Saturday, May 26, 2012

Festival Survival Guide Bonnaroo and Beyond

Gearing up for Bonnaroo and other other weekend long festivals takes some thought, planning, time and money.  Thinking ahead though will make your festival experience a lot more fun and in the long run save you time and money during the festival where time is precious.  Needs will vary depending on your needs and level of desired comfort but here are some suggestions and things to consider.  Enjoy our illustrated Bonnaroo and Summer Festival Survival Guide from Concert Photos Magazine!

Words and Concert Photography by David Oppenheimer - Performance Impressions Concert Photography Archives
Bonnaroo Arch

Click photos for large view.

Drink lots of water at Bonnaroo at other summer festivals!

Water!  Bring more water than you think you'll need and drink it often.  Dehydration and hyperthermia are real dangers and you don't want to end up on a cot with rows of others being pumped with fluids in the medical tent! Remind yourself to drink water!  

Running out of gas on the way to Bonnaroo
Arrive with a full tank of gas.  Running out of gas while sitting in traffic will have you hitching a ride into the lot.

Stay smart on the way in, they offer some pretty thorough searches on the way in.  That includes checking a few days before you leave on the road that your lights and turn signals work and that your registration and insurance are up to date with paperwork in a safe place in car.

Reddy Ice Stand at Bonnaroo Music Festival
If you bring an extra couple of coolers for just ice with a block of dry ice on the bottom of them, they will stay frozen for a couple of days of Bonnaroo heat if not in direct sunlight. Reddy Ice just filed for bankruptcy so not sure who will be running the ice scene at Bonnaroo this year but either way, it's about 300% cheaper to get your ice before you arrive but do not worry because there are ice trucks and golf carts driving around selling ice also.

Bonnaroo Schedule

Plan your schedule ahead of time!  There is going to be too much to do and it can be overwhelming.  Take time to listen to the bands performing that you haven't heard of before going.  There may be some great music you'll discover.  Also pay attention to all of the other events scheduled during the weekend and work to write out a tentative schedule. 

If you want to be more carefree with your schedule at Bonnaroo, learn about the bands and make a list of top shows you don't want to miss.  You can now listen to songs of each band performing at Bonnaroo on the Bonnaroo Lineup page.


Wallets Recovered by Owners at Bonnaroo Information Booth Lost & Found 

          If you lose something, go to the Information Booth in Centerroo and they may have it waiting for you.  If you find something, bring it to the lost & found at the Information Booth in Centeroo.                                        

Splash-A-Roo at Bonnnaroo Music Festival

Girls, bring bikinis!  Guys, bring a bathing suit.  Bring a few towels.  Using a neck towel during the day provides a lot of comfort by keeping the sun off of your neck and shoulders and wicking sweat.  Bring a big bottle of baby powder.  Walking and dancing while sweating all day can lead to some serious chaffing.  Also bring a lot of baby wipes which are very handy to have camping out at a raging festival.  But ladies, remember to bring bikinis!

Spalsh-A-Roo at Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bonnaroo Bikini

Bonnaroo Bikini

Bonnaroo Bikinis

Bonnaroo Bikini

Bonnaroo Bikini

Bonnaroo Bikinis

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bring a hairbrush unless you have, or want dreads.

Festival Fashion

Don't forget your finest festival fashion gear for gettin' down to raging music all night!

Festival Fashion

Bonnaroo Music Festival Fashion

Bonnaroo Festival Fashion

You may want to bring an umbrella and some lightweight breathable rain  gear.

View of Bonnaroo Crowd from Which Stage

Metallica at Bonnaroo

Phish at Bonnaroo

If you are going to rely on your cell phone to keep in touch with friends, keep a spare battery charged with you and/or keep your friends' numbers written down so if your phone dies, you can ask someone to make a call on theirs and you'll have your friends' numbers.  Also consider keeping an extra cellphone charger cord in your backpack so you can juice it up on the go when you are near an outlet.  Buy a 300 watt electric inverter for you car that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter.  This will give you enough 110v AC current to charge your phone, camera and other low-draw electronic devices while you're chillin' at your campsite.  Just remember to unplug when not using.  Run your car once and a while to keep you car battery from fully draining but you do not need to run the engine to use the inverter but some cars need the key turned in the ignition for the cigarette plug to work.  Bring a few spare fuses for car cigarette lighter if you do!  Oh yeah, a pair of heavy duty jumper cables is a good idea to have.

Bonnaroo Music Festival Aerial View

Make a dedicated effort to figure out where your campsite is and how your are going to find it in the dark before you go out drinking.  Now may be a good time to download a GPS app on your phone and learn how to use it.

Bonnaroo Photo Booth

Bring extra batteries and memory cards for your camera.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Bonnaroo

Trey Anastasio at Bonnaroo with Oysterhead

Watermelon Hats at Bonnaroo

Protect yourself from the sun.  You will be out in the hot sun for 12+ hours a day.  Bring extra sunscreen and dip into the shade often.

Bonnaroo Sun Protection - Use Sunscreen

David Byrne at Bonnaroo Music Festival
Bonnaroo Music Festival Crowd
Adam Yauch w. The Beastie Boys at Bonnaroo

Al Green throwing roses to crowd at Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bonnaroo Beers - Star Hill Brewery Presents

This is another reminder for you to drink a water in between each beer so you won't flail out right before your favorite band is about to perform!

Bonnaroo Drug Bust

Don't be this guy! (The guy on the ground you can barely see).  And the 'cool dude' with the yellow hat is not your friend.  That goes for the tie dye guy also.

Punk Girl at Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bring food and remember to eat!  There is a lot of good food at Bonnaroo too so bring some cash or add a credit card account to your bracelet so you can travel light when partying.

Grow up and carry enough cash that you won't rely on a depleted ATM on site so you can eat and party.  Note:  I am not saying to actually 'grow up'.  I just have a problem with people that walk around with $10 in their pocket and have to go to an ATM every time they have to spend money.  It's inevitable that you are going to need it—so just carry some cash.

Bring a few spare keys to your car!!!!  Keep a spare in your wallet or purse and another hidden in the car and another under a tire or somewhere at camp or with a friend there.  If it costs a lot to have a spare made, trust me, it'll cost more and take a lot of your time and be a big PIA if you have to get a specialty key made on site that has a coded chip (which is unique to your car).

Bonnaroo Festival Survival Guide

Bring condoms and consider using them for brief encounters!

Willie Nelson at Bonnaroo Music Festival

Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo Music Festival
Beck at Bonnaroo

Cheech Marin at Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Information Booth at Bonnaroo Music Festival Centeroo

If you can't figure something out and need help, go to the Information Booth in Centeroo.  It is not far from the Ferris Wheel.  If you head to the Information Booth, let them know that Concert Photos Magazine sent you, you'll get VIP concierge service!

Enjoy concert photos from each Bonnaroo Music Festival at Performance Impressions Concert Photography Archives & Services

Check back because this list will be updated soon.

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