For 361 days of the year, Manchester is a quiet, quaint southern town in Tennessee. However, for 4 days every June, the population explodes to 100,000 people and the town bursts at the seams with exhilaration, eclecticness, and ultimately, communal ecstasy.
For 361 days of the year, Manchester is a quiet, quaint southern town in Tennessee. However, for 4 days every June, the population explodes to 100,000 people and the town bursts at the seams with exhilaration, eclecticness, and ultimately, communal ecstasy. For what reason? Bonnaroo.
In 2020 Bonnaroo festival has been postponed to September 24th-27th.
All Bonnaroo 2020 Tickets are selling now
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is one of the most recognisable names in the world of fantastic festivals. It is not just famous for it’s an undyingly impressive musical lineups, but also for the way it flawlessly blends this music with arts, comedy, and a sense of profound community.
In years past, Bonnaroo has hosted an incredibly wide range of musical genres. From hip hop and electronica, to indie and folk, to rock and alternative, to bluegrass and country, and far beyond.
Some notable headliners from year’s past have included (but certainly aren’t limited to); Eminem, Paul McCartney, Tool, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Buffalo Springfield, James Brown, and ZZ Top.
Bonnaroo didn’t disappoint in 2020 with some acts that are must. Flume and Lizzo are a good mix on Saturday, Tool and Run of the Jewels on Friday, but the no. 1 act – Tame Impala on Saturday. Have a look:
Another great lineup by Bonnaroo produced by in 2019. See the names below:
In 2017, the crowds roared and danced their booties off to the likes of The Weeknd, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lorde, Chance the Rapper, The XX, and many others.
This festival left nearly 70,000 thrilled attendees hungry for more; in 2018, Bonnaroo is sure to come back bigger and better than ever (the lineup should be announced in January).
The word “Bonnaroo” actually means “good stuff” in Creole. The name is quite fitting, as Bonnaroo hands out heavy doses of goodness— especially in their arts department.
From five-star comedy acts, to a cornucopia of art installations, to a marketplace of crafts/posters, to even the Bonnaroo Cinema (where you can enjoy excellent films), festival goers experience more “good stuff” than they can rightfully handle.
While the music is a blast and the arts are entrancing, it is the sense of community that stays with Bonnaroovians for a lifetime. Bonnaroo makes spending four days at Great Stage Park with free spirits from all over the globe feel more like four years.
They do this by encouraging everyone to bring forth their most creative and authentic selves in order to spread the most love and acceptance as possible. As well, they further empower by creating workshops; such as yoga classes, and holding community oriented activities such as an annual 5K run!
Beyond that, they even offer activities such as a silent disco and romantic ferris wheel rides to bring people even closer together. Bonnaroo is one big, happy family.
So Why Bonnaroo?
It’s time to jump into your adventure pants and head to The Farm! Sing along to some of the best music the world has to offer, laugh your buns off, disco all night long, and feel the warm, welcoming embrace of the Bonnaroo family!
Once you’ve been bitten by the Bonnaroo bug, you’re a Bonnaroovian for life— expect to return each and every year.
If you love indie music, you may wish to stay at the indie stage the whole festival— it is advised not to do this. Burst your indie bubble!
Bonnaroo has a grand variety of music, and half the fun is discovering new music! Besides, that way you will have something new to show off to your non-Bonnaroovian friends later.
2# Stick around
When a band is done playing, hold your pee for a little bit longer! It is wise to stay around after an artist or band performs, as they will usually sign autographs and give hugs to fans after the show.
3# Pamper yourself
Yes, it is a music festival; and yes, you are going to want to “go hard!” However, when you ears start ringing, your head feels light, and your feet begin to cramp… It may be time for a break.
Fret not, Bonnaroo makes taking a break fun. They offer pampering opportunities such as yoga workshops and a Garnier Fructis Tent, where volunteers will wash your hair for you in airconditioning.
4# No glass bottles
For good reason, Bonnaroo doesn’t allow you to bring glass bottles into the festival. However, they do allow cans.
For that, it is advised to bring in cans of your favorite beer, and lots of them. Oh, and be sure to stay hydrated with all of those brews and hot sunshine.
What to Do
Manchester TN is a cute southern town with a whole lot of charm, and it is worth paying a visit during your trip to Bonnaroo.
May Prairie Natural Area
In the area, you can explore the natural beauty of Tennessee by visiting the May Prairie Natural Area.
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park
As well, you can take a nice deep breath in nature while exploring the Native American history of Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park.
Beans Creek Winery
You know what else Manchester has? Wine. Yes, wine, and the Beans Creek Winery has a whole lot of award-winning Tennessee wines. You can check out the beauty of the land, learn how wine is made, and taste a great number of delicious wines.
If you are feeling either the pre-festival angst or the post-festival blues, fret not— Nashville is only an hour away!
Aside from being the bright n’ bustlin’ capital of Tennessee, Nashville is also home to the most legendary country music venues and museums, extremely lively nightlife, and some of the best food the south has to offer.
Where to Stay
If you are a Bonnaroo “virgin,” you are most recommended to campout at the festival; camping will give you a much better idea of what Bonnaroo is all about.
General Admission camping (included with your ticket) is full of great vibes, odd entertainment, and a fantastic amount of camaraderie. It’s simple, really, you chose a place that tickles your fancy, set up your tent, and enjoy your temporary home base.
