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13 Years on the Farm: A Brief History of Bonnaroo

Four days in Tennessee heat, no sleep, little to no access to showers, no real bathrooms, sleeping on the ground, all while loud music blasts in your ears.  In 2002, four men decided that sounded like a pretty rad time.

Superfly Presents, a $40 million company, began what Rolling Stone recently called “the American rock festival to end all festivals” thirteen years ago.

The name “Bonnaroo,” was taken from New Orleans R&B giant Dr. John with his album “Desitively Bonnaroo” which is Cajun slang for “a really good time.”

The festival, often compared to Woodstock, is actually about five times bigger than the 1969 music festival. This being said, Woodstock had about 410,000 more people in attendance.

An on average audience of 90,000 “radiates positivity” each year in Manchester, TN just less than two hours south from Clarksville.

“Bonnaroovians” that have been going since the festival’s beginning have seen performers like Norah Jones, Old Crow Medicine Show (2002),  Neil Young & Crazy Horse, James Brown (2003), The Police (2007), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (2009), Eminem (2011), Paul McCartney (2013), and the incredible list of artists continues to grow. This year Bonnaroo adds on legends like Elton John and Chaka Khan. ‘Roo 14 will also see artists like Kanye West, The Avett Brothers and Vampire Weekend.

These aforementioned “Roovians” are a rare breed of people ranging anywhere from Drew Barrymore and Justin Long (attended in 2009) to your very own staff of The All State. People travel thousands of miles by car and air to experience the high-fivin’ and happiness-havin’ world of Bonnaroo. Keep checking our website for profiles on some friends from all around the country we meet along the way.

​Check out our Bonnaroo 2014 coverage on Instagram (@theallstate),Facebook.com/TheAllState, Twitter (@theallstate) and here ontheallstate.org.

About Megan McCann, News Editor

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