Bonnaroo is here.
Let the griping and moaning begin from one group. And may the partying commence for others.
I used to be part of the former group. But to be honest, long ago I learned to just accept the annual festival for what it is and embrace it. It is coming, every year, whether we like it or not, and there are benefits to the community.
I’m not talking about monetary benefits to our local governments and bankrolling our local law enforcement’s drug funds – although those are beneficial – but there are other benefits.
If you’ve never made it out to the farm during this Bonnaroo weekend in June, I’m going to reveal some secrets that you may want to look for. Maybe you have been out there and haven’t been looking in the right places. Without further ado, my top three list of Bonnaroo benefits:
1.Scenery. I’m one to enjoy scenery – mountains and sunsets and lovely fall foliage. Bonnaroo provides a different type of scenery, though. Depending on your taste there is crazy outfit scenery. Then there is no outfit (at all) scenery. You may find colorful light scenery. Then there is problem-solving scenery – is that a real top or is it painted on? Bathing suit scenery. Body paint scenery. This year, the rumor is, everyone will be dressing up in costume on Friday the 13th – which will be new scenery. Bonnaroo Halloween is a definite must see.
2. Way in the back. I have spent much of my time at Bonnaroo fighting crowds and working to move to the front of the stage for major headliners or acts that I absolutely must see. But I’ve found that the sights in the back are those that you don’t see every day … or any day – except during Bonnaroo. In the back you can find family friendly things such as hula-hoop competitions and couples laughing and dancing. Depending on the time of night, you might also find other … not so family-friendly activities.
3. Centeroo fountain. You’ve heard of it, I’m sure. It’s the fountain. The central bathing location. This is the place where man cools his body temperature while holding two full beer cups out of the water to avoid contamination of his $10 drinks. It takes skill. Once again, this is a place for scenery. People watching. Stand here for 30 minutes and you will meet every type of person there is to meet in the world.
My list may repulse some at the mere mention of some of the “activities” that happen at Bonnaroo. But perhaps we would all live a little easier if we just relax.
Live and let live. Have a great weekend.
-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Click here to follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29