icon picker
So You've Decided to Go to Bonnaroo

Your Comprehensive Guide

Intro

Welcome. If you’re reading this, you’re likely a few months, weeks, or possibly days away from one of the best places in the world. 4-5 days of music, camping, and friends. I can think of no better way to set the tone than to remind everyone of the Bonnaroovian Code:
Radiate Positivity
Don’t be that Guy / Gal
Respect the Farm
Play As a Team
Prepare Thyself
Stay True Roo
image.png
That penultimate one — Prepare Thyself — is why you’re here. A few of us have worked hard to distill everything we know about preparing for the festival into this document, and it’s here to help you. We’ve also provided some cool pictures to keep you motivated. Enjoy!

Deciding to Go

If you’re still making your decision on whether to come, we imagine there are probably a few logistics-related questions you’ll have up front. Specifically: When is it? What’s the lodging situation? What’s the cost? How do I get down there? We’ll cover that here.
If you’ve already decided to go, you can likely skip this section- but it may be useful review regardless.

Timing

The festival is held in mid-June, usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend. For this year, it will be held on Thursday, June 15th, 2023 through Sunday, June 18th, 2023.
To attend, you’ll likely need to take off work starting the Wednesday before Bonnaroo through the following Monday (note that this includes Monday, to account for traveling back home).

Travel

There are two main ways to get down to Bonnaroo - you can drive down, or you can fly to Nashville and then figure out your way from the Nashville airport to the Bonnaroo farm. We recommend people drive if possible, just because it helps with packing and it’s generally easier to transport people and supplies down. However, this is not possible for everyone- so for those flying, we do try to coordinate amongst drivers and those flying to pick up the latter from the airport. Worst case scenario, if we can’t carpool from the airport, there are shuttles available. If you think you may need a ride, reach out to @Mark on slack.

General Expectations

Bonnaroo is a 4-5 day music and arts festival held on a farm in the middle of Tennessee in mid-June, where the participants camp together and participate in a wide variety of community activities. As such, it’s important to be mentally and physically prepared for what to expect.

Camping

Part of what makes Bonnaroo special is that the vast majority of its attendees camp at the festival- we’re talking easily 95%, likely more. As such, we have everyone in our group camp together by participating in a special type of camping called “Groop Camping”.
We all camp either in tents or in EZ ups (the type of open-walled canopy tents you often see at food or arts and crafts festivals). For the latter, we put old bedsheets and tapestries over the walls and sleep on cots- we’ve found that this provides a more comfortable sleeping experience, but these things are a little harder to transport / more expensive to procure, so it’s not unusual to spend your first year at Bonnaroo in a tent instead.

Sun and Heat

The middle of June in Tennessee can get fairly hot and bright- temperatures peak in the high 80’s to mid 90’s. This will usually happen around 1-3pm, but by 5-6pm it’s usually dwindled to a very mild warmth- literally the ideal weather, you’ll barely feel a thing. Regardless, we encourage everyone to drink water and wear sunscreen, particularly for those middle hours of the day to protect against possible sunburn.

For the heat, we encourage everyone to take breaks as needed- we have a lot of shaded space in our group’s campground, and Bonnaroo itself provides a large number of tents and misters scattered throughout the festival to help provide relief.

We also encourage everyone to have a CamelBak equivalent or some sort of water bottle. We take refill stops very often throughout the day and often share our water fairly liberally when others are thirsty.

Walking

Bonnaroo can involve a lot of walking- it’s easy to hit 15 miles in a day, and that’s being quite conservative (many of us have hit 20 miles in a day). It’s important to bring a good pair of walking shoes (sneakers, hiking boots, etc.). We do *not* recommend wearing flip flops or most types of sandals during the day- the amount of walking required will tire your feet and cause cramps.

Cost

With a large trip, many costs can come into play since there are so many variables. All in, the trip can cost anywhere from $700 - $1600, depending on what gear you have already and how much you splurge at the festival.
We’ve bucketed the costs into the following categories, with their associated ranges:
Ticket ($470 - $530)
Travel ($80 - $560)
Food ($75 - $150)
Drink ($50 - $150)
Gear ($0 - $80)
Sleeping ($0 - $130)
We’ve estimated these as best as possible, but they’re certainly not perfect. Take a closer look at our if you want a better overview of what to expect, and to get an idea of where you’re at.

