Manchester, Tenn.? More like Bonnaroo, Tennessee.
The four day long music and arts festival becomes Tennessee's seventh largest city overnight annually, with more than 80,000 people on the 700 acres of farm land an hour southeast of Nashville. The festival attracts thousands of people and more than150 performers.
"I love the atmosphere of Bonnaroo because everyone is there because they love music," said sophomore in public relations Rebecca Fechino. "You are surrounded by so many incredible artists and so much talent in one place and it is so cool to see everyone come together to take part in it and admire it."
This year's headliners included Paul McCartney, The Lumineers and Jack Johnson, a folk-rock artist who filled the spot as a last minute replacement for Mumford & Sons. The British band cancelled only two days before their performance due to health problems with bassist Ted Dwane.
Johnson wrote and performed a new song entitled "Bonnaroo," the morning of his Saturday night performance, and dedicated his whole set to the folk-rock band that could not be present.
The festival had non-stop performances from around noon of each day to 2 a.m. of the next. Musicians were not the only performers present; both comedians and directors were invited to take part in Bonnaroo's Comedy Theatre and Cinema, respectively.
"The best festivals, if they want to have comedy there, they separate the comedy a little bit and put it in an enclosed space like with Bonnaroo," said Scott Aukerman, comedian and Bonnaroo performer. "That's always really good because the worst part of doing comedy at a music festival is that you can hear bands loudly playing and people tend to come into your tent to get away from the loud music or come off the drugs they're on so it's not just a great environment but here's it's in an enclosed space."
Television writer Daniel Tosh of Tosh.O and "Arrested Development"'s Dr. Tobias Funke David Cross performed in the Comedy Tent off to the side at the festival while films like "Sixteen Candles" and "Repo Man" were screened in the Cinema tent.
Taylor Rice of California band Local Natives, who sings vocals and plays guitar, said that their performance on the What Stage, which is the fesitvals largest stage, was a change since their last performance at Bonnaroo three summers ago.
"In 2010 we played This Tent, which acted as a sweat lodge, it was literally the hottest show I've ever played in my entire life, it was crazy and it was almost hallucination inducing," Rice said after their performance. "This time, we had a nice breeze today and I think that everyone was happy to be outside and the vibe was really incredible."
Boston-based indie/pop band Passion Pit also played their first set at the festival since their performance in 2009 on the What Stage Saturday afternoon. The guitarist for the band, Ian Hultquist, said that the Tennessee farm is his favorite festival to perform at.
"What I like about Bonnaroo is that everyone here makes more of an effort because it's so in the middle of nowhere, it's not really something you can walk in and out of," Hultquist said previous to their hour and a half performance. "I love Lollapalooza but it's in the middle of Chicago, you could easily walk out and be out of the festival so quickly. Whereas here, you could get lost here for hours, that's something that a lot of festivals these days don't have, so I appreciate that a lot."
Many festivalgoers took advantage of everything the event offered, remaining camped on the grounds for the entire weekend. One of these was Jake Pflum, junior in public relations at the University of South Florida, who described his first ‘Roo experience as “nothing short of incredible.”
“The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve seen in my life,” Pflum said, who celebrated his twentieth birthday at Bonnaroo. “Day one, everyone is wooing and hugging and telling everyone they love each other. By day four, Bonnaroovians resemble some sort of post-apocalyptic zombies, walking around in a weed and alcohol-soaked haze.
“While I tend to stay sober, it was hilarious to live vicariously through girls taking their tops off and kids chugging huge cans of beer.”
Although the festival will remain positive memories for most, Pflum said that a downside was the expensive food and drink that left him with “hardly any cash to take a souvenir home.”
Fechino enjoyed partaking in all that the event offered, however, she said there was one downside to being in such an overwhelming environment.
“Sometimes I wish it were just a bit smaller, so I could take everything in instead of just bits and pieces of it.”