Gearing up for Tennessee: Festival Edition

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is officially three weeks away. Oh yes, 21 days from now I will be in Manchester, Tennessee with the best people in my life, getting dirty in a field with thousands of others from around the country.

The time schedule of each artist’s set was released on Tuesday afternoon and with that, the frenzied reality of my road trip set in. Now, this is not a Caribbean getaway, so the highly anticipated pre-takeoff shopping extravaganzas are unnecessary. I need stuff, but not the stuff I normally need.  

Right now in Tennessee it is 80 degrees and sunny, but in three weeks I bet it will be a little warmer. Like hot as hell, actually. Also, the gang and I rented an RV, so staying properly equipped for six days of road-trippin’ and festi-life is important. Beer, water (lots of it), snacks, and toilet paper are essential. So what is Sarah packing in her personal stash? Besides the chapstick, sunscreen, deodorant and sunglasses, these are the festi-must haves I am squeezing into my bags.


1. Glowsticks. I am the Glowstick Queen. Seriously. I want to be covered in them. Ebay sells them in bulk for cheap. Holler!

2. Smartass tee. As a fan of the television show Eastbound and Down, this shirt seemed only appropriate. Oh it reads, “Summer Fucking Tour.” Phish and Kenny Powers baby!

3. Tie dye. Lots of tie-dye, and all handmade by me!

4. Festi-bag. I bought this bag on Etsy.com with Bonnaroo in mind. It is handmade as well and will fit what I need when I am in the crowd.

5. Shield the Tennessee sun. Cheap, funky wayfarer sunglasses.

6. Crocs. Thanks to all the Roo forums, I have learned that Crocs and Telva Sandals are the ideal footwear. Not flip flops. 

7. Cliff Bars. Obvious choice for a lightweight, midday snack.

8. Music. A small, portable music player for our barbecues and late nights on top of the RV.

9. Headgear. I made one from JoAnn Fabrics for under $10 bucks.

10. Mini flashlight. Thanks past Rooers for the heads up, you are probably right, portapotties in the dark would suck.

Maybe I will not be the most stylish in Manchester, but does it matter?

There have been handfuls of forums from past Rooers who have helped tremendously in my planning process, such as this one. The best advice I have compiled from all of the masses of websites I read yesterday are as follows:

3.  Construct a flag or use strong glowsticks to find your RV. Seems logical considering the enormous amounts of RV’s there will be, but I would have totally overlooked this had I not done some research. This site says to do the same for tents.

2. Invest in some dry ice. Enough dry ice will last the entire festival and will keep all the oodles of water we bring cold- even enough to turn into ice which is super useful- and the beer on top of that. Great advice.

1. Forget the cell phones. This may prove hard for me normally, but I do not plan on using it at all during the day or night unless I am about to go to sleep and want to play around. There is no need to “Check-in” every five feet. Again, this is not a Caribbean vacation but it is a retreat. A much needed retreat.

So if you have been to any festival, what do you always pack? What is the most and least important item to bring along? If you are going to Bonnaroo, I will see you on the farm!