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Concerts Music Festivals

Vivid Seats' Guide to Bonnaroo 2013

June 12, 2013 by Allison

Bonnaroo Guide

The 2013 installment of the Bonnaroo Music Festival is on the horizon, and even though your insides are likely screaming for joy and excitement about the approaching fest, it’s time to settle down and think about what you need to prepare in order to breeze through the four-day music extravaganza, June 13-16. Get the scoop below, and if you haven’t purchased your Bonnaroo tickets yet, head to the marketplace for an array of multi-day passes.

There is always something going on at Bonnaroo, which will be open 24 hours a day for all fans. Most of the vendors operate all day long and through the night, and music in tent venues runs daily from Noon - 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. - 5 p.m. local time.

There are 12 music stages, a 100-acre entertainment village, and much more to see and enjoy on the 700-acre farm. The Main Stage holds around 90,000 people, while the Second Stage hits capacity at around 30,000, and has acts from Noon - 12 a.m. Friday through Saturday. In addition, of course, to the music, other events range from an arcade and cinema to yoga classes, comedy festivals, the Broo-ers microbrew festival, and more.

What to Bring
For starters, camping gear, including a tent, tarp and sleeping bag are a must if you’re staying on the grounds. Rain gear, like ponchos, umbrellas and mud boots will definitely make your time much more enjoyable if it does happen to rain. Aside from bringing several changes of clothes, pairs of shoes, undergarments and socks, be sure to bring bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, bandanas, and several containers for water because it’s June in Tennessee—it’s going to be hot. Other musts include hand wipes, bags for trash, toilet paper, lantern or flashlight, flags or balloons (so you can find your campsite), and an extra set of keys to your car just in case.

Food is welcome at Bonnaroo, so stock your car with your favorite treats, a small grill with charcoal or propane, and a cooler with ice. Small locks for your tent, ashtrays for smokers, blankets, radios and earplugs are all items that might come in handy as well. If you want to stay connected with the world over the weekend, don’t forget your phone charger!

What Not to Bring
Every vehicle is searched prior to entering the festival grounds, and there are a few things that will not be allowed under any circumstances. No glass containers, weapons, fireworks, pets, or glow sticks will be permitted. Small personal cameras are acceptable, but any professional equipment will not be allowed.

Arriving at Bonnaroo
Waiting to enter the festival grounds may take some time and delays are inevitable, as each car needs to go through tollbooths and be directed to a parking spot. Bonnaroo offers a few tips to keep things moving and to make your time much more enjoyable.

  • While waiting in line, do not have any open containers of alcohol, as this will be heavily enforced by Tennessee police
  • It is also recommended that attendees stay in the car and don’t cut in line
  • Make sure your car’s gas tank is full before getting in line (there are no gas vendors at Bonnaroo)
  • Use the restroom beforehand
  • For more detailed information, tune into Radio Bonnaroo on WFTZ 101.5 FM for traffic updates, news, and behind-the-scenes interviews, performances and music

Parking at Bonnaroo
General admission camping is included in the ticket price, and is divided into sections by streets running east to west and avenues running north to south. Each campsite has a unique name, like “Camp Clark Griswald” or “Camp Quagmire,” so any stray concertgoers should be able to find their way home after a long day. There are separate lots for fans bringing RVs to the festival, which require separate RV camping passes, and each RV is allowed one companion vehicle, which must arrive at the site at the same time. In order to secure a parking spot, your RV must fit into a 20’ X 50’ space that is made available for each lot. Every campsite has a very strict no re-entry policy, which means once your car or RV is parked, it cannot be moved unless you are planning on leaving the festival altogether. 

If you’re staying in a hotel away from the campgrounds, or simply attending the festival for one day, fans need to park in the day parking, which allows you to come and go as needed.

Camping at Bonnaroo
Bonnaroo offers an RV Oasis, where fans can rent a pre-parked RV in close proximity to “Centeroo.” Over the four-day event, tents will be available for those staying on site. If you choose not to camp out by your car, you can reserve an on-site tent already set up, or opt to do the tent-only camping, which is closer to the main venue and Centeroo, but no vehicles will be allowed in the vicinity. Anyone with more than 24 people and eight vehicles can purchase the group camping package, which will give everyone a chance to camp together at the same site with a reserved spot. Family camping is also available for families with small children for no additional fee.

If you do choose to camp, be sure to check out the campsite’s PODs, which have bathrooms, hand-washing stations and fresh drinking water. Showers are also available for a small fee, while Garnier Fructis will supply shampoo and conditioner. Each POD will be identified by a numbered balloon that can be seen from a distance.

If you go to Bonnaroo thinking you’ll be surviving on beef sticks and Pop-Tarts all weekend that likely won’t be the case. Like its caliber of artists, the festival prides itself on having the best food vendors of all of the summer music events. There will be diverse, nutritious options, as well as vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options. Food trucks will be available throughout the grounds as well. If beer is more your style, there will be a Broo-ers Festival in Centeroo, with more than 20 breweries under one tent. Guests are more than welcome to bring their own food in as well, along with a small grill.

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