Bonnaroo Day #1


By: Sean Varicalli


I arrived in Manchester last night for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival to miles upon miles of cars and tents. Really having no idea what to expect, I went in to this project envisioning a refugee campground. Honestly, that’s kind of what we have here in Manchester right now. Instead of people camping out there to seek refuge and a new home, people were camping out to be a part of one of the biggest music festivals in the world.

We set up our campsite, and with the festival not beginning until Thursday, we had some downtime. As is Bonnaroo tradition apparently, fellow campers were introduced as neighbors. Many “neighbors” at the festival were interested in exchanging music tastes, what bands other concert goers couldn’t wait to see, and well…other things. Once you get your way through the tent hysteria that is all of the individually named campsites, over the past out bro on the grass and over the porta potties, you experience one of the strangest sub cultures probably of all time. As a whole, this subgroup if nothing else is passionate about live music. Isn’t that what you want out of a festival fan base?

Manchester experienced unseasonably cool weather last night, with temperatures getting as low as 52 degrees. Cars continued to pour in through the remainder of the evening and filled all of the campsites that surrounded ours. After trying to get as much sleep as I humanly could, Manchester woke up to a sun soaked day, and the first official day of the festival. This was the first time that campers had the chance to experience all of the sights that make up the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Notice how I didn’t say the sounds just yet. No performances were set to begin on any of the main stages/tents until a little before 4pm local time.

I passed the old birdhouse clock tower on my way to the media campground right behind the ‘Which Stage’ and sat down right next to an MTV producer. It absolutely crossed my mind to ask her if she knew that this was a music festival, but then I decided that would be in poor taste. Regardless, tonight is the first night of what is sure to be one of the most interesting trips of my life. I hope you continue to read up on this blog for reviews/profiles on some of the music industry’s biggest acts.


  • Mariachi El Bronx
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
  • The Chris Gethard Show