Community Style Camping
Bonnaroo also offers community style camping, where you can create a temporary neighborhood of individuals who all share similar passion and intentions. It is a great way to raise positive vibrations! The three different communities are: Girls Just Wanna!, Family Camping, and Soberoo Camping.
As well, Bonnaroo offers VIP camping options. These include upgraded campsites (with amenities like pristine loos, fancy lounges, and wifi), upgraded RV camping, and exquisite Le Bon tents.
If you are looking for something even more lavish, fear not! Bonnaroo takes a step above VIP, they go Platinum. Platinum tickets include options for elegant Le Bon Cabanas, an intriguing RV oasis, and passes to Roll Like a Rock Star.
For The Non-Campers
However, maybe you don’t enjoy camping and prefer to take a time-out from the festival each night, that is also groovy. Albeit small, Manchester has some great accommodation options.
As well, the Sleep Inn & Suites is another great option in Manchester for only $90 a night.
The festival packs this small city of Manchester, so it is highly recommended to book your hotel room ahead of time using a website like booking.com.
If you need someone to look after your pet as Bonnaroo don’t allow pets to the festival, then TrustedHousesitters is a great option for you.
Where to Eat
Luckily, Bonnaroo doesn’t joke around when it comes to food. They offer a huge array of vendors in order to delightfully fulfill all dietary preferences and festival food cravings:
from local Tennessee BBQ, to donuts, to quinoa salads. A favorite Bonnaroovian dish is the mouthwatering Bacon Flight over at the famous Bacon Land. Another favorite is the buffalo chicken stuffed pretzel at Pretzel Revolution.
Plant Based Food
However, if you are into a more plant based diet, there are plenty of delicious options for you, as well.
Hippie Dips offers healthy smoothies and tasty Paninis, and The Benevolent Burrito offers nom-worthy vegan burritos.
If you are looking to experience some wholesome southern cuisine while visiting Manchester, Boskey’s Grill is a great place with a home-cooked feel.
A highly recommended dish from Boskey’s is called “The Chops,” which is a dish of pork chops with a sweet apple marmalade.
Another option for good ole fashioned American cuisine is the Waffle House, happily serving some of the best waffles and hashbrowns you may ever taste.
How to Get There
The closest and most convenient airport is going to be Nashville International Airport. From the airport, you can either rent a car and drive to Manchester, or follow the options below.
Bonnaroo offers a shuttle from the Nashville International Airport to the festival, and back to the airport! This is a great way to make some Bonnaroovian friends and leave a tidy carbon footprint. The ride takes about 75 minutes and costs $60 roundtrip.
From the Nashville Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus directly into Manchester. The trip should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes and cost about $25-$35.
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You are going to want to start out on I-40 E. From there, merge onto I-24 E and follow that until you reach Manchester. Then, take exit 110 and then continue onto Hillsboro Blvd. Take Kimberly Ln to Grosch drive and follow that down to the festival! The drive should only take about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
From the Atlanta Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus directly into Manchester. The trip should take about 3 hours and 40 minutes and cost about $40-$60.
You are going to want to start off on I-75 and follow that and I-24 W all the way to Hillsboro Blvd in Manchester. From there, take exit 114. Then, follow Kimberly Ln to Grosch Dr, and follow that down to the festival! The drive should take about 3 hours.
From the Dallas Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus into Nashville. Then, from the Nashville Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus directly into Manchester. The trip should take about 15 hours and cost about $134-$195.
You going to want to start off on TX-366 Spur E, and follow that to I-30 E. From there, follow signs for I-40 E and I-840 E to Hillsboro Blvd in Manchester. From there, take exit 114. Then, follow Kimberly Ln to Grosch Dr, and follow that down to the festival! The drive should take about 11 hours (but it’s worth it!).
From the Charlotte Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus into Atlanta. Then, from the Atlanta Greyhound bus station, you can take a Greyhound bus directly into Manchester. The trip should take about 10 hours and cost about $90-$130.
You are going to want to start off on I-85 and eventually merge onto I-75 N and I-24 W. Follow I-24 W to Hillsboro Blvd in Manchester. From there, take exit 114. Then, follow Kimberly Ln to Grosch Dr, and follow that down to the festival! The drive should take about 6 hours and 20 minutes.
First Bonnaroo Festival
Bonnaroo was born in 2002 of founding fathers Richard Goodstone, Rick Farman, Ashley Capps, Kerry Black, and Jonathan Mayers.
The inspiration for Bonnaroo was taken from large music festivals of the 1990s, such as Coachella, Glastonbury, and shows put on by their favorite band, Phish. T
hey also pulled inspiration from Woodstock Music & Arts festival, country fairs, and film festivals, such as Sundance.
It’s easy to see how well they tied together the ideas of all these great events, as their very first festival sold out in just two weeks. Oh, and they were only selling tickets on their website.
This is great news in the world of first-ever music festivals! Their 2002 event brought in the likes of Jack Johnson, Widespread Panic, Jurassic 5, the String Cheese Incident, and many more— not a bad lineup for a first-timer event.
Even more impressively, by 2003, just their second year, Bonnaroo made it onto the “Top 50 Moments in Rock & Roll” by Rolling Stone Magazine! By 2005, they started adding comedy and even more artwork to the festival, and by 2007, they solidified their place in Manchester by purchasing The Farm.
Bonnaroo the Green Festival
Bonnaroo’s current goal is to become the greenest festival in North America, and they have been setting the stage to achieve this goal quite eloquently. They will continue to strive towards greatness, hopefully you will be there to see what is yet to come!