The buzz on Bonnaroo
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 22:08
As the metaphorical sun sets on the summer of 2012, the season of music festivals comes to an end. With festivals gaining more popularity each year, making the annual pilgrimage to a summer music festival has become somewhat of a tradition, especially among the students of a music loving campus like UVM.
This summer, I was lucky enough to make the trek down to a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn. to experience the four days of insanity that is the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
I arrived to a plethora of sights and sounds, many of which are unsuitable for publication.
There were tents as far the eye can see, massive stages for some of the world’s biggest bands and musicians, sweaty and scantily clad men and women of all ages and more Grateful Dead tapestries than most people will see in a lifetime. Needless to say, it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or ever will again.
It was the longest and most active four days of my life, and despite spending an average of 18 hours awake each day of the festival, I barely scratched the surface of all there was to do.
Among the many musical acts were Radiohead, UVM’s own Phish, The Beach Boys, Skrillex, Flying Lotus, St. Vincent, SBTKRT, Danny Brown, a must-see at this year’s Fall Fest, and the Shins, just to name a few. Everywhere you went, there were great bands covering a wide variety of genres.
For those feeling musically overloaded, the entertainment booths, waterslide, comedy tent and opportunity to get to know your fellow Bonnaroovians made it possible to spend a day without going to a single concert.
By the end of the fourth day, exhaustion reigned; no one had any interest in sleeping away some of the most fun days of their lives. Despite the overwhelming sense of fatigue, it was during one of the last acts of the festival that I saw the most people moved. At Bon Iver’s beautiful set, the crowd was enraptured and entirely engaged. I even saw a few tears – and admittedly got a bit choked up myself.
It is at moments like this that the profound essence of music festivals can be felt. A crowd of people of all types, ages and creeds united together over one love: music. That’s what makes Bonnaroo, and any other music festival, an event that someone with even a passing love for music has to experience. For those who haven’t made it to a festival, you know what to do next summer. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed.