sizes and sobriety. Walk to Centeroo (the concert field), where you'll get in line for a search. Inside Centeroo, you can access all the entertainment and vendors. You'll witness amazing musical acts and see a lot of strange and wonderful people. You'll survive unrelenting heat. You'll discover great food options, crazy costumes, fireworks and fun surprises. You'll dance.  You might get lost. You will get a high-five. Everything you own will get covered in dust. You'll try to ingest as much music and fun as you can humanly consume. Then everybody goes home and sleeps.

A good attitude is required. The mantra of the festival is #RadiatePositivity. You're in a circus-like refugee camp for the weekend. Bonnaroo is a once in a lifetime experience so take the good with the bad. Pray it rains a little but not a lot. It will be brutally hot and your body could swell slightly from all the sun and humidity. There will be huge crowds. 99% of the people you will meet are really nice and they're just going through the same insane experience as you. Get to know some of them! Be a good neighbor and lend a hand. Share your shade if your neighbors are melting in the sun. I bring jumper cables which get borrowed each year. I've yet to see a single fight. It's the camaraderie and goodwill of all of us that make this festival special and enjoyable.

THE PLAN

Obviously, read Bonnaroo's website and understand the rules. The #1 tip is to be nice. If you plan on being a disrespectful jackass, please consider other options.

Festival Friends: The number of people going-to-the-festival is critical to the planning process. I've had countless friends express interest in going with me to Bonnaroo and only a fraction of them actually signed up when the time came. For planning purposes, set an in-or-out deadline and move forward.


Team Roo


If you are renting a Van or RV: Make your reservations early. Call to confirm a week or two prior to departure. TEST EVERYTHING in the vehicle before you leave. Look for any exterior damage and make it known to the rental staff.

RVs: Run the generator for a/c as much as you want. It doesn't use a lot of fuel and it makes all the difference in being able to enjoy the festival. Also, driving a big vehicle is not for the meek. Going through the construction barriers on the interstate made both ends of me pucker. ROUND UP on your gas estimate. 


THE LAW

While the festival environment can be wild and carefree, it's important to know that The Law is still around. It's worth reading articles from The Festival Lawyer before you leave.

NOTE: Law enforcement is LOOKING FOR ANY REASON TO PULL YOU OVER and search your belongings. Be cool. All vehicles are a cop magnets in Tennessee and the surrounding states, particularly one's adorned with 'Bonnaroo' on the sides or windows. 

I was pulled over in 2012 to see if I was "wearing my seatbelt." (I was, thanks.) Again in 2014 because my "windshield wipers weren't operating during inclement weather". (It wasn't raining at the time.)  

Don't speed and don't party on the drive in. Definitely don't do both.


LEAVE NO TRACE

The amount of trash left behind in 2024 was staggering and horrible. 

Take responsibility for your shit!  Plan ahead and take everything home that you brought. If it's broken, throw it away at your house instead of forcing people to clean a giant field in the blazing heat. Leave no trace!

A Cool View: Get the lay of the land with this Google map of the Bonnaroo grounds


THE CHECKLIST

Bonnaroo Checklist
Download my Bonnaroo Checklist! You don't need everything on the list but you don't want to forget anything either. Includes helpful tips and a blank section to write notes. Click the image for the larger version and download or print. 

Here is a free gallery of my Bonnaroo-themed memes including wallpaper backgrounds and Facebook profile headers. 

THE FAQ

Bonnaroo Crowd

What's the deal with buying tickets? 
Make sure you have a stable internet connection and have your payment info handy. Even still, you should be prepared to not make it in the early tier. Never pay more than face value for a ticket! If you're patient, you can score tickets being sold at the last minute at, or often under, face value.

The Official Bonnaroo Ticket Exchange is run by Ticketmaster who is an evil, money-hungry asshole. Highly recommend buying/selling tickets through any other alternate means. Be sure to use a reputable payment service like Paypal.

