Bonnaroo 2012: A Success

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In early June 2012, 80,000 people from across the country and even the world gathered on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee for the 11th year in a row. It is not often that you would see such a peculiar sentence. However, that in itself helps to describe the reason they went there: Bonnaroo.
Bonnaroo is a 4-day, multi-stage camping festival. This year, its gates held a range of artists, from obscure to decades-of-fame well-known, an endless amount of delicious food, charity/awareness tents, art, clothing, hammock and what-have-you shops, a “Broo’ers Festival,” a giant water slide and many other adventures-to-be-mades. Outside the gates existed the rest of the 4-day city of Bonnaroo, in which campsites and porter potties galore could be found.
The festival revolves around music and draws different tastes. First, there are the headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and Phish. Those, however, are at night and the day is spent listening to smaller but arguably just as exciting performers. Favorites were fun., The Beach Boys, Dispatch, Childish Gambino, Bon Iver, Skrillex, The Shins and many more. (The line-up for 2012 can be found on the Bonnaroo website.)
The festival food could suit any pallet considering the amount of choices. There were, of course, the regulars: corn dogs, ice cream, lemonade. But to add to the uniqueness of the Bonnaroo experience were things like giant donuts made by The Amish Baking Company (truly the best donut I’ve ever had) and free samples of Phish flavored Ben and Jerrys. You also saw your Cajun food, your Indian food, your Greek food, your snacks, specially picked food trailers, etc etc. Essentially, too many to try in only four days.
Oftentimes, you would see people walking around with the need to tell you about their charity. Many were enlightened on a range of charities, and, in that, problems of the world, that they didn’t know about. Additionally, they did a good and efficient of making sure you could help as soon as possible — there were always petitions to sign, buttons to care around or the ability to donate.
Not to mention, some of the shops at Bonnaroo, The Pulsera Project for example, had charitable motives behind their work. The shops provided time for Bonnaroovians to peruse through different goods, not all strictly non-profit, ranging from Nomad Sandals to jewelry and art, if perhaps their band wasn’t playing yet or they just needed a break from the sun.
Many would agree that while the festival is wonderful, the real adventures and stories arise from the camping experience. When camping at Bonnaroo, you are merely a few feet away from your neighbors that could be from anywhere around the world. You run into problems with nature. For example, random poop pile surprises in the forest, policemen patrols on horseback and unexpected rain in the middle of the night. Overall, however, the Bonnaroo staff takes care of their visitors. There was a more than adequate amount of toilets, showers and sinks, complementary shampoo and conditioner, and stores providing anything one could need while camping — all within reasonable walking distance.
All in all, Bonnaroo 2012 was a success and many complimented those that spent so much time and effort on making it the wonderful experience that it was.

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