Bonnaroo: A personal list of pros and cons

Meghan Maloney of Florida passes the time with a hula hoop.

Photo by Saul Young // Buy this photo

Meghan Maloney of Florida passes the time with a hula hoop.

I don't know why I keep doing this. I'm a single man in my thirties who should be at home soaking his bad knees in hot water while spray painting hair on a bald spot. I should be resting comfortably in elastic-waisted pants eating greasy potato chips. I should be looking over my dwindling 401k while cursing my bad financial advisor. I should be watching late night television while ironing a wrinkle-free dress shirt. And I should be appeasing my mother's incessant nagging on my inability to provide her any legitimate grandchildren.

Instead, I'm galavanting about with kids half my age and half my weight who have full heads of hair. They're wealthier, healthier and better educated. In essence, I have become the goofy middle-aged man at the keg party.


Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let's get onto the remainder of this blog. Please excuse my brief moment of irritation as the first day of Bonnaroo always brings out the worse in me. It's a hard day. I've been a year out of practice. And no matter how many Bonnaroos I have attended, nine to be exact, I always seem to forget how miserable it is to not have air-conditioning for periods of time that are longer than the distance it takes to walk from my car to the all-you-can-eat buffet.

I have a great time at Bonnaroo and I have no idea why. Perhaps it's knowing that most of these kids have paid hundreds of dollars to be here, whereas I am paid dozens of dollars to be here.

I have come up with a brief list of personal pros and cons of Bonnaroo.

Pro: I am paid dozens of dollars to endure heat, flood, mud, and an aroma that makes a dog kennel seem like a perfumery.

Con: I am paid dozens of dollars.

Pro: Some of the world's best bands and musicians gather in one place.

Con: My inadequate knowledge of music to truly appreciate some of the world's best bands and musicians. A brief glance at Friday's concert list is a gentle reminder that there's more music out there than just Barry Manilow.

Pro: 70,000 half-naked people

Con: 70,000 half-naked people which may include myself if it gets hot enough. You really don't want to see me half-naked.

Pro: Complimentary veggie burgers for visiting media

Con: Complimentary veggie burgers for visiting media

Pro: Camping outdoors with mother nature.

Con: Camping outdoors with mother nature with 70,000 people in a square mile.

Pro: Adult beverages

Con: Adult beverages that cost dozens of dollars.

Pro: None

Con: What happens when 70,000 people bivouac on 700 acres of former pasture land? A lot of earth is disturbed. A lot of earth that is made up primarily of cow manure.

Pro: Getting to work with Wayne Bledsoe, Lauren Spuhler, and intern Linda Nguyen

Con: Intern's inability to prepare a proper cup of coffee.

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