Packing

You’re prepping for a long camping weekend. We’ve broken down some of the items you’ll need into the following categories: Items you’re responsible for (Must-haves and Nice-to-haves) and items the group is working on supplying as a whole (items we’ll pack for the group, and consumables we’ll buy in Nashville shortly before Roo).

Packing for yourself

We have a separate document that outlines all packing items in a somewhat easier to read format here: . However, we’ve provided an overview here as well:

Must-Have Items

We highly recommend you bring the following items:
<Insert High Priority Items>

Nice-to-Have Items

We also think you could benefit from the following items, but they’re certainly not required:
<Insert Low and Medium Priority Items>
This is not an exhaustive list- supplement this with whatever you think you need. If you cannot bring something due to the fact you’re flying in, or you don’t own one of the above, feel free to reach out to others in the group, I’m sure they can help you out.

Packing for your car

For some items, it makes the most sense to coordinate with your car and plan as a group. These items include food, alcohol, and other drinks. Also, cars should plan to bring their own cooler to store their food- it may also be possible to pair up with another car and share a cooler with them.
If you are not coming as part of a car, and need to group up with someone else, reach out to the slack, Mark, or Kyle, and we’ll help you out.

Food

You’ll want to plan a grocery list and then pick it up a few hours before you arrive to the farm. We have a few suggestions below, but packing lists will differ based on individual preferences within the car group (Vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). In general, it’s a good idea to plan for 1 - 2 meals per day, plus some snacks. If you do end up on the lower side of this spectrum, there is plenty of incredible food all around Bonnaroo, and you’re sure to find something.

We’ve listed a bunch of ideas of food and supplies to buy at the grocery store on the 4th sheet of this document:

Beer & Alcohol

For supplying beer and alcohol, we are asking each car to be responsible for picking up and paying for about the amount of alcohol that would quench the members of the car. In general, we all share alcohol once we get to camp. We recommend you buy the following:
2-drinker car: 1 case of nice beer (24 cans, think Yuengling or higher), 1 handle of liquor, 1 two-liter mixer
3-drinker car: 1 case of cheap beer (24 cans of PBR or less), 1 case of nice beer (24 cans, think Yuengling or higher), 1 handle of liquor, 1 two-liter mixer
4-drinker car: 1 case of cheap beer (24 cans of PBR or less), 1 case of nice beer (24 cans, think Yuengling or higher) then 2 handles of liquor, 1 two-liter mixer

Other

There are a few other things your car should bring. They include: Your car camping pass for your car, a cheap cooking pan, and a brush or sponge.

Additionally, you should bring a cooler for your food. It may be possible to pair up with another car and store both of your food in the same cooler. Post in the slack if you’re interested in this.
image.png

Supplies for the group

This leads to the next question - what *don’t* you need to pack for yourself? Well, some items we’re working on supplying as a group. These are items certain individuals are packing for the full group’s benefit.
Planning, buying, and transporting all of these items for our large group is a big effort- if you are able to help with supplying, buying or transporting, please reach out to Kyle or Mark.

Packing Group Supplies

First, we’ll cover items that we’re crowdsourcing from our group and will be packed for the trip. A full list can be found
(in the sheet “Group Supplies to Pack”), but some of these items include:
<INSERT UPDATED SUPPLIES>
image.png

Other Stuff

Ice

Because of all of our food, and the need to keep it cold, we will be making daily trips to the ice truck. We’ve even left about $100 in the budget to account for ice- we’ll discuss who’s making these trips once we’re settled at camp.

Trash / Recycling

We’re not perfect, but a clean campsite makes a better experience for everyone. Do your part and be sure to throw your stuff away, or recycle it if applicable. And on occasion, doing your part may mean cleaning up after others as well (again, we’re not perfect). We’ll have trash and recycling bags designated in the camp site to throw everything away.

Food / Food Vendors

Obviously, with all the cars bringing their grocery lists, collectively we’ll have a lot of food. However, if whatever is available isn’t your thing, there are plenty of food vendors around Roo that serve just about everything, and items that can feed nearly every dietary restriction.

