TEXT & PHOTOS BY MARK JACKSON
This was my first time to attend the remarkable world of the land called Bonnaroo. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect as I approached the 700 acres in Manchester, Tn. (Following the text is my photo gallery.)
I arrived Thursday around 8:30p.m. and found a spot among the other eighty thousand campers/festival goers. I was able to make pretty good time setting up my tent and supplies considering it was dark. I managed to get into Centeroo which is where the stage, food, and activities preside, around 10:00p.m. As I wondered around the grounds scouting out the stages and getting my bearings in prep for the next three days adventure I quickly learned how massive the grounds would be.
I awoke early Friday Morning to a hot Sun and the Tennessee Humidity sticking me to my cot. I was able to shower, hang out, and eat lunch at my camp site before making it back to Centeroo. I was anxious to see the big acts but curious to also take in the opportunity to see and shoot the acts that I hadn’t heard of as well. Bonnaroo is know for booking the up and coming bands and the big ones too such as this years line up including Munford & Sons, Billy Joel, Robert Plant, Slayer, Earth Wind & Fire, Bassnectar, and Deadmau5 which all were worth the ticket alone. Some of the new music acts that I was able to catch and I recommend that you look up on their sites and of course YouTube were Priory, Songhoy Blues, Mo, Rudimental, Highly Suspect, and Wild Adriatic.
One company that was a sponsor was an earplug company. They sent me a pair before the festival. The Earplugs are called DUBS, and yes they are awesome. They are unlike any others I’ve used in the $20 dollar range. They don’t just squeeze into the ear and block the loud noises and muffle / ruin the music. DUBS cuts the high DB’s but maintains most of the sound quality. You can pick them up at Best Buy, DUBS website, and other fine retailers. These will be a must for all my future concerts.
Anyways back to the festival. Saturday is kind of a blur due to the extra long day, the heat, and finding the Brew Tent where they had several independent brewers. This was an awesome time between the brews and the shade hiding me from the scorching summer heat. I was also able to hide from the heat and find Air Condition in the Comedy Tent while catching Jeff Ross and Ralphie May. The day turned into night and night into morning hours with Mumford and Sons, then Bassnectar who had the crowd going nuts with every drop. I have never seen so many glow sticks little lone that many being thrown amongst the crowd at one time. My night/morning finished up with Flume.
Mistakenly, I thought that I would be able to catch up my sleep by sleeping in Sunday morning, but the morning temps were even hotter than Saturday. Thinking I could combust into flames by 8:00 a.m. I consumed as much water as humanly possible. (Note to self and future festival goers DO NOT Forget the Sunscreen and plenty of water.) Most of my Sunday morning and early afternoon was spent hiding in the media tent charging camera batteries and phone while soaking up the AC. Luckily Bonnaroo is also know for the Mushroom area, a great spot to cool off with the water spouts spraying over the area. They also had an inflatable waterslide that always kept a waiting line and smiles. Sundays line up included Twenty One Pilots, Awolnation, The Very Best, Brandi Carlile, Rudimental, Florence and The Machine, Robert Plant, Billy Joel, and The Bluegrass Situation SuperJam Feat Ed Helms (who knew that the Hangover actor played Banjo).
It was sad that the night and event was ending, but I was ready to get back to the reality of the real world that was missing out on this wonderland called Bonnaroo. Until next year I will be here in the real world waiting for Bonnaroo 2016.
P.S. A special thanks to Mikey and the rest of the Big Hassle Staff
To see more of Mark’s work: www.markjacksonphotography.net