This year's Bonnaroo music and arts festival is officially underway. From June 13-16, nearly 80,000 Bonnaroovians, as they call themselves, will gather at a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. For three days, the Bonnaroo farm will become the seventh largest city in Tennessee. The lineup features the expected caliber of big names, including Paul McCartney, Wilco, Wu-Tang Clan, Portugal. The Man and Nas. But a city of 80,000 needs many amenities, and the festival organizers have found some insane ones:
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1. The Roo Planet Academy You know what everyone is looking for right when school ends. THAT'S RIGHT, MORE SCHOOL! The Academy has scheduled a full four days of free classes and workshops for anyone at Bonnaroo to attend. The schedule includes Wilderness 101, Check Yourself for Skin Cancer, Breakthrough w/ Breakdancing, Hula Hoop lessons and Crush Your Own Carbon. The classes begin at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and the last one starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Bonnaroo celebrates every form of the arts.
2. The Silent Disco Ah, the bafflingly prevalent silent disco. Those who attend the silent dance party will throw on a pair of headphones, turn up the volume and listen through their personal earbuds to live DJs spinning beats. Everyone at the dance party will have earbuds in and be listening to the DJ's mixes playing directly to their headphones, on a dance floor that will be silent and very weird to everyone else.
3. Yoga-Roo For the second year, Bonnaroo has created a series of yoga, meditation and breathing sessions. Classes are scheduled all day from Friday through Sunday. The yoga series was extremely popular last year, so they have enhanced the classes this year. Because nothing goes better with dance music in the distance and hangovers than ancient searches for inner peace.
4. Zimride Planning too many extracurricular activities to drive? No worries: On the zimride.com page for Bonarroo, the adventurous looking to carpool to Bonnaroo can link up with people who have have open seats in their car. People advertise the number of open seats in their car, a price and the city they are heading out of. Those looking for a ride can contact them via the website. People will get themselves to the Roo in any way they can, making friends on the way. Because how else will the festival extend its footprint to each coast?
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5. Bonnaroo Victory Garden In case you were