Ep.231 – Bonnaroo 2009 Coverage

Poppinoff Jun 16th, 2009 | By
Category: Ani Difranco, Beastie Boys, Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne, Erykah Badu, Girl Talk, Hood Internet, Mars Volta, Nine Inch Nails, Phish, Snoop Dogg, Wilco, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The

Chrystal and Guy experience their first festival at Bonnaroo 2009 in Manchester, TN

Bonnaroo was the bomb-aroo. Although I missed Girl Talk and Crystal Castles, I eventually got over it.  I think they need to make the major dance night on Saturday, because a lot of people showed up on Friday, and were too tired to hang.  By Saturday, everyone is there and ready to rock.

My favorite show at the festival was Wilco. It was my first time actively listening to them.  It was nice to chill in the sun, relax, and watch a full set.  I ran around like a mad woman most of the time. I wanted to do everything.


On Friday:

We set up camp, and hung out for a bit before we made the ridiculous walk from Clark Griswold campground to Centeroo. The line was out of control, so we just walked in where people were exiting…no one said anything.  Later, we overheard that there was a period when it got so backed up at the entrance, the guards just let everyone through for about 5 minutes. They didn’t check bags, wristbands, nothing.

We saw a little of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs – but then explored the press tent (which, btw, needs lockers for laptops and other gadgets)

Ani was as powerful as ever, and started the festival right for me.  She’s so empowering. She played a new song that she wrote for her daughter. She said that when her daughter was born she thought, “Oh geez, she looks like me.” She realized that she has picked herself apart her whole life, and now she sees a perfect being that looks just like her.  The song is about recognizing your beauty.  I bawled.

Beastie Boys were great, but they didn’t play Fight for your Right or Brass Monkey…WTF? BUT they did bring out NAS for a new song.

There were a couple mess ups.  Although I’ve seen better B Boys shows – they are still the coolest guys ever! Check out http://www.themidnightcafe.org/?p=1729 for a little Beastie treat from Bonnaroo.

We were lucky enough to get in the pit for Beasties and Phish.

Phish / Photo by Michael Didyoung

The coolest thing about Phish for me was how the beach balls and glow sticks went flying through the audience right when they started.  It was so fun.  I’m not sure if Phish is my thing, but I understand the draw.  It was definitely an experience worth having.

We tried to stay up for Girl Talk, but were just too tired and walked back to our tent.


Hung around until 3:00-ish, and chatted with some folks.  It was hard to get people to do reviews at this event…unless you offered them free pulls of cheap vodka. Rock on. :)

We watched Wilco, explored the Silent Disco and Fuse Barn, listened to Mars Volta from the press tent, ate a most delicious jalapeno veggie corn dog, met up with a co-worker during a period when there seemed to be absolutely nothing going on, and then hit up The Boss. (How’s that for a run-on sentence.) Besides being completely confused by him playing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” he was the shiz. Such a stud.


We then rode the Ferris Wheel, hit up the Silent Disco for a little of The Hood Internet, and made our way back to the press tent, where we stood on picnic table to watch NIN perform their ‘last’ show in North America.

We wanted some MGMT, but it was too cold to hang. Nighty Night.


Sunday was very relaxed.  We watched some side stage acts at Which Stage and The Other Tent: Okkervil River, Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Review, and Citizen Cope. We made our way to the Lebowski Fest at the Cinema, to catch an hour of The Big Lebowski. We then bounced out for an amazing close of Erykah Badu. Her Old Skool rap covers were awesome.

Snoop came on a little late, but he killed it.  A TuPac Tribute and Eryka Badu joining him for Lodi Dodi were my favs of the set.

We headed out back to ‘Cash’ville after that, missing Phish’s second set of the festival, and the finale where The Boss joined them.

Bummer, but overall, an incredible experience, and I can’t wait for next year!

Biggest Turn on: Being in an atmosphere, where everyone lets down their guard, and jams out to a variety of the World’s best artists.

Biggest Turnoff: I don’t think I’ll really get over the visual of guys waiting in line holding a roll of toilet paper, practically announcing to the world that they are going to do their business in the port-a-potty, so beware.

Bonnaroo Tips:

  • Don’t come tired.
  • Bring and drink lots of water.
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Backpack contents: Gallon of water, sunscreen, sweatshirt (for when it gets cold at night/doubles as a pillow to lie on the lawn), cell phone, camera, Sharpie (for tagging up the walls – everyone does it), glowsticks, money ($6 beers, $3 water, $5 per person cab, $5 pizza, $5 Ferris Wheel, awesome art and trinkets), deodorant, baby wipes, spray bottle, mini fan, schedule, and festival map.
  • Wear walking shoes.
  • Go to Wal-Mart early.  It’s like diaster struck if you wait too long. (The only water left was nursery water for babies – and that was the Wal-Mart in Nashville – one hour away)
  • Buy rain gear – just in case.
  • Don’t buy the cheapest canopy you find – it will blow away.
  • Go past the main entrance to the next exit (by the KOA) and go in the back way.
  • If you smoke, bring enough cigarettes.
  • Buy a delicious veggie quesadilla off some hot hippie dudes. And if they have a kick-ass special: 2 shots of Cuervo, 2 coronas, and a quesadilla for $15…Do it!
  • Better yet, sell cigarettes, booze, and quesadillas yourself.
  • Take time to read the daily Bonnaroo paper
  • Expect to miss some shows on your schedule.  Don’t get all depressed when you do.
  • Use the Festaxis – these taxis are $5 a person and take you to your campsite.  So worth it, and the drivers are dope as hell.
  • If you have money to spare – stay at the local KOA.  Showers, pool, clean bathrooms and a Limo that picks you up and drops you off at the VIP/Press area of the festival.
  • There’s an open bar in the artist tent. If you can manage to get past the high security – rock it.
  • I hear the VIP sections are really nice.
  • VIP might sell alcohol. I’m not sure, but it looked like the festival stands were beer only.

So try to bring your Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice in, if you hate beer.

  • Visit the Silent Disco. It will change your life.
  • The Fuse Barn is the bomb. Great music, and air-conditioned.
  • Ride the Ferris Wheel @ night.
  • Bring out your best hippie dance.
  • Relax, be nice to people, let people be nice to you, take care of yourself, and just have fun. Don’t Worry, Be Happy.
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3 Comments to “Ep.231 – Bonnaroo 2009 Coverage”

  1. Kris says:

    Great post. I’ll keep the tips in mind. I’m going to try and make it out to next year’ show. For now, I’m catching the Bonnaroo special on tv tomorrow night: http://fuse.tv/tours/bonnaroo-09/

  2. Bonnaroo kid says:

    So my girlfriend and i slept through almost all of the fun dance bands too. And i’m happy that other cool people did that as well. I’m pretty sure that this was the craziest, most free, happiest four days of my life. Everyone there was just so happy and willing to help each other out. There was the walking everywhere, and the no showers, and expensive blah blah blah, but it was totally worth it. I really dug the videos. Happy ‘Rooin, see you next year :)

  3. This show was the most exciting show that I have ever seen live and it was easy to get the tickets from this website. Now I was here if there is any other concert live.

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