Security

When you’re not at the campsite, we recommend that you lock your valuables in the car you came in. Thankfully it’s never happened to us, but we have heard stories of people’s valuables being stolen when left unattended and unsecured at the campsite.

Totems

If you’re unfamiliar with festivals, you may not have heard of totems. Totems are a staff with some sort of mascot / meme that people bring into the festival grounds. It serves as a quick way for groups to find each other amongst the mass of people.
Our two totems are a stuffed squirrel and a stuffed lemur. You’ll hear more about them at camp.

Group Outfits

Games

At camp, we often hang out, relax, play games and explore. If you have something you want others to try, I recommend you bring it.
image.png

Getting to Bonnaroo

For the most part, we’re assuming most of you have your trip down to Nashville, and subsequently to Bonnaroo itself, figured out. If for some reason you do not, please reach out to Mark or Kyle.
Also, BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR ROO WRISTBAND. This is your ticket into the festival. If you don’t have it, be sure you have a way of picking it up before entering the festival (if your ticket holder is in the same car you’re arriving in, this shouldn’t be a problem).
In addition, if you own a car and you’re driving to Bonnaroo, be sure to get your Groop Camping car pass from Kyle, or understand how you’re getting it. This must be on your car as you drive into the farm.

Camping Situation

Overview / what is Groop camping

Because we have over 25 people in our group, we have a special camping arrangement supplied by Bonnaroo called Groop camping. The main benefits of group camping include:
We can arrive at different times and still camp together
On average, more space per person
Guaranteed decent spot close to Centeroo (where the vast majority of concerts are)
By now, all of you should have signed up for Groop camping already- it was done via the link that we’ve pushed everyone to sign up at (it should have cost $60 per person).

Where am I sleeping?

Everyone will typically fall into 1 of 2 categories for their sleeping arrangement- they’ll either sleep in a tent, or on a cot under an EZ up. In the past, most of us have slept in tents, but we’ve found that it gets really hot in the morning. In 2018, we learned from our neighbors that the best solution to this is to actually camp under an EZ up on a cot, which allows air to flow through the sleeping area and prevents the oven-like conditions.
EZ ups and tents are an item that we’re working on providing as a group. If you’re in an EZ up, we’ve worked to provide about 1 EZ up per 3 to 4 people. The most updated list can be found
(under the “Ticket Tracker” sheet), but this is a quick breakdown of the sleeping arrangement as of 5/18:
In addition, Kyle is generously bringing 1 extra 2 person tent, and 1 extra 4 person tent, which will likely be used for changing or whatever. Be the first person to tag Mark in the general channel with the word “alligator” and I’ll buy you a cold one. If you have a problem with your sleeping arrangement for whatever reason, please let Kyle, Mark, or Katy know.

General Schedule

For the most part, there is no set schedule for our group- you go to the concerts / sets that you want to go to. However, there are a few logistics related things you should be aware of.

Arriving at Bonnaroo

Most of us will likely arrive between 7pm Wednesday and 2am Thursday morning. We do have a general process when we arrive: First, we set up camp. This means EZ ups, tents, etc. In general, it’s a good idea to not start drinking until camp is set up. After this, we transition to our . (a note: during camp set up / power hour time, Corey will be cooking up a myriad of meats and food for us. He’s a professional cook and I’m personally really looking forward to it).

Group Picture

Leaving Bonnaroo

I think most of us are leaving Monday morning (leaving Sunday night could be an option (if you so desire). As such, it’s recommended that we try to pack up camp as much as we can on Sunday. There is no specific time this happens, it’s just helpful if you keep that in mind and help others as we clean up.
image.png

General To-Do Checklist

Make sure you have your Roo wristband (or, understand who does and how you’re getting it from them before entering the farm)
Make sure you have your items from the individual packing list
Know how your car is gathering your shared packing items
Check to see if you can supply any of the crowdsourced group packing items.
Make sure you understand your sleeping situation
If you’re driving, make sure you have your Roo Groop Camping Car pass, or understand how you’re getting it before Roo
If any of these items confuse you, please reach out to Kyle or Mark.

Wrap-up

Hopefully you made it this far. There are 3 sets of hidden instructions to receive a free drink in this document- follow them and it’s yours.
See you all at the farm soon.
image.png


Want to print your doc?
This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.