Are there any LGBT meetups? 
Here is a thread on Inforoo.com. I would love to have more information listed here!

Is there a Al Anon/Sobriety group?
Yes, it's called Soberoo. They have a support tent inside Centeroo and hold meetings at Noon, 4pm, 8pm & midnight each day.

How do I volunteer?
I think the best place to start is C'roo.

How do I charge my phone?
Try to get off your phone and enjoy the moment. 

It's easy to sneak in glass, right?
No. Bonnaroo is ruthless about it. They will search your car, no matter how much crap you have packed in the vehicle. All it does is slow the line down. Transfer liquids into plastic or metal containers ahead of time.

What's the deal with fake Bonnaroo swag?
Bonnaroo actively looks for fake swag during the entry process. Still, there will be salespeople dropping through your campsite with t-shirts and other memorabilia. Typically, the t-shirts are less expensive but also lesser-quality than the official stuff. Make your decision quickly, you will likely only see that shirt or item once and it'll be gone.

What is the drug scene?
While it is not legally allowed, it is common to see and smell marijuana at Bonnaroo, both in the campgrounds and in Centeroo, day and night. The night shows are filled with people in the throes of MDMA or mushroom induced bliss.  I asked a girl one day about which shows she went to and she said, "the one's we thought we could get the best drugs." Sadly, she was ripped off and ended up with bunk product. It could have been a lot worse. In 2014, I escorted two ladies to the medical tent because they had accepted a drink from a 'cute guy' and it had been drugged with Rohypnol.

I do not advocate drug use but if that is your intention: BRING YOUR OWN to be safe. If that's not an option, BUYER BEWARE. Ladies use extreme caution with free 'gifts'.


Bonnaroo Campsite

SURVIVE THE DAY TO LIVE AT NIGHT

IT IS IMPERATIVE that you bring your own shade while at the festival! It will it make your camping experience so much enjoyable. The secret is to place your shade as high above you as possible so as to allow airflow underneath. Sun tents / EZ-ups are an easy way to start. Next, run tarps (preferably reflective or light in color) over everything and try to put space between the tarp and the tent using pool noodles or free-standing tent poles. Keep everything secure with bungees and rope. Use tent stakes but be sure to push the stake to ground level so nobody trips over them.

Best method yet: I used a large EZ Up and covered it with a tarp. Then added smaller tarps to each side as exterior walls as well colorful sheets on the inside for added privacy and fun. Along each wall, I left a small gap along the top and bottom for awesome airflow.  Since the tent can not be secured, I left only my cot, chair, table and a few odds and ends inside and kept all valuables in my car, including my cooler. 

Hammock camping is another level of camping. If you have a frame to use at the festival a hammock it is a great way to get full-body air circulation at night and stay cool. 

Shade your car: I tied two pool noodles horizontally across my car - one in front and one in back. Next, I run a tarp of the car and secure it to the car with bungee cords. The noodles help to let air get under the tarp and the shade makes a big temperature difference in the car. 

Try to avoid using your car to cool down or charge a phone. All of your immediate neighbors will be subject carbon monoxide fumes. If you do this at night while someone is sleeping or passed out nearby, they could, potentially, die from asphyxiation. 

Portable fans provide a blissful, battery-powered breeze. A good camping fan will be lightweight, quiet, portable and able to attach to the tent or anywhere. Find fans with foam blades and nobody gets hurt.

Get good sleep: I highly recommend an air mattress or cot to get off the ground while you sleep. It makes all the difference. For many years, I have used a SlumberJack cot which is rugged and pretty damn comfortable.

SETUP your campsite at least one time before you leave for the festival. Get your crew together and try setting up your site within the dimensions of an actual parking space. Seriously. Get to know how to properly setup your tent(s) and tarp(s) and figure out what additional things you may need to make it work. (Extra stakes, rope, clips, etc) Your actual Bonnaroo campsite will be much better and you now have an excuse for 'Bonnaroo Training', aka 'hanging out with friends, setting up tents, goofing off,' etc.

