15 Things You Should Know About Bonnaroo

Last weekend we ended up going to Bonnaroo with Splat Hair Color. We had a great time, but the trip was so last minute we didn't have a lot of time to prepare. We learned a lot in our days there, so we figured we'd share ome of the things we learned with you! If you ever decide to go (if you haven't already been) I'm sure this list will be helpful to you in some way.
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We also created a little video of our time at Bonnaroo- we hope you will watch and enjoy!

1. It's more than just music. They have parades, a 5k run, yoga, and so many other activities. They have several workshops about a variety topics like gardening and treating women with respect. The Sketchbook Project is there too and Bonnaroo has a yearbook. There are several vendors selling goods and every kind of food you can imagine.
2. Diversity + self expression are celebrated. I was pleasantly surprised to see people of all colors and sizes and ages. People had created such amazing, elaborate costumes. Our favorite was a girl who had a skirt made of purple lights. I wish we could've gotten a picture but her top consisted of tassels covering her nipples- not really our flavor here. We joined in the fun by adding color to our hair which was so much fun. Savannah used the 10 wash dye and I used the 1 wash dye.
3. Music is playing 20+ hours of the day. So have your sleeping options planned out. We only slept a couple of hours. We definitely expected music to be playing all night but it went on until sunrise. Then we were located next to the karaoke bar that was doing karaoke until 9 am. We slept from 7 -9 am. Then, it's too hot and bright outside to sleep in the tent. We tried ear plugs but they didn't help. Maybe earplugs and noise canceling headphones? Or stay in an RV or off-site?

4. The bathroom situation is not as bad as you think. They actually have nice real bathrooms in the main area called Centeroo. And even with the bazillion people there, they were never filthy. They also have flushable port-a-potties which were really not bad at all. There are the less desirable regular port-a-potties but I noticed they emptied them several times a day. There are also shower facilities but they cost $10 except during "happy hour" when they are $5. Basically the bathroom situation is way better than I expected. Unfortunately we used the regular port-a-potties a couple of times before realizing that the flushable ones were really close to us.
5. All ages are welcome. We saw babies to older folks and everthing in between. I can't say that I'd  recommend bringing children but there were a lot more around than I expected.

6. Anything goes. We saw it all -a lot of tape covered nipples and bare booties. But we also saw really cool outfits. People danced anywhere and everywhere without a care in the world. There was definitely a sense that you wouldn't be judge for anything at Bonnaroo. That's one of the things we appreciated the most.
7. You need a clear backpack. I will say I saw a couple people inside Bonnaroo with regular backpacks. But the rule is that you can have a fanny pack, and anything larger than that has to be clear. They are supposed to search what's inside your backpack but they didn't really do this too thoroughly.
8. Riding the Ferris wheel is a must. Tickets are $6 before 7 pm and $7 after that. Riding it right as the sun was going down was pretty magical. You get a view of all of the Bonnaroo grounds.

9. Choose your shoes wisely. I made a rookie move and wore sandals- these sandals had lasted me through a weekend in the Texas heat. But you need comfort because you will be on your feet and walking around all day. Savannah bought some like these before we went and they were perfect! 
10. Do not underestimate your need for sunscreen. This is going to be a full time job if you plan on being out and about during the day. But I noticed several people with terrible sunburns. How miserable! We spent the day in the shade and didn't really get into the sun much. We even brought our own tiki umbrella from our backyard for more shade.

11. The Grove is a lovely place to relax and spend time in the shade. There were Eno hammocks everywhere. We loved this area and it was just a few steps from our camping area. Fort Houston provided artwork and sculptures for the area which gave made the area even better. During the day this place was filled will people trying to get some sleep in.

12. Drugs are everywhere. This may seem obvious and I expected it but it was more prevalent than I imagined. Someone was snorting coke 2 feet from me right out in the open. Weed was smoked more than cigarettes and honestly I got tired of the smell after a while. Even in the family camping area (where we camped) we were constantly surrounded by marijuana smoke. I'm sure we sound like prudes and I don't really care if people smoke it- but like cigarette smoke- it doesn't take long before you are tired of inhaling it.

13. Water is essential. This goes without saying you would think but most of the sick people at the festival are sick from dehydration. Drinking all day in the hot sun is a recipe for disaster. If you're gonna drink all day, then at least drink water in between. Also bring your water with you everywhere. You can bring in an empty reusable water bottle (they have water stations) or 1 sealed water bottle. A bottle of water inside the festival costs $3.
14. Dust is a way of life. If you do any research about Bonnaroo, you will find people mentioning this. A lot of people kept a bandana around their nose + mouth, and they can make great accessories too. We didn't do this but we did find ourselves coughing and Savannah had a stuffy nose.

15. Fashion is optional. Bonnaroo is the anti-Coachella. I've never been to Coachella but from what I can tell everyone wears their best and most fashionable (and a lot of times expensive) festival attire. I saw very little of this. Instead I saw a lot of #2 utilized by creative costumes and outfits. I saw very little, if any one, dressed fashionably. Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air from the Instagram fashion- obsessed world.
We hope to go back next year but we will be way more prepared this time and we'll probably try to stay off site or stay in an RV. It's definitely worth checking out if you like music festivals. And even if you don't like music festivals- it's only an hour drive from Nashville so you could go for one day. The traffic isn't bad at all once the festival gets going. We came in on Friday night without any traffic at all. Thanks to Splat for sending us!!!
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