15 Tips for Surviving Bonnaroo

I've attended Bonnaroo a number of times. It's wonderful. You'll love it. And, I'm happy to say, after a two year leave, I'll be back again this year. One of my most viewed articles is an old Bonnaroo how-to post from 3 years ago, so I thought it might be time to revamp the information, including outfit ideas. Enjoy.

1. Fussy Stuff. Don't bother. Wear a bikini under your clothing, bring two if you care that much, but you won't be worrying about werking it when your favorite band starts their set.

2. Rain, Rain, Go Away. If you're going to Bonnaroo with your fingers crossed it won't rain, stay home. Get ready and excited for the rain. When it happens, I promise it will be 100x more fun.

3. Shower Schmower. In years past, I've camped. This year, I'm not, but I do know that showers are a waste of money for campers. Baby wipes will solve all your problems.

4. More Than Music. Bonnaroo is not just concerts. There are vendors, movies, yoga classes, body painting, drum circles, comedy shows, silent disco, and more. I recommend the morning yoga class and the afternoon drum circle.

5. Footwear. When the mud pit starts to grow on the south side of the water station, you'll be grateful you're wearing rain boots. When the sad girl is looking for her flip-flop in a puddle next to That Tent with a flashlight at 3am, you'll thank me again. Also, barefoot ain't smart.

6. Zzzz's. Don't nap in Centaroo for hours by yourself. You'll be photographed or stepped on.

7. Say No to Bobbleheads. Don't shake 'em. At this point, they're antiques and security will attack if you mess with Bonnaroo history.

8. Woodstock Syndrome. If security isn't letting people through Centaroo gates fast enough, start chanting with the folks around you. Security will get nervous and put a little pep in their step. Teamwork is key.

9. Spiritual Qi-Going. If you happen to see the Healing Shaman carrying a wooden sign, stop! Talk to him. He's great, and he'll take a moment to deliver relaxation a midst the chaos.

10. Shakedown. This street leads straight to the main Centaroo gates. Despite its reputation for drugs and police horses, I find it to be filled with unique jewelry and clothing vendors. Plus, by Sunday, most vendors are willing to give you a bargain.

11. Meow. If there's a cute girl dressed like a cat meowing at you, meow back. She means no harm.

12. At Your Fingertips. Bonnaroo is a tiny city. There are plenty of locations for food, lost & found, medical, etc. Don't worry, and don't overpack.

13. Making It Work. It's a bunch of hippie kids. If you're lost, sit down and say help. Someone will pick you up, dust you off, hug you, and help. Barter with nearby camps if you're out of money and need food.

14. Accept the Crowds. Not into being shoved around like cattle? Still want to see Paul McCartney? Take a deep breath and get real. You're in a field with every other person who wants to see Paul McCartney. Don't be that guy trying to hold onto his blanket space at 9pm at the What Stage.

15. Look for the New. You'll be surprised what you can find if you wander. Free samples at the Whole Foods tent, a man blowing a 3-foot balloon up with his nose, the misting in a lounge tent with songwriter interviews, and your next favorite band.