Nashville Scene: How NOT to Act at Bonnaroo

Middle Tennessee is the place to be. Yes, the Big B. Bonnaroo.

For those of you who’ve been living Eric Rudolph-style in caves off the grid for the past few years, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day, multi-stage camping festival held on a beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee every June (the 10th-13th this year).

And Conan will be there!

Our friends over at Nashville Scene have a lively music blog called Nashville Cream. Adam Gold posted this today and it’s a rip-roarin’ hoot!

When I first read this I couldn’t help picturing Jeremy Piven’s character in PCU saying, “What’s this? You’re wearing the shirt of the band you’re going to see? Don’t be that guy.”

So, here’s a little guide to proper Bonnaroo behavior.

How NOT to Act at Bonnaroo: The Director’s Cut
by Adam Gold

While any large-scale gathering of ugly Americans is inevitably riddled with obnoxious and inconsiderate idiots, Bonnaroo patrons are — by and large — a pretty pleasant bunch. That said, there are varieties of bad apples who annually descend on Manchester to test the collective tolerance. Don’t be one of them.

• Don’t be that person yelling “BONNAROOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” every eight seconds. Doing this is the ‘Roo equivalent of yelling “Freebird” at a band — please don’t do that either.

• Don’t be that person getting Tased by the cops. For one weekend a year, Middle Tennessee has a magical bubble where people can all but smoke grass in plain sight of police on horseback. Don’t fuck that up for the rest of us by actin’ a fool.

• Don’t be that person pestering Conan. This is how you get Tased.

• Don’t be that person pissing in middle of the crowd. Either suck it up and use the port-a-johns, learn how to evacuate into an empty water bottle without spillage. Or stay home.

• Don’t be that person asking randos for free drugs. If you can afford to spend $250 to rock out to Phoenix in your underwear, you can afford to pay for your own mushrooms.

• Don’t be that person selling fake drugs. Nothing’s worse than wandering around Centeroo at 4 a.m. wondering if it’s kicked in yet. Plus, NO ONE should have to endure The DMB while sober. Selling fake drugs should be a crime.

• Don’t be that person talking about Ron Paul at a concert. Now’s not that time. Ron Paul lost in ’08. You lost at life.

• Don’t be Jimmy Buffett. That guy played a Saturday morning set last year with little to no warning. Do parrotheads even want to hear “Cheeseburger in Paradise” that early?

• Don’t be person guy noodle-dancing to Tori Amos. There’s a hacky sack over at the exit gates with your name written over it. Onward!

• Don’t be that person talking to strangers about Tool. Tool isn’t playing this year. If Tool were playing you’d be at Bonnaroo with friends.

• Don’t be that person watching Bassnectar. There is simply no excuse for watching Bassnectar when The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys and Daryl Hall with Chromeo comprise your options on neighboring stages.

• Don’t be that person complaining about how security confiscated your ice pick and shotgun upon entrance. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t loaded. Unless you’re a member of GWAR, you won’t be needing it.

• Don’t be that person in the plastic Sumo suit.

• Don’t be that person gyrating too close to strangers.

• Don’t be that couple bumpin’ uglies in plain view of others. You brought a tent for a reason. … You did bring a tent, didn’t you?

• Don’t be that person who leaves your car running overnight for the sole purpose of sleeping with A.C. on. This shouldn’t even have to be explained.

• Don’t be that person not having fun.


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One Response

  1. Hey guys,

    Lilith Fair also looks like a pretty great music festival/concert tour. It was started by Sarah McLachlan and features all female acts and bands led by ladies, and has some pretty big names and amazing musicians- there’s more info and tour dates on their site:


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