Camping festivals are an amazing experience, especially if you go with your rave fam to a festival known for its one of a kind experiences and art. Bonnaroo is a unique festival that happens annually on a ranch in Tennessee. This camping festival always offers a unique lineup and camping experience that makes it worth checking out. This year the event will take place from June 16-19 and features headlining performances from headliners like J. Cole, The Chicks, TOOL, Flume and Illenium.
Bonnaroo can be incredibly fun or be the complete opposite if you come unprepared! The event is just around the corner so I thought I’d provide tips and tricks that you’ll need to plan a successful and stress-free experience at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
Do Your Research Before Buying Your Ticket
The festival’s website provides plenty of information on all the different ticket types available. If it’s your first time going, it’s worth reading through it to understand what’s included in each ticket to find the one that’s right for you. There are quite a few ticket options that determine the experience you'll have. You can do anything from GA to an ultra-VIP experience that includes a nicer camping area, golf cart transportation to each stage, unlimited food and drink and special viewing at each stage.
Always remember, festival admission tickets do not include camping passes, so you’ll need to buy them separately. You can also choose tiered camping passes based on the experience you want to have. Tickets and camping passes range from affordable prices to higher prices for a more luxury experience, but give a lot of variety to pick from. You can get both camping and festival passes here.
Plan How You’re Getting There Ahead of Time
Driving is the most popular travel option for Bonnaroovians. Most people drive into the festival, either by car, RV, or uHaul… But if driving isn’t your thing, rest assured there are also shuttle routes departing from different places to get you to the festival grounds. No matter which mode of transport you go for, you need to pre-book your pass with your festival ticket. Make sure you do so in advance before they sell out!
The drive to Manchester is about an hour outside of Nashville or about three and a half hours northwest of Atlanta. Both airports are easily accessible from most US cities and offer lots of rental car options.
Plan to Get There Early
When you’re making your travel plans, keep in mind that the sooner you arrive the closer to the festival entrance you’ll be! The campgrounds fill from front to back so as long as you plan your trip accordingly you won’t get stuck in one of the furthest campsites. Anticipate long lines as you get closer to the festival, so add at least an hour to your travel time for the time you'll spend waiting in line.
Packing is Essential, Be Prepared for Rain
Sunshine isn’t always in the forecast, it’s not uncommon for it to rain and for temperatures to drop. And when it rains at Bonnaroo it pours, so the festival grounds can get really muddy. Bring what you need to stay dry and warm if the weather turns:
- Warm layers
- Thick sleeping bag/blanket
…But Also Be Prepared for Sunshine
On the other hand, it can also get very hot and sunny which requires a whole other list of essentials. Whatever you do, before you start packing check the weather forecast to ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your time at the festival. Here are a few necessities you should think about packing:
Bring the Right Footwear
Depending on which area you’re assigned to at the campgrounds, you might end up having to walk quite a distance to get to the thick of the action in Centeroo. Blisters can easily ruin your entire festival weekend so bring the right footwear and socks. Or if you can’t forego your platforms, make sure you have a few dollars to spare each day to catch a pedicab from the campgrounds to Centeroo, and back!
The Festival Grounds Get Dusty
When it doesn’t rain at Bonnaroo a giant cloud of dust will start to surface as soon as the masses of people start trampling all over the festival grounds. Make sure you bring a bandana or face mask to avoid ingesting heaps of dust.
Baby Wipes are Your Best Bet to Stay Clean
Bonnaroo showers are notoriously dirty and the queues can take forever! Arm yourself with some baby wipes to combat any sand, mud or sweat you encounter and need to wipe off.
Pack a Flashlight With Extra Batteries
The campgrounds are massive so finding your tent can be tricky, particularly late at night when it’s dark and you’re tired. Pack a flashlight to make it easier to find your way back! It will definitely come in handy when you’re walking through the campgrounds late at night and even in some parts of the festival.
Bring a Totem/Flag/Floatie
The festival is the size of a small town, over 100,000 people attend each year so it’s really easy to lose your friends in the crowd. Have a totem, flag or floatie that you can spot from a distance and you’ll never lose your group again! When you’re not using it in the crowd you can hang it at your campsite so you’ve got something to look out for when you’re walking back to your tent.
Arrange Your Ride for a Quick and Easy Car Check
Be mindful of what you pack, check Bonnaroo’s official list of prohibited items before you load up your vehicle to prepare for a seamless car check on arrival. Car checks are random but you never know if you’ll end up having your vehicle searched so always respect the rules and be prepared.
If You’re Traveling as a Group, Stay Together
Ensure that everyone in your group that wants to camp together gets in line together, this will guarantee you get to set up next to one another. Bonnaroo crew members won’t wait on your group and definitely won’t save spots for anyone on the campgrounds.
I hope these tips get you well on your way to planning the most incredible weekend at Bonnaroo! Need some inspo for your ‘fits? We’re always updating our huge range of festival fashion, check out our latest new arrivals now! We can’t wait to see how you style your rave looks, be sure to tag us on Instagram @iheartraves!