Traveltino + [travel blog]

WIB at the 'Roo

Eddie from Where I've Been here, and I'm finally clean and well-rested enough to report on my jaunt to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
Last week I tried to spout off on some music festival-going tips like I was some sort of hippie sociologist. But now that I've returned from Bonnaroo and had just a small window of time to reflect, it goes to show that no bullet-pointed wisdom can really prepare you for this event.

From the minute the Dirty Projectors tore into their jarring new song "Cannibal Resource" on Friday and until the final moments of Bruce Springsteen joining Phish for a rollicking rendition of "Glory Days," the weekend was nothing but peaks. Forecasts of more rain had crowds on edge as the clouds held sway, but nothing happened, which led to more than a few of my neighbors proclaiming a MIRACLE!--surely bestowed upon us by the almighty Jerry Garcia in the heavens.

The music is what ultimately makes Bonnaroo a rousing success, but there is so much in between that adds to the cauldron. Standing in line is rarely a passive experience--these are, without hesitation, some of the most intriguing people you will ever see or meet. Regrettable tattoos, painted breasts, burnt-orange tans, glazed-over eyes, guys with parrots--it's impossible to encapsulate the crowd in text. But for as much fun as it is to stare, the atmosphere at Bonnaroo is one of the most undeniably welcoming and non-judgmental you will ever encounter. It's impossible to convince you until you visit yourself, but when the weekend's over and you try to convey the feeling you can't help but descend into cliches (GOOD VIBES, BRAH!). There's a good reason people visit Manchester every year regardless of the lineup--it's a seemingly lawless, makeshift utopia in the middle of nowhere.

I got to represent Where I've Been and hand out some free goodies when I was there, and the reception was pretty great--after all, hippies love free stuff. The picture above pretty much captures the wonderment of the weekend. Look out for Where I've Been at festivals throughout the summer.

Eddie, Intern
Where I've Been
eddie@whereivebeen.comhttp://www.twitter.com/whereivebeen