Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is synonymous with legendary musical performances. With 150+ performances on 10+ stages, it’s easy to focus on just the music going into the festival, just check out our previous coverage where we break down this year’s killer lineup!
Those of us who have been to The Farm for several years are fortunate enough to know that Bonnaroo is more than just headliners, it’s a culmination of music, arts, workshops, comedy and friends spread out over four days in June. Over the years we’ve seen so much at this festival, but far from everything. From tasty BonnaFood, to the shaded Grove, to the late night Christmas Barn shenanigans, here are some non-musical elements to look forward to this Summer at Bonnaroo.
Located at the heart of Centeroo, The Fountain is a must-do for anyone under the hot Tennessee sun. Whether you’re just taking in the sight of the vibrant, water-spouting structure, or actually running through the cool, cascading water, you’ll inevitably find yourself at The Fountain. After night falls, be sure to swing by and see how the landscape transforms when the lights go out in the surrounding area, and spotlights illuminate the structure.
Bonnaroo Parades are mobile parties that you get to be a “performer” in. If you’re hanging out and suddenly a mob of happy, dancing people, loud brass and an Art Car such as Big Red or Kalliope roll on by, jump in line! You never know where the Parade will lead you or who might show up to lead the parade (like Jim James in 2013)!
Workshops & Yoga
It’s easy to stay put at camp early in the morning, but hey, it’s already sweltering, you couldn’t sleep past 7am anyway, might as well make the most of it and hit up a yoga class. Beginning at 9 and 10am, the Solar Stage is home to Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Stop on the way in and grab an iced chai at The Grove, find your chi, and start the day off by clearing your mind and focusing your energy into making the day as awesome as you feel! And that’s not all! The Solar Stage is also home to fun workshops like “The Art of Hugging” “The Making of a Food Truck” the “Bonnaroots Dinner” and how to “Make the World Suck Less”
If there’s one thing non-music I cannot miss it’s the Comedy Tent. Headlined this year by stars such as Judd Apatow, Adam Devine and SNL’s Pete Davidson and Vanessay Breyer, the Comedy Tent offers a place to sit, laugh and enjoy the one of the few air-conditioned areas of the festival. I’ve found that comedian’s festival sets are very different than their usual standup routine, but in the best of ways!
Festival 101: Unlike other non-music aspects, you have to get a (free) ticket to enter the Comedy Tent about two hours before the show begins. But dont worry, that ticket essentially reserves a seat for you, and once you have that ticket you’re free to catch some music and just show up to the Comedy Tent when your performer begins. So plan accordingly!
At the Cinema Tent you can catch new and classic films, the NBA Finals, late night sing-alongs such as “R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” saga and David Bowie and Prince tribute parties, to name a few events at this tent. This year, Seth Rogan will be premiering his R-rated animated film “Sausage Party” before it his theaters. Like the Comedy Tent, the Cinema Tent is also air-conditioned.
BonnaFood – Food Truck Oasis – Broo’ers Festival
Hungry and camp food just isn’t doing it for you? Swing by the Food Truck Oasis in Centeroo where you can get tasty meals from unique vendors from all over the US. Also located in Centeroo is The Broo’ers Festival, touting over 25 different breweries.
There’s no better way to wrap your head around The Farm than to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. At just $6 a ride, per person, it’s definitely worth it to be able to see the Farm from several stories high and take in your home for 4 days, it’s absolutely breath-taking
Festival 101: Ride the wheel early on Thursday because the lines only get longer as the festival progresses.
Snake & Jake’s Christmas Barn
It’s always Christmas in June at Snake & Jake’s Christmas Barn. Stop in during the day to take in the weird holiday decorations, sit in Creepy Santa’s Lap, or enjoy a surprise set from an artist. On Saturday night/Sunday Morning at 2am, be sure to bring your robe to be able to gain admittance to a special, secret set by an artist that is unannounced until they hit the stage. Previous performers have included Chromeo and Brownout in the 100-person capacity venue.
Headed into Centeroo? Take the long way around and stroll down Shakedown Street located in GA camping. There’s dozens of vendors that sell everything from food, toys/trinkets, clothes, glass and much more. Here, there’s always someone selling $1 beers, $1 grilled cheeses, and you might even walk up on an impromptu drum circle or dance party on a makeshift stage.
Hidden behind Pod 7, The Grove is a shaded oasis during the day, and a lit-up psychedelic forest party by night.
Something you won’t find anywhere on the Bonnaroo schedule, yet is one of the most important aspects of the festival, are friends. Whether you’re spending time with your BFFs that have been on The Farm with you for a decade, or simply making new buddies with someone you stuck up a conversation with waiting for the next act, friends on The Farm are a special aspect of Bonnaroo that keep you coming back year after year.