By Kurt K.

Winter is just now finally settling in in Atlanta.  My Facebook feed flipped the switch from folks complaining about our 70°F holiday season to immediately requesting suggestions for the best place to score a puffy Northface Jacket (for all of your adventures, of course!).

I’ve never much minded the cold; one can always layer and bundle up.  Moreover, dreams of camp sites, late nights, amazing music, good vibes and Spicy Pie are just a few months away!

This time around, the great folks at Bonnaroo joined Team Coco and had Mr. Conan O’Brien drop the line-up announcement.  As can be expected for a fest in its 15th year, Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival has curated for us a well-rounded, genre-defying blend of artists for all tastes in music and art.

Related: Kurt’s Summer Music Festival Guide

2016 marks this blogger’s fifth pilgrimage to Manchester, Tennessee for ‘Roo.  Here are my five reasons to grab your tickets here, practice your high-fives and get ready to Bonnaroo!

  1. The Farm

When  you chat with people on the fence about this whole “going to festivals,” thing, they normally associate what the rest of us weirdos have fallen in love with as being too hot, too humid, too dusty, too sweaty, too sleepless, too dirty, ad nauseam.

The reality of the situation at Bonnaroo is quite different.  Yes, it’s in the south in June in the summer, but there are more than a handful of options to escape the heat.  The Farm comes equipped with plenty of shaded area.  Come prepared with a swimsuit and hop in The Fountain or take a trip down Splash-a-Roo for the ultimate cool down.  In desperate need of air conditioning?  Take in some stand-up in the Bonnaroo Comedy Theatre or catch a flick in Bonnaroo Cinema.

Photo Courtesy Kurt K.

Photo Courtesy Kurt K.

As far as cleanliness is concerned, I’ve never had a problem stayin’ fresh at the ‘Roo.  Showers are always available and, for the first time, Bonnaroo has installed some permanent bathroom facilities (read: NOT Port-a-Potties) on the Farm.

Now that you know that staying fresh and clean won’t be a problem, you’re ready to hit up This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent, Which Stage and What Stage!

  1. The Food + The Drink

We’ve all been there.  The local festival that offers bountiful amounts of nutritious delicacies ranging from hot dogs of a questionable meat-like substance to…well…more hot dogs of a questionable meat-like substance.  At Bonnaroo, that just doesn’t fly!  I’m going to be real real with you when I say that it’s completely OK for you to survive solely on Spicy Pie at Bonnaroo.  I certainly have.  No judgments.  Spicy Pie is, quite simply, a life-giving creation; a pizza unparalleled by any competition.

For some much needed variety, the Food Truck Oasis is sure to please discerning palates as well as late night cravings.  Last year I ate my weight in vegetarian-friendly kale and wild mushroom poutine.  That’s Canadian for French fries with cheese and gravy.  Making yummy noises yet?

That same hot dog loving festival from above was probably also more than willing to offer up a ton of cheap, mediocre beer made in giant batches with little-to-no love.  If you’re feeling crafty, hit up the Broo’ers Festival, featuring 25 craft breweries from all over the U.S.  Gluten-free?  Grab a fruity cider, homeys!

More tasty options for you to check out here.

  1. The Line-Up

It goes without saying that the line-up for Bonnaroo 2016 is top notch.  I have plenty of friends who wait until all the festival line-ups are announced to hop on their tickets.  Not this guy!  Bonnaroo has never come close to disappointing me in any way, muchless when it comes to the talent onstage.  Personal highlights for me this year includes LCD Soundsystem, J. Cole, Tame Impala, Big Grams (Big Boi from Outkast and Phantogram), Flosstradamus, Cashmere Cat, The Knocks and Halsey.

Check out the line-up announcement here:

  1. The Shopping

I don’t have a single pair of sunglasses that I haven’t gotten from Bonnaroo for under $15.  Seriously, now’s the time to stock up on goodies for the rest of the year!  From the official festival merch to the vendors in the camp grounds, you can spend hours trying on crazy gear and replacing the body jewelry you’ve danced off over the weekend.  Personally, I am sitting at a safe 2g in my earlobes, but I’m going to go ahead and get my next few sizes of earring gauges while I’m at ‘Roo this year.  Promise you won’t tell my mom?  Thanks!

More info about the gear available at Bonnaroo here.

  1. The People (You!)

Every year around mid-June I come back home to Atlanta from Bonnaroo with a phone full of new contacts, a bunch of fresh t-shirts and a sick tan.  The following Monday, many other Bonnaroovians and I will be back at our places of business feeling some type of way about NOT waking up in a tent and catching a new favorite band at the New Music On Tap Lounge.  The post-Roo depression is real, and it’s mostly a result of the countless incredible souls you encounter over the weekend in Manchester not being with you.  In the end, you’ll have had so many engaging conversations, exchanged so many high fives and made 80,000+ new best friends.  The cure for what ails ya?  Go ahead and lock in Bonnaroo on your calendar for next year.

Photo Courtesy Kurt K.

Photo Courtesy Kurt K.

Kurt spends all of his vacation days on music festivals.  Make plans to meet up by hitting him up here –> @theactualkurt

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