Solar lights are a sustainable way to light up the campsite after sunset. I've used them around the world and highly recommend them for all of your camping and travel adventures.

Three Universal Campsite Rules
  1. Do not bring anything that you would heartbroken if it were lost, broken or stolen.

  2. Always lock valuables in your car when you leave the site and take extra special care of your keys.

  3. Close up your tent before you leave in case it rains so your stuff doesn't get soaked!

HEAT TREATMENT


During extremely hot and humid weather, your body's ability to cool itself is challenged. When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness. It is important to know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses. 

Heat Cramps
Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.

Symptoms: Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen and heavy sweating.

First Aid: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water. 

Seek immediate medical attention if cramps last longer than 1 hour.


Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, Weakness or tiredness, cool, pale, clammy skin; fast, weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, headache, fainting,

First Aid: Move person to a cooler environment, preferably a well air conditioned room. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths or have person sit in a cool bath. Offer sips of water. If person vomits more than once,

Seek immediate medical attention if the person vomits, symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour


Heat Stroke
Symptoms: Throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, body temperature above 103°F, hot, red, dry or damp skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting, loss of consciousness.

First Aid: Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Delay can be fatal. Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment. Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath. Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures. Do NOT give fluids.

BONNA-FOOD

Food and Water

DRINK WATER OR DIE. It's pretty simple. You'll get dehydrated just being there much less walking, dancing, jumping, drinking alcohol and everything else you'll be doing. Try to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day or more. There are plenty of water stations in the campgrounds and in Centeroo, just bring containers to carry it. I recommend a Camelback.

How do you know if you’re getting enough water? “A useful rule of thumb for avoiding dehydration in hot or humid environments or during strenuous activity involves monitoring the frequency and character of urination. If one develops a full bladder at least every three to five hours and the urine is only lightly colored or colorless, chances are that dehydration is not occurring; if urine is deeply colored or urination occurs only after many hours or not at all, water intake may not be adequate to maintain proper hydration.”


Food: You can bring your own food or there are vendors in the fields and Centeroo that serve a wide variety of stuff. You can find all types of food for every meal including the Food Truck Oasis that features trucks from across the country.

There are also easy and cheap home options. Example: I've pre-made lasagna and burritos that could then be warmed up on a campstove.  Sealed tupperware and locking Ziplocks work well to keep your food dry from cooler water. I suggest packaging everything by meal. You will have less packaging to dispose of onsite and everything can be washed and reused. Use heavy duty coolers because the styrofoam or thin plastic coolers are worthless.


How to use Dry Ice
Save trips buying soggy 10lb bag of ice. Dry ice is actually frozen carbon dioxide and has a surface temperature of -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees C). They sell it in 5 lb blocks at certain grocery stores. Call ahead to see if they have it and if they have certain times of availability.

I use a large cooler to keep bags of regular ice frozen. Put three blocks of dry ice in the bottom of a 150 qt cooler. Be sure to wrap the blocks in a small towel or newspaper, (the ice is so cold it will freeze your skin or the plastic of the cooler if it comes in contact. Even with the towels, anything you put in the cooler WILL freeze), the store usually has a special glove you can use to handle it. Then fill the cooler with 10lb bags of regular ice. Keep the cooler in shady spot and cover it with blankets/sleeping bags/tarps. Using this process, I didn't have to buy ice for 3 days.

DRY ICE WARNING
  • Avoid sticking your face in the cooler to cool off as the carbon dioxide evaporates and could, potentially, suffocate you. Plus, you're melting the ice!

  • The rule of thumb is, food is safe only if the cooler still has ice in it, even a little bit. Keep it cold.

Amish glazed donuts


BONNAROO TIPS

Bonnaroo Chris - Centeroo

Ask for time off from work as early as possible. And start a $avings schedule!

