My First Bonnaroo Experience: Special thanks to Wonder Waffle, Of Montreal and the Healing Shaman

17 Hours have never passed so quickly. Maybe it was the stop at Sonic that kept us going (us New Englanders think of it as some Holy Grail of fast food), but most likely it was the excitement of Bonnaroo finally becoming a reality. Honestly, I feel like my visit in Manchester, TN was a fantasy I dreamt up for my own fun. But it happened, and I have the lime green wristband, 3D ticket, and tie-dye t-shirt to prove it.

mojo-photo-bonnaroo

Even when you talk with people who went, Bonnaroo is hard to describe. If there’s a God, I hope heaven is a big ol’ Bonnaroo in the sky (sure as hell I’d go to church more often). Some friends from Boston College plus some and I all arrived around 5 am on Thursday, pitching our tent and canopy by the light of the sunrise. We napped, and then the adventure officially started.

Here’s the layout of Bonnaroo, 700 acres of former farming lands: Centeroo is an area where all the stages are located and carnival-like vendors. That majestic red archway you see in your friends’ Facebook albums? That’s the entrance to Centeroo. They sell anything from traditional pizza to deep fried gator, and as far as souvenirs go, buy a cool band posters or a didgeridoo. When and if you go, make sure to stop at the Wonder Waffle stand to get the hot waffle sandwich: a cube of vanilla ice cream between two thick waffles smothered in chocolate syrup. Surrounding Centeroo are all the campsites grouped by movie titles and divided by that movie’s characters. Ours was Pussy Galore in the James Bond area… we all got a kick out of that. Port-a-potties are located throughout, and you get used to peeing in the dark after the first two nights. Showering is a no-no. I mean you can for a little less then 10 bucks, but if you’re going to Bonnaroo you might as well do it up right.

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Kanye West and his Glow in the Dark Tour Anger Fans at Bonnaroo by Being 2 Hours Late

We all know that there’s a time and place where it’s acceptable to be fashionably late. Bonnaroo is neither the time nor the place. Kanye West was scheduled to perform at the Bonnaroo Music Festival at 2:15AM Saturday night/Sunday morning on June 14th/15th 2008. His original performance time was pushed back from 8:15PM Saturday night at Which Stage, due to the fact that Kanye requested a later time and a bigger stage to accommodate his critically acclaimed Glow in the Dark tour.

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M.I.A. Performs Last Show Ever at Bonnaroo Music Festival

So on Friday June 13th, Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam, aka M.I.A., performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival
in Manchester, Tennesee. All I have to say is HOLY FUCK. Her set was probably the most intense, high energy performance at Bonnaroo. I know this because I was lucky enough to witness it first hand and up close.

After an amazing set by !!! (chk chk chk), M.I.A. was scheduled to perform. !!! had set the bar quite high, and it was questionable whether or not M.I.A. could top it. There was even speculation that M.I.A. would literally be missing in action - nobody was even sure if she would show up for her Bonnaroo performance. This was because the Sri Lankan MC canceled her European tour, citing exhaustion as the main reason.

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