80,000 people, 700 acres, 150 performers, four days.

The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is currently happening and will take place until Sunday. Yours truly has never been to a festival before, let alone the Bonnaroo festival. Although I've done my research and have a general idea of what to expect while I'm there, a few questions remain unanswered about the 12th annual entertainment gold mine that is taking place at Manchester, Tennessee. The concerns I have are not too different from the typical freshman's fears upon

entering college:

Scheduling Difficulties

This Stage, That Stage and The Other Stage are the fittingly-named three largest stages at Bonnaroo. On all three stages major acts will be performing and without a doubt, shaking all of Manchester to its core with musical glory. A few of the biggest names appearing on the guest list this year include Sir Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Passion Pit and the infamous "Ignition" singer, R. Kelly. All of these artists sound great, but since there are so many artists and only so many stages, a few of my favorite artists play at the same time. On Friday at 4:30 p.m., both Passion Pit and Grizzly Bear are scheduled with ten minutes overlapping in play time. How am I going to enjoy Passion Pit when I'll be too busy devising a plan to push through tons of people to get to Grizzly Bear? Let's hope I have enough power to move from stage to stage, because a part of me thinks it is not going to be easy.

Looking like a Freshman

The festival grounds are mysteriously known as "the farm." Maybe this makes sense because Manchester is known as a small, farming town, but what exactly is "the farm?" In my head I picture red barn houses scattered among random stages and Paul McCartney hanging out with a cow, but something tells me that's not right. Also, "the farm" apparently is 700 acres, like I mentioned before. Thankfully I found a map of the festival grounds online, so I will be the lame girl holding a printed out map trying to find her way around. I will probably be holding the map upside down, as I am a terrible map reader.

Walking in the Rain

There's a 60 percent chance it will rain on Saturday. That really clears up what I plan on wearing, but not really. If anyone has seen photos from the Governor's Ball Festival that happened in Upstate New York last weekend, you know it got pretty dirty and gross due to the rain, which is why I almost made an impromptu purchase of the coolest rain boots I could find last minute. A 60 percent chance is almost as bad as 50 percent chance; it could rain, it could not rain. Also, the Bonnaroo website warns its visitors that the days are hot and the nights are cold, which only makes my style dilemma even worse than before. Do I opt for jeans and just sweat out the day, or just wear shorts and freeze come midnight? Not knowing how the weather will behave is only raining on my Bonnaroo parade.

Meal Plans

I am not a particularly picky eater, and I am not allergic to anything major. I should be able to gather enough food to make a dinner. Since the festival also invites different restaurants and chefs to sells their concoctions on the grounds, there will options on top of options, in addition to the inevitable stash of snacks that I will find at the bottom of my bag (thanks, mom). No, I'm not concerned about finding food, but picking food will be the challenge. Because of all the different options and my indecisive nature on cuisine, I'll most likely miss three different performances while deciding on what to eat. The Bonnaroo festival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I don't want to ruin it by picking something terrible to eat.


The Bonnaroo coordinators made it a point to stress hydration when at the festival, since the liquids people will be consuming under the hot, summer sun most likely won't be H2O. Yet, liquid content aside, fluids will still be consumed so where are festival-goers expected to release those liquids? The map I aforementioned does have the locations of restrooms clearly marked, but it's quite impossible for 80,000 people to be accommodated by just a couple of commodes. I will not be sleeping on the grounds overnight, but I am also curious to know how the showers work since that is an option for festival-goers.

- Melodi Erdogan is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media and can be reached at merdogan@utk.edu.