Start a workout plan with lots of cardio even if it's walking. You'll need it.

Sun block: Use it!  

Bandanna: You can soak it with cool water to tie around your neck to cool off. More importantly, you can tie it over your mouth to keep out the traffic dust when you're walking. 

Ziploc bag: Be prepared for a surprise rain shower or a dip in the fountain.  

Earplugs: I'm dealing with tinnitus (ringing of the ears) from going to concerts without ear protection.
 
Light: A headlamp will guide the way professionally but any flashlight will do.

Bring comfortable footwear! Do not wear brand new shoes to the festival, break them in first. 

Blanket for concert lounging. Chairs are no longer allowed. :(

The entrances to Centeroo get crowded right before major sets. Go early or late to avoid the wait. Embrace the lines and crowds and make friends with people around you, particularly in the tight crowds before shows. The experience, especially if the band is popular, can be fun but a bit intimidating. If you feel like you can't handle it, don't panic! Make your way out calmly and politely and find a spot that feels right for you.


Porta Potties: 
  • PUT THE LID DOWN. The exhaust only works if you put the lid down when you're done. 

  • Bonnaroo does a good job of keeping them clean so don't give the staff a hard time. 

  • Always bring your own buttwipe, just in case. 

  • Grab some extra handiwipes from the restaurants on the way to Bonnaroo. Perfect for a quick clean on a questionable seat.

Enjoy yourself. Forget the outside world and learn to appreciate the moment.


Bonnaroo photo by Raylon

WHAT TO AVOID

Glass: 
Don't bring glass of any kind. Glass is a problem in any campsite. Cars, hippies and clean-up crews all hate broken glass. Can't find a decent beer in a can? Ask your favorite pub or package store if they will order something for you. Don't wait until the week before to do it.

The Sun: 
I strongly recommend a big-floppy hat and long-sleeved shirts or sunscreen. Skin cancer sucks. Use sunscreen!

Tinnitus: 
(aka Ringing in the ears) Tinnitus caused by short-term exposure, such as attending a loud concert, usually goes away. Long-term exposure can cause permanent damage.  Wear ear protection. After 4-days at Bonnaroo, you’ll be glad even if you wear them once in awhile. I have tinnitus from a lifetime of concerts without hearing protection and it is not fun.

Binge Drinking: 
It's a marathon, not a sprint. Stay hydrated and pace yourself, especially during the day. DRINK A LOT OF WATER. Maintain your buzz but grab a water or some lemonade between brews.

Chafing: 
All that heat and walking can make for some discomfort. Baby powder or some Gold Bond will help. Put on fresh underwear as often as possible. Keep your junk dry.



ROO FOR LADIES

Advice from lady veterans of the festival.

CLOTHES: Avoid tight shirts or tank tops, they get uncomfortably hot really fast. Loose and breezy is much better.  Sundresses and linen skirts will keep you cool and take up little packing space. Wear bicycle shorts under short dresses/skirts.  NO rompers! Do you really want to be naked in a port-a-potty?  Love your body and rock a bikini top!  Bring a cover-up in case it gets chilly.  A light jacket/sweatshirt will help when the temperature dips, plus it works as a pillow or you can sit on it.  Wearing a bikini means you can dip in the fountain on passes through Centeroo. Waterproof your stuff with zip lock bags and get someone to hold it while you refresh.

Bandannas! If you're nice to vendors, you can get them to scoop a cup of ice into a bandanna which is heaven. Bandannas are really useful for covering your mouth and nose during the dusty walks and for wiping away the funk.

Ladies Security Tip: Keeping cards or cash in your bra but afraid it will fall out? Buy a cheap padded bra and cut a line across the inside of the cup and sew a folded pocket into the material. Works great!

