Bonnaroo faves + tips for the future

Like I said, I’m not a festival “person,” or at least, that’s what I thought before I went to Bonnaroo. But I must admit that I’ve returned converted.

Bonnaroo is summer camp for adults. Not only is there tons of amazing music (duh), but there’s crafts, there’s community dinners, there’s fitness activities like yoga and running, there’s meditation… There’s pretty much something for everyone.

I didn’t have a ton of time for shows because I was teaching throughout the day and also just couldn’t bring myself to be up all night (tryna take care of this body, ya hear?) — but I was lucky enough to be able to catch a couple favorites — Lil Dicky, Mac Demarco, and Jim James.

OK, if you don’t know who Lil Dicky is, you HAVE to check him out. Ad agency creative turned rapper who sings about saving money rather than wasting it and respecting women rather than fucking them over…. and does it all cleverly… wow. Respect.

Yep. This is him. I guess being good pays, too 💵💵💵

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There’s a call for influential people out in the world to stand for something good, and I’m so glad this guy is.

All politics aside, here’s what I learned. Just a few tips for making the best out of what can be a really awesome weekend. And not just for the next Bonnaroo, but for any other music festivals you’re planning on attending this summer:

13 Tips for Making the best of Bonnaroo

  • Plan your itinerary: You shouldn’t have to worry about anything once you’re there. So before you even leave home to head there, go ahead and plan your itinerary — music, Planet Roo talks, workshops, etc. — so all you have to do once you’re there is wait for those notifications or calendar reminders.

  • Bring snacks: There is of searching to find LOTS of different kinds of food there, but sometimes it takes a lot of energy to find what you need. As a vegetarian, I was looking for salads and quesadillas and there was only one quesadilla stand. I kept going back to it but I’d have to look FOREVER because I could never figure out how to get back to it. Future me will mark the spot on my map (make sure to grab a map) to avoid wandering around BUT I will also bring snacks next time — granola bars, nutrition shake powders, and energy chews (think cycling and running energy snacks).

  • Bring a hat: Wear sunscreen, too, but a hat with a brim will save your life!

  • Wear sunscreen: Can’t say this enough. This sunscreen was awesome. I applied it at the beginning of the day and only had to re-apply throughout the day ONCE. That’s pretty good.

  • Bring sunglasses: Keep the sun out, with whatever means necessary!

  • Bring a canteen: Yes, there are plastic water bottles made available, but would you really feel good about using bottle after bottle? Or about having to carry something around that you can’t clip to a pack? Bring a canteen with a carabiner so you can clip and refill, all weekend long,.

  • DRINK WATER: No matter how much you want to drink lots of alcohol, drink water more. It gets hot and you don’t want to have a bad time. Seriously.

  • BRING TOILET PAPER: IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, bring extra TP. Because, listen, you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to choose between shaking dry and using the cardboard of a toilet paper roll. Don’t judge me. I didn’t want to shake! Just throw a roll in your pack and bring it with you.

  • Bring a pack: Why? Because you need something to put your water bottle, toilet paper, snacks, map, and sunscreen in.

  • Get to shows early: There’s really no point standing in the middle. You won’t see a thing. Instead, get to shows early enough to stand in front or be cool standing on the outskirts near the screens. If the goal is to see your fave music boo, you might as well choose front row or side stage. There’s no glory in standing sandwiched between two sweaty strangers like am uncomfortable, salty sardine. No, thank you!

  • Wear tennis shoes: Look, I don’t CARE how cute those boots or wedges are. For the love of god, wear SNEAKERS! YOU might be too drunk or whatever to feel your knees at night, but you WILL feel that ish in the am. I’m still feeling my right hip. And I stretch!!!

  • Bring a damn chair: Bring something light that you can clip to your pack and use to sit just about anywhere. This is the lightest and easiest that I’m aware of.

  • Wear comfy clothes: Here is my list of approved music festival clothing..

    • Loose, long, cotton pants or hemp pants. Think pajama style. They will keep the sun out and still let your skin breathe.

    • Light t-shirt. Wear a shirt with just enough sleeve to put a barrier between your pack straps and shoulders. You REALLY don’t want chafing. On your shoulders or in your pits.

    • Wicking socks. Please wear good socks. If you don’t, you will get blisters and your feet will STANK. Don’t do that to others, plz.

    • Bandana. There’s LOTS of dust out there. Have a bandana around your neck to protect your neck from sun, to pull up around your mouth to protect from dust, or to pull your hair back. Lots of uses!

  • Wicking lycra shorts. Don’t want to wear pajama-wish pants? Wear short, lycra, fitted shorts that don’t chafe your thighs. But if you wear these, wear sunscreen, too!

Hopefully this will help a little with your festival planning. I know it will help me for next time!