The Bonnaroo that Almost Wasn’t

Remember when I told you that this year I had opted for a different festival instead of Bonnaroo? Well, I somehow ended up at Bonnaroo anyway. I had mentally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going, but my friends are amazing and continued pulling string after string until I ended up in Manchester with a VIP wristband, parking pass, and air-conditioned living quarters, all at zero cost to me. I’m a lucky girl.

These arrangements did not fully materialize until late Friday night, so I set my alarm for early Saturday morning to make the four-hour trek. Although it was unfortunate that I missed some of the early Bonnaroo acts, my late departure did give me the chance to see Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears at the Shell in Memphis, so I wasn’t too disappointed.


Unfortunately, my favorite companion couldn’t accompany me on this trip, as he was staying back to represent us at a wedding. Despite his desire to be there with me, he was so supportive of my good fortune, packing up snacks and camping gear for my travels. Such a sweetheart. Saturday morning I awoke early, SHOWERED (can you imagine being clean on the third day of Bonnaroo?!), then headed due east solo. Upon my arrival, Minda and I immediately made our way to Centeroo in search of good music. Our day was jam-packed with fun, and here are the highlights:

The Avett Brothers: This is a band several of my friends are crazy about, and I am told I would love, but I’ve just never taken the time to get to know them. In hindsight, I have no idea why. Even though I couldn’t sing along, the show was awesome. The heat was sweltering, and at the most opportune time, in sync with an especially heavy music moment, a light rain began to fall, and the whole scene was just surreal. I loved the music, the lyrics, and the feelings behind it all. So much so, that I ordered two of their CDs once back, and I anxiously await their arrival.

Weezer: For this show, we were coaxed up to the front by some friends, where we ended up jumping, singing, and dancing to every song. Weezer played an amazing set, full of all the favorites you would expect – Buddy Holly, Island in the Sun, The Sweater Song, Say It Ain’t So, Beverly Hills, Perfect Situation. The show was much more fun than I expected, and we left thrilled that we had opted for it over The Dead Weather (tough decision).

Jay-Z: I was skeptical going into this, but man oh man, did Jay-Z bring down the house, or what?! He was punctual, gracious, talented, thankful, and just plain awesome (basically, everything Kanye wasn’t). He performed hit after hit, was working with incredible visuals and background displays, and just all around put on a great show. We were lucky enough to be in the first few rows for this show, and it was every bit worth it.

Silent Disco: The Silent Disco is one of my new favorite attractions at Bonnaroo. Upon entering the tent, each person is given a pair of headphones, makes their way to the dance floor, and has their own personal dance party. Everybody is being streamed the same music, but it’s only audible through the headset. Remove your headphones, and the tent is silent, which makes for hilarious entertainment and fun.

Sunday morning I meandered around the grounds before meeting up with my ladies at Ingrid Michaelson, another name I had never heard but to which I am so glad to have been introduced. She was cute and funny and had a great voice. But the show I was most excited for was my beloved Lucero. They aren’t exactly an afternoon performance kind of group, and it certainly wasn’t their best, but I had a blast singing and dancing along. And I know Ben appreciated my support. I stuck around for a couple more  shows – Regina Spector and Space Capone – and a slice of ridiculously oversized pizza before prying myself away and back to the car. The journey home was quick enough, thanks to my book on tape, and my homecoming shower was glorious.


One thought on “The Bonnaroo that Almost Wasn’t

  1. Wade says:

    jealousness … i need to start downloading the sets I can find tonight.

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