Manchester, TN

It's Official - Bonnaroo Is Back in 2022

John M. Dabbs

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What Stage - Bonnaroo 2019Charles Reagan/Bonnaroo 2019

The two years running, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee was cancelled. First it was due to COVID-19, and last year widespread flooding occurred as the festival was about to get underway. Organizers and local officials alike have worked hard to prepare for the iconic Tennessee festival. As people are looking to get back to blowing off some much needed steam, maybe 2022 will be a year that works and lets "Bonnaroovians" unwind.

Bonnaroo Returns

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival returns to "the farm" in Manchester June 16-29, 2022. Pre-sale tickets are already on sale through the website. The pre-sale ends on December 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. They have a layaway plan for those budgeting their way through in this period of historic inflation.

Survival and comforts

Four days of camping at Bonnaroo is more different than any other camping you've likely experienced. Try camping for four days, throw in a few hundred musical acts, and several thousand "friends", and it gets abit complicated. Remember this advice from someone who's been there covering the event for a trade journal. It will help you stay healthy and comfortable during your stay.

  • Pace Yourself

Remember that this is a long event. You can not expect yourself to go full-bore 24/7 for four days. You should not even try it, because you'll end up missing at least half of it while you're laid in the medical tent.

Rest when you're not eating, playing, shopping, or engaged with a music act. Remember to stay hydrated and drink lots of water. Eat sensibly too, not just 100% junk food. Sit out an act or two and rest - no matter how badly you want to see them all.

  • Good hydrations

There are plenty of water stations throughout the plaza for a reason. Keep your water bottle filled, and use it. The summers can get hot and dry in Tennessee. Dehydration can sneak up on you, so you have to be proactive. Don't be skimpy on ice. Vendors are in the campgrounds for a reason. Pick up extra ice each morning to keep your food and drinks cold. You don't want to get food poisoning because your food got too hot and spoiled.

  • Eat drink and be merry

Bring healthy snacks, not just chips, cookies, and cakes. I like them too, but we also need to remember some roughage to keep us going and some protein to sustain us, even if its peanut butter. Be smart. If something is going on with you and you start feeling sick, or just not feeling well - there are doctors and nurses in medical. They are there to treat everything - not just emergencies. They can help you out before things get out of hand, and save your weekend.

  • Cleanliness is next to...

You'll find bathrooms around, and hopefully there'll be plenty of paper to use. You'll also find sinks and showers. The showers in most plazas require a small fee, along with the nicer bathrooms than the porta-potties. Make the sacrifice and pay the fee.

Hygiene is important to keep us from making ourselves unneccessarily sick. While you're at it, brush your teeth and wash your face and hands when you are between showers. Remember to drink water. If you get too hot, a shower is a good way to cool off too. Listen to what your mom and dad in your head - what they'd be telling you to do... it can make a difference and keep you enjoying yourself throughout the festival.

  • Extra batteries and chargers

Please don't be one of those people who run to their car and start it just to charge their phones. I know we all use our phones for everything nowadays, but we must plan. Don't be that person, bring yourself a battery pack or juice pack to recharge your phone. Remember extra batteries for flashlights, radios, lanterns, or anything else you bring that uses batteries. You'll make it easier on you, and those around you.

  • Cool baby... shady characters too

You'll be out and about in the sun and heat during the day. You'll want to be in shelter during rain and at night when you finally decide to crash and get some sleep. To keep yourself cool during the day, you'll need shade - the same shade creator can be your rain shelter and protect you at night too. It can keep you cool and protected. Make a plan to have shade and covering when camping. Don't plan on sleeping in your car. You'll need something to prevent the greenhouse effect, making it hotter inside that it is outside. You want to have airflow, shade, and place to stretch out and relax. Remember all of this when planning, packing, and setting up your camp.

I've never heard anyone say they had too much shade in their camp. You'll see lots of Bonnaroovians who bring shelters for their site, and they even hang tapestries to create shade from the sun when it's not directly overhead. The tapestries also move and flow in the breeze, so they don't block the airflow.

Tents, while they're nice, aren't very conducive to comfortably resting in the hot Tennessee afternoon. This is especialy true in the middle of a field on a big farm. You should plan for the possibility of rain too. You shouldn't plan on sleeping directly on the ground. Hopefully you can pack a cot, lounge chair that lays all the way back... or even an air mattress as a last resort. You don't want to end up sleeping down in the muck.

The Bonnaroovian Code

From the Bonnaroo website

Nobody knows where the code began. Many say the Code just appeared one day beneath the Arch, others say some funky party-aliens dropped it off during their last visit. Either way - we have it now and it might just be the most important thing for you to know about being at Bonnaroo.

1. Prepare Thyself

A prepared Bonnaroovian is a happy Bonnaroovian. Multiple days camping in the Tennessee countryside isn't something you should jump into without some planning. Plan ahead and you'll be off to a great start.

2. Play as a Team

Whether you're here with family or hanging with strangers, we are ALL on the same team at Bonnaroo. Help your neighbors when they need it, share that bottle of water when it's hot, and work together to make everyone's Bonnaroo experience the best it can be.

3. Radiate Positivity

Possibly the most well-known tenet of the Bonnaroovian Code, "Radiate Positivity" might sound simple, but it's much more powerful than people realize. When we step foot on The Farm, we all do our best to be our best, and it makes all the difference. Be awesome to one another.

4. Respect the Farm

The Farm is our home, and just like we work to protect our mother earth we all need to pitch in to respect The Farm. Recycle when you can, compost too, and make sure you and the people around you are respectful of the space. There are some events where people leave a field of trash after every set - Bonnaroo is not one of those events. Do your part to keep Bonnaroo special.

5. Don't be that Guy/Gal

We've all seen it, and it's not pretty. Have a great time while you're here, but make sure your idea of a great time never involves ruining someone else's night or putting yourself in danger. Take things slow, be respectful, and remember your fellow Bonnaroovians.

6. Stay True Roo

The Bonnaroovian code isn't just for 4 days a year in Tennessee – it's for all Bonnaroovians, everywhere and all the time. Bring the spirit of Bonnaroo with you out into the world and let's make life on this floating space-marble we call Earth just a little bit better for everyone.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Johnson City, TN
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