When we (Eagle News media editor Madison Hampton and I) got the news last month that we’d be attending and covering Bonnaroo, we did what every college student (and journalists) usually does: we procrastinated.
There were so many things to get, and so little money to get it all with. So naturally, we put it off until we couldn’t any longer.
But come Wednesday evening, as we prepared to depart from our apartment, jobs and reality in Fort Myers, we were confident that the packed Honda Civic was a sign that we were completely and totally prepared.
When we arrived at “The Farm” 11 hours later, we realized how wrong we really were.
We forgot to read the general rules for the four-day-long festival. So we didn’t know that there was a “no glass policy” at The Farm. We watched as a week’s worth of beer, and liquor handles from every corner of my freezer, were confiscated and turned over into the more than willing volunteer’s possession for their own party later that evening.
We didn’t bring an EZ-up tent that would provide us some much needed shade, while allowing in some evidence of a far-away breeze to relieve the heat that our tent only harbored.
We thought four gallons of water would be enough. It wasn’t.
We forgot ice. Ice that would keep cold the few beers we were able to salvage from the raid, a pack of hotdogs and ketchup.
We forgot batteries. Batteries that would power the small fan in our tent.
We forgot a ping-pong ball, which was another depressing reminder that our proudly displayed beer-pong table wouldn’t get nearly as much use (if any) as I had hoped.
I forgot a flashlight, or really any source of light besides the pathetic flashlight on my already dying iPhone. So things got dark pretty quick.
I forgot my freaking bathing suit.
Everything I read and heard about Bonnaroo told me that there was no way to prepare for it — I guess, I thought that meant preparing yourself for the four to five days of an overnight festival and not showering.
Whatever they meant, they were right.
Despite being completely unprepared, which was completely obvious to everyone around us, it’s nice to see the reputable Bonnaroo culture in action. Friendly neighbors offered to share shade, supplies and stories.
While I can’t do much about everything I forgot, in the meantime, I’m going to take notes from the experienced Bonnaroovians for next year.