Bonnaroo 2018: A Recap From The Farm

Since Bonnaroo’s founding in 2002, it has become one of America’s most well-known festivals. The 4-day festival just wrapped up on in Manchester, Tennessee. The festival featured over 100 artists and experiences featuring a variety of music genres, comedy shows, crafts, yoga, and multiple surprise sets. The festival has been known for its welcoming atmosphere, friendly people, and incredible lineups. This year’s headliners featured Eminem, The Killers, and Muse along with Bassnectar, Future, Sturgill Simpson, and two unique Bon Iver sets.

The festival takes place on a 700-acre farm in rural Tennessee. Bonnaroo is a camping festival and they offered a huge variety of camping options. From GA Camping to pre-setup Le Bon tents, to RV Camping, to Groop Camping, to Family Camping. The campgrounds surround the Festival and there are multiple ways to enter the festival and campgrounds. On the way through the tollbooth to the festival grounds, everyone’s car was searched. This was actually quite reassuring as it helps keep everyone safe, especially after the recent tragedies. Each campground has a plaza (formerly known as pods). The plazas all have showers, flushable toilets, charging stations, and each plaza holds different events and activities for the campers.

The iconic Arch entrance was located pretty centrally to all the camping surrounding it. This year the arch was covered in pink/orange sequins and at night it was lit up with changing colors. After entering this way you are right by the main stage, What Stage. The stage names have remained the same over the years, despite being a tad bit confusing. There was What Stage (the main stage), Which Stage (the second largest stage), The Other (primarily EDM acts), This Tent, That Tent, and The Who.

Headliners Eminem, Muse, and The Killers closed out the What Stage each night, respectively. Over at Which Stage Bassnectar, Alt-J, and Bon Iver entranced their crowds. At The Other Stage Hippie Sabotage, Alison Wonderland, Valentino Khan, Gryffin, Slander, and Opiuo kept the bass radiating across the grounds. At This Tent, on Friday night the Tom Petty Super Jam brought artists from multiple genres together to celebrate the late great Tom Petty. Chance the Rapper surprised everyone by performing with Knox Fortune. Matt Schultz from Cage the Elephant also surprised Plaza 9 in the campgrounds with a performance.

Things to do in Centeroo:

Within the festival grounds of Centeroo, there were tons of food and art vendors. The food lineup this year was absolutely incredible (Ever have loaded baked mac & cheese? You should try it). The art and merchandise vendors offered some incredible pieces of art and clothing. The classic mushroom fountain located in the middle of the festival is repainted each year. This year it was painted multicolor geometric shapes. There was also a giant inflatable water slide, a ferris wheel, a beach oasis, and Snake and Jake’s Christmas Barn which is an all-day party.

Final Thoughts:

This was my first Bonnaroo and it was so different and special compared to some of the other festivals out there. Everyone is so friendly and they will stop and help each other. Everyone is asked to follow the Bonnaroovian code which is essentially Be Kind To Each Other. The festival is also very environmentally conscious. They had the Clean Vibes people cleaning up throughout the festival the entire time. They also gave festival-goers a chance to earn prizes for turning in bags of recycling they collect. It was really nice to see everyone come together for not only their love of music but also their personal passions.

If you’re looking for a festival where you can have an incredible experience and see not only some incredible EDM artists but also some wonderful performers from other genres then look no further.

Lastly, check out upcoming events, reviews, and more one OneEDM at EDM Events.

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Kallie Brinkworth

Senior Entertainment Management student at the University of South Carolina. I've loved music since I was a kid and have made it my life goal to work with it forever. Catch me at a music festival somewhere.

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