The Bonnaroo dos and don'ts: What to pack and what to leave at home

We’ve got two words for these fans at Bonnaroo: water and sunscreen. Don’t forget ’em!

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012 // Buy this photo

We’ve got two words for these fans at Bonnaroo: water and sunscreen. Don’t forget ’em!



This is the first rule to remember at Bonnaroo and maybe the second, too: You will need lots of water, because you will sweat a lot and that lightheadedness you’re feeling might not be the music, beer and euphoria, but the precursor to passing out.

3. Sunscreen. You will be in the sun a lot. You will probably burn, but maybe not on the first day or so if you’re vigilant in greasing yourself up with SPF 50 or better. If that sounds boring, get a friend to help.

4. Toilet paper. The only thing worse than being in a Bonnaroo portable toilet on a hot, hot day or sticky, humid night is being in a Bonnaroo portable toilet without toilet paper. How bad can it be? One year I heard someone was asking if someone outside the toilet might have change for a $10.

5. Flashlights. The campsites can get pretty dark and you’ll surprised at how easy it can be to get lost in the camps. So you’ll need a flashlight to make sure you don’t wander into the wrong camp or a patch of poison ivy.

6. Tecnu. What is Tecnu? It is just about the only product that will actually wash off the oil from poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Read the directions and use appropriately before it spreads. As a man who has had poison ivy in places we don’t talk about in polite company, let me tell you, you don’t want to be itching your way through four days of Bonnaroo. Buy a big jug of it at a drugstore before you go.

7. An extra pair of shoes. When it rains there is mud and the monster who lives in the mud eats footwear. I’ve seen it. Even if he doesn’t get yours you’ll feel better with a pair that isn’t soaked in mud.

8. Your phone charger. There is a charging station in Centeroo (where the music is) and you’re gonna need that phone if you become separated from your friends. Sometimes it’s hard to get a signal in Bonnaroo, and texting works best.

9. Soap. Do I really have to explain?

10. Refer back to rules 1 and 2. If you don’t drink it all use it with the soap.

The Don’ts:

Do not bring items contained in glass. Every year buckets and buckets of items housed in glass have to be left at the Bonnaroo gates — from jars of jam to big bottles of booze. OK, it’s mostly booze and often enough to stock four or five liquor stores! If you’re bringing beer or booze, bring it cans or plastic bottles.

Don’t advertise that you’re going to Bonnaroo on your vehicle. Your chances of getting stopped by the police and your car searched goes up exponentially if it looks like you’re headed to Bonnaroo. Cover your car with One Direction stickers and you’ll be safe!

Speaking of getting searched. Your car will be searched on your way in. If you are found with marijuana or other illegal substances you will get busted. Once inside Bonnaroo things are pretty hassle-free, but you don’t want to start your trip with a trip to police station or a citation.

Don’t bring babies. You’re bringing an infant to a four-day outdoor music festival? Seriously? Just because you CAN bring a baby doesn’t mean you should. No baby wants to be at Bonnaroo. And don’t borrow a baby and bring it just to be contrary.

Don’t be a jerk. We’re all in this together and that’s more apparent at Bonnaroo than just about anywhere else. Most people are polite, friendly and helpful and are just there to have a good time. Be like them.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Topics

Comments » 1

knoxnews#274515 writes:

One pair of shoes will do if they're river sandals or crocs (must have heel strap, though).

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Already activated? Login