Music aside, one big part of the fun at Bonnaroo is just experiencing the interaction of strangers who would never have anything to do with each other outside of such a frenzied environment.
This is true everywhere, from the open-air drug markets along "Shakedown Street" to the campgrounds to the sweaty, greasy crowds packed like 50,000 tripping, writhing anchovies around the enormous What Stage.
It's even true during the relatively controlled environment of a press conference--like one that featured Ani DiFranco, Janeane Garofalo and members of Galactic and Delta Spirit sitting together in front of an odd collection of sun-dazed journalists.
Here, a moderator asked Garofalo whether political comedy at the festival was "preaching to the converted."
"Well, first of all, there's nothing wrong with that," she replied. "If there is, then we should shut down every church. Which maybe wouldn't be a bad idea."
That got a loud collective "Woo!" from the godless heathens in the press corps.
She continued, pointing out that political humor still has its purpose, even post-Bush, pointing out problems that continue to resonate. Then she had the gall to suggest that Obama perhaps hasn't been the Platonic ideal of the American Presidency.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Obama is heartbreakingly acquiescing on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on prosecuting war crimes in the name of bipartisanship," she dared suggest. It was silent after she finished. You could have heard a stylus drop.
"See how well that goes over?" she added. "Hilarious!"
Which spurred DiFranco, who felt the need to step in and defend Obama: "Well, I love Obama," she said, earning perhaps the cheapest round of applause of the weekend.
Nope, Bonnaroo ain't exactly the Washington bureau.