Ladies Shoes: Leave your fashionable shoes at home. But don't wear flip-flops the whole time either; they're great for excursions to the shower/porta potti. Sanuk type-shoes or Chacos are recommended. Closed-toe is preferable at night. It's hard to see exactly what you might be walking through. 


Bonnaroo Chris - Three Girls 2012


Hair: Use big and floppy hats to keep the sun at bay. Use anything to keep the sun off your face & neck! Headbands, hair ties or scrunchies to pull your hair up. 

A word of caution if you're considering a Indian headdress as part of your ensemble: it is considered disrespectful to the American Indian heritage. Some festivals have banned them completely. Try an Indian flower headband instead, as it is a more common ornament, with no sacred significance.

Dry Shampoo quickly gets rid of the greasy-ness and is great for the gotta-go situation ... just know it's not actually cleaning your hair, which you'll wanna do at some point.  TIP: Get your hair washed and braided at the salon in Centeroo in the morning: you'll get a ticket, then you can go to the cafĂ© for coffee, while you wait for your appointment.

HYGIENE: Shave the day before you leave. Roo showers are $10 each and include shampoo. They open at 7:00 am and the line forms quickly on the girls side.  Don't forget your towel. Baby powder, baby wipes and Gold Bond cream are all handy.  Carry hand sanitizer, toilet paper and a spare tampon. Bring cranberry juice pills, AZO Relief Tablets or antibiotics if you are prone to UTI symptoms. DO NOT keep toiletries, food, medications or anything else in the car that may potentially melt.

"Don't worry about makeup, lol."



Bonnaroo Chris RV


RV STORIES

2012 - We had 6-people. We rented a 28-ft RV from Cruise America for one-week which came to just over $1200 and required a large deposit. Add to that: filling up a 50-gallon gas tank four times ... It was about $600 in gas.

The interior consisted of an intimate two-man cabover (bunk over the cockpit), two single beds on either side of the main cabin, (left side was table and seats; right was a couch.); and a bedroom in the back with a queen size bed. Small but functional kitchen, bathroom and shower. The bathroom was used for pee-only so as not have any odor issues. We opted to use the shower for storage space. They had service trucks running around every day offering water fill-ups and sewage dumpouts for $50.  We rented the back bedroom to a young couple from Dallas, TX. They paid-for and used the companion pass, met us on Farm and lived up to the term 'southern hospitality'.

2013 - There were two of us. We borrowed an old model 30' Winnebago, which was not fun to drive because of its size and lack of suspension. Plenty of room inside though. We stayed in VIP RV which was a field with endless rigs lined up. Generator noise and exhaust fumes were an issue. Our carbon monoxide alarm went off a couple times so ventilation is very important. But sleeping-in with comfy a/c is really unbeatable.

UPDATE: Hookup sites are now available.




LEAVING ROO

So hard to say goodbye. Try not to be in a big hurry to leave on Sunday night because it can get crazy. Monday is much easier and you get to savor the last night on the Farm.
  • I get the most requests to borrow jumper cables on Monday morning. 

  • If you have a heavy vehicle and it rains a lot, you may want to move your car up-and-back each day to prevent sinking and getting stuck. A foot or two is all it takes. 

  • Leave no trace. The amount of trash left behind every year is gross. We can each do better.

  • Law enforcement is still around. It sucks returning back to civilization, I mean, don't these people realize what crazy shit I've just been through? Unfortunately, being a part of society means following certain rules. Traffic laws are a good way to ease back into it.

  • Setup your tent as soon as you get home to let it air out. And clean the car too.

  • Be advised that you will have some serious laundry on your hands. Some of those items might not make it back. 

  • Get rehydrated, eat some nourishing food and hope you don't the Bonna-Flu.


I went to Bonnaroo and found Jesus


PAST ROOS 

My blog includes posts describing each day of every Bonnaroo I've attended. The posts are inter-connected to you can quickly browse through any weekend. Enjoy!

2007  |  Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Clutch, Cold War Kids, Kings of Leon, The Nightwatchman, Tool, Ben Harper, The Police, Sasha & Digweed, Gov't Mule, Wolfmother & The White Stripes
How was it? Totally unprepared and the weather was unbearably hot. Still, it was magical, I fell in love with the experience and my favorite moment was watching the sunrise on Sunday morning.    


2008  |  Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon  
Acts I saw: Lez Zeppelin, Drive By Truckers, Les Claypool, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Chris Rock, Metallica,  BB King, Zappa Plays Zappa, Levon Helm and the Ramble on the Road, Pearl Jam, Israel Vibration, Jakob Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels, O.A.R., Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Death Cab For Cutie & Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi’s Soul Stew Revival
How was it? Metallica AND Pearl Jam! This was a fun year and we were much better prepared. My favorite moment was when the alarm went off at 1:30 am telling me it was time to go to Kanye West's set and I decided to sleep in. 


2009  |  Thu      I missed it.  :(


2010  |  Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  The Entrance Band, Baroness, Local Natives, Neon Indian, Conan O'Brien, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Tenacious D, Kings of Leon, The Flaming Lips, Imelda May, Truth & Salvage Co, Jimmy Cliff, The Dead Weather, Weezer, Stevie Wonder, Jay Z, Clutch, Dropkick Murphys, Phoenix & Dave Matthews Band
How was it? A fun year with cooperative weather. My favorite moment was when Jay Z paid homage to Stevie Wonder, who played the stage before him. Legends. 


2011  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Wavves, Freelance Whales, School of Seven Bells, The Knux, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim, Atmosphere, Wanda Jackson, Ray Lamontagne, Florence + the Machine, Primus, Arcade Fire, Bassnectar, Lil Wayne, Henson Alternative's 'Stuffed & Unstrung', Portugal. The Man, Mumford & Sons, !!!, The Black Keys, Buffalo Springfield, Eminem, Scissor Sisters, Omar Souleyman, Bruce Hornsby, Gregg Allman, Cold War Kids, Robert Plant, The Strokes & Superjam with Dr John and Dan Auerbach
How was it? The most crowded year I've attended. And it was freaking hot. My favorite moment was 'Mission Icefly' when paragliders dropped thousands of blinking led lights onto the unsuspecting crowd on Friday night. 


2012  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  EMA, The Lonely Forest, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Phantogram, Alabama Shakes, Big Gigantic, Tune-Yards, Two Door Cinema Club, Fitz & the Tantrums, Feist, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Radiohead, Foster the People, Black Star, The Word, Blind Pilot, Flogging Molly, Puscifer, Mogwai, The Roots, Dispatch, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice Cooper, Gary Clark Jr., The Black Lips, Grouplove, The Beach Boys, War on Drugs, The Joy Formidable, The Shins, Fun. & Phish
How was it? Amazing year, hot as hell but I was sleeping in an RV with a/c. My favorite moment was getting to the rail to see Puscifer. I had to go through Flogging Molly to get there! 


2013  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Reno 911 Sheriff's Department's Bonnaroo Drug Safety Seminar, Haim, Deap Valley, Djang Django, Father John Misty, Alt-J, Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Foals, Paul McCartney, The XX, ZZ Top, Pretty Lights, Gov't Mule, Portugal The Man, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Matt & Kim, Bjork, Jack Johnson, R. Kelly, Weird Al Yankovic, Billy Idol, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Sheepdogs, Bob Saget, Improvised Shakespeare Company, Tame Impala, Divine Fits, Ed Helms Bluegrass Situation Superjam, David Byrne & St Vincent and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
How was it? The year I went VIP and it was legit! Lots of favorite moments ... Singing along with Paul McCartney, Bob Saget making fun of me, signing along with Tom Petty. A highlight of my Bonnaroo journey. 

2014  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Omar Souleyman,  J Roddy Walston & The Business, White Denim, The Naked and Famous, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Ice Cube, Cake, Drive by Truckers, Grouplove, Cage The Elephant, John Butler Trio, Lionel Ritchie, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Wiz Khalifa, & Elton John
How was it? My first year going as a volunteer. The weather was perfect and the caliber of music top notch. My favorite moment has to be Jack White's amazing set.


2015  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Unlocking The Truth, Ryn Weaver, Temples, Glass Animals, Benjamin Booker and Gramatik, Brown Sabbath, Royal Blood, Against Me!, BonnarRoots Community Feast, Guster, Tears For Fears, Ben Harper, Earth, Wind and Fire,  Deadmau5, Bleachers, War On Drugs, Wild Adriatic, Gary Clark Jr, X Ambassadors, Slayer, Mispers, TwentyOne Pilots, Awolnation, Florence and the Machine, Robert Plant, Billy Joel
How was it? This year was freaking hot. Back with the volunteer team and we rocked it. My favorite moment was singing along with the team during Billy Joel. Also, being thrown in the air by the Bonnaroo Cheerleading Squad was pretty neat.  


2016  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Waxahatchee, Bully, Hundred Waters, Vulfpeck, Borns, Fidlar, M83, LCD Soundsystem, The Chainsmokers, Tame Impala, Post Malone, Cutch, Ellie Goulding, Pearl Jam, Givers, The Oh Hellos, X Ambassadors, Death Cab For Cutie, Lord Huron, Dead & Co
How was it? Another awesome year volunteering and the weather was mostly favorable. My favorite moment was when the festival was evacuated for a tornado threat and the entire team hid out for an hour. Luckily, the storm never hit. 


2017  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon
Acts I saw:  Luke Combs, Hippo Campus, July Talk, The Orwells, Mondo Cozmo, The Lemon Twigs, Taurkauz, Klangstof, The Strumbellas, Car Seat Headrest, Cold War Kids, Kaleo, Tove Lo, The XX, Glass Animals, U2, Portugal. The Man, The Front Bottoms, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Teagan + Sara, The Head and the Heart, Chance the Rapper, Cage the Elephant, Red Hot Chili Peppers, SuperJam, White Reaper, Royal Blood, Milky Chance, Crystal Castles, Lorde, Badbadnotgood, Travis Scott, The Weekend
How was it? My first year going solo. It was awesome to roam freely but a little lonely back at camp. My favorite moment was participating in Zach and Katie's wedding proposal. Also, my picture was published in the Bonnaroo Beacon!


2018  |  Wed - Thu - Fri - Sat - Sun - Mon 
Acts I saw:  Ron Gallo, Lissie, Justin Jay's Fantastic Voyage, Durand Jones & The Indications, Space Jesus, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Sheryl Crow, Manchester Orchestra, Paramore, The Revivalists, Sturgil Simpson, Muse, Bassnectar, Superjam (Tom Petty), Rag N Bone Man, Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit, Bon Iver, Eminem, Sir Sly,  Alt J, The Killers
How was it? The volunteer team returns! It was a perfect combination of weather and music. My favorite moment was a fun backstage field trip that took place.  The Tom Petty singalong was super fun.

2019   I missed it. :(

2020   Cancelled due to COVID-19

2021  
 Cancelled due to hurricane.



Bonnaroo message from Magic Hat

ROO FRIENDS

Inforoo   - The source, the mothership

Poorvin.com   - One of the originals  

BonnaRooster   - Great Roo and music info  

Roo Bus  - The OG Roo Bus on new adventures  

Parachute People  - Shining positivity around the world   

Hatter Drums  - Design your own hand drum at Bonnaroo

Concert Hopper  - Concert news and connections

The Festive Owl - Festival news (Also on FB)

Forever Bonnaroo  Socially active Bonnaroo fans  



GIVE BACK 

Please support local, national or international charities whose mission speaks to you. You'll discover a handful at the festival in an area called Planet Roo. Here are my charity recommendations:

ONETrack International is an international charity the provides long term support to orphans and orphanages in Africa, Southern Asia and Central America. OTI provides for all education, health needs and caretaker support for each child.

To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. WLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Boys & Girls Clubs - Support your local Club!

ABOUT CHRIS

Bonnaroo Chris Tattoo

I'm Chris! I don't work for Bonnaroo, I'm just an outspoken fan. I have loved the festival since the first time I attended and each year has become a badge of honor that I wear proudly.

Why I decided to go to my first Bonnaroo:   A group of friends and I had planned to attend the VooDoo Music Festival, but it was 2005 and Hurricane Katrina ended up devastating New Orleans. So, two years later, my friend Mike and I found the lineup to Bonnaroo appealing, (The Police, Tool, The White Stripes). We were a under prepared but it was a hot, exhausting and wonderful experience. We were excited for a return trip in 2008. And that's how it starts.

The reason I survived my first year was because of the information I found on Inforoo.com and Poorvin.com. They were the only online sources for Bonnaroo tips and information back then.  I started documenting my experiences online as a diary of my adventures with amazing music performances and countless people. It helps me keep some sense of order of everything I've seen on this long, beautiful journey.

Chris Alexander, Sarasota, FL

Bonnaroo has been a gig part of my life and I've enjoyed the ride.  Along the way, I've become a muse for graffiti, online memes, a totem and an unofficial cheerleader for the festival. I've leveraged my notoriety to mobilize for charity, once for the American Cancer Society and several times for ShelterBox. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, I coordinated volunteer outreach teams to the festival.

Visit my RedBubble shop for unique art designs.


GALLERY

A special thank you to everyone who has been a part of my Bonnaroo journey. These photos are a small sample from over the years. 


Batroo crew and Chris

Chris and Alicia

Chris and the ShelterBox volunteer team

Bonnaroo Baggie and Bonnaroo Chris

Brian and Chris

Katie, Chris and Liz

Mike and Chris

Kelly, Chris and Ethan

Chris and Brian

Chris and Pondo

Chris and Denette

Zach, Taryn and Chris

Chris and Raylon

Chris and Mike

***

Chris' Veggie Lasagna
Make it before you leave for an easy-to-heat-up home cooked-camp meal.
Serves 4 to 6

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
3 Garlic Cloves (or minced from a jar)
1 Large Onion - chopped
2 Yellow, Red or Green Peppers - chopped
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
1 container of sliced mushrooms - roughly chop
1 package of mozzarella cheese or Daiya cheddar
6 small green zucchini, trimmed & thinly sliced
6 small yellow squash, trimmed & thinly sliced
3 large carrots, trimmed & thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
6-12 large basil leaves
Add red pepper flakes for spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
• In a big bowl mix: tomato sauce, garlic, onion, peppers, thyme, mushrooms, salt & pepper and 1/2 package of cheese together. Set aside.
• Spray shallow baking dish with Pam or rub with a little olive oil.
• Spread a light layer of the tomato mixture in the baking dish. Layer each of the vegetables with a tomato layer in between. Add basil in the middle. Add cheese. Layer tomatoes, top with remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil. Cheese may stick to tin foil so wrap lightly.
• Bake: 45-min to 1-hour. Let it cool before putting it in the fridge. 
• Once cooled, cut into portion sizes and put in tupperware or ziplocks. Keep them from being submerged in cooler water. 

Lasagna Tips:
- For more taste, sauté the garlic, onions + peppers before adding to mixture. Experiment with spices and herbs like Steak Seasoning, cumin and rosemary.
- Easy substitutes: frozen corn & peas, frozen chopped onions and frozen mushrooms.

***

This is the end of the page but not the story. 

Cruise through my Concert Timeline to see a lifetime of shows and events. 

See also: Facebook  /  Pinterest  /  YouTube  /  RedBubble  or emailBonnarooChris@gmail.com.