Springsteen Headlines Bonnaroo Fest

By Virginia Breen

Jun 12, 2009 3:19pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Chris Badders blogs:

After traveling nine hours and waiting in line another five, the gates of Bonnaroo appeared.

For those asking "Bonna-Who?”, Bonnaroo is a music and arts festival in Manchester, Tenn. It began in 2002 as a three-day weekend festival, but has blossomed into a four-day fantasy spectacle.

Festival-goers from as close as 30 minutes down the road, and as far as California, come each year to brave the hot summer sun and experience some of music’s up-and-coming, popular, and aging musicians from across the music spectrum.

This year’s festival headliners include Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, aged rappers The Beastie Boys, west coast rapper Snoop Dogg, and the only festival appearance of newly reunited jam band Phish.

The grounds themselves resemble a small city. Once through the gates, you receive a guide book with music schedule and campground map, and also a wristband which acts as your ticket into Centeroo, the area with the stages and authorized vendors.

The campgrounds, named for popular movie characters, are separated by makeshift roads. My campsite is in Camp Boba Fett, located at the intersection of 9th Avenue and West 2nd Street. It’s in between Camp Hansel, after the “Zoolander” character, and Camp Han Solo of “Star Wars” fame.

Centeroo adds its own little twist of confusion by having very basic names for the three tents and two stages featured inside its walls. The two stages, the biggest locations for music, are named the What Stage and Which Stage. The three tents are called This, That, and The Other.

Located on the grounds is the Arts of Such N Such, a place where you can catch a daytime gypsy stage show or a late night pyrotechnic show.

By Thursday, about 80,000 people had descended upon Manchester, Tenn. For the next four days, they will all live cohesively, rain or shine, and create the phenomenon that is Bonnaroo.

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