1. Lionel Richie – Yes Lionel, it WAS you I was looking for. This man rocked my face off. I knew he would be good but not that good. Do yourself a favor and YouTube it. Some of my favorite moments from his show were when his keyboardist threw in the famous riff from Van Halen’s “Jump” in the middle of “Dancing on the Ceiling” and when he punked the entire audience in to thinking Diana Ross was about to come out (“She said no. She’s at a barbeque.”) but still sang “Endless Love”. Lionel Richie was by far the best performer I saw at Bonnaroo 2014.
2. The People – Have you ever seen someone who just made your soul lighten a little bit more? Imagine seeing thousands of them every day. For an extrovert like myself Bonnaroo is the stuff of dreams. Most everyone had a story to tell and was willing to tell it. I met people who traveled from Canada. I met people who were there for the first time and people who had been coming for years. I met every type of person there was. It was a beautiful feeling to know I was surrounded by people who just wanted to live life the way it was intended to be lived. Free.
3. The Food – Holy Moly. I was not expecting to eat so well. Foot long corn dogs and curly chip/fries/delicious type things smothered in a seasoning of the gods, gigantic bowls of rice and freshly grilled teriyaki chicken, warm pita bread wrapped around an exquisite array of grilled chicken, veggies, salsa and I don’t even know what else. Next time I’m heading straight for the Cajun food and Amish donuts.
4. The Graffiti Wall – This may sound goofy but this was one of my favorite parts of ‘Roo. It started as a blank slate and was soon transformed in to a place for anyone with a bottle of spray paint to express feelings about love, Kanye or life. It was covered in amazing artwork also. The wall truly encapsulated what Bonnaroo is about; self-expression and creativity.
5. The Head and The Heart – This band put on the happiest and and most freeing show I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t help but dance freely and sing along to their charming duets. By the end I was practically giggling. If you haven’t heard them, hop to it. They’re incredible. My favorite moment is when we danced closer to the stage for “Down in the Valley” and I met the coolest mom in the world who was jammin’ it out while her daughter waited in line at Kanye. This leads me to my next favorite thing of ‘Roo.
6. The Weather – Except for the last day, the weather was perfect. It made the experience a thousand times more enjoyable for me when I wasn’t bursting in to flames.
7. Our Campsite – We were only a five minute walk to Centeroo and an even shorter walk to the bathrooms. We had a pretty sweet set up too, plenty of shade and I personally enjoyed my cozy tent and air mattress.
8. Silent Disco – The Silent Disco is super fun if you have your headphones on and absolutely hysterical if you don’t. With the headphones on you hear an awesome EDM set, see an insane light show and dance like nobody’s business. Without them it is a bunch of Roovians dancing like crazy in complete silence.
9. Entering through the arch – If you are ever planning on going you have to do this. It is awesome. You see the “true roo” everyone keeps talking about in this moment.
10. Meeting Cage the Elephant’s Matt Shultz – It was so hard not to fan-girl out at this moment. I have been listening to Cage the Elephant since their start in 2006. This was a huge moment for me not only as a journalist but as the mega-fan I am. His performance shortly after me meeting him was way cool, playing all of my favorites including “Back against the wall” and “In one ear”. Easily one of the best shows at Bonnaroo.
Bonnaroo, we had our ups and downs, but I highly doubt this was our last meeting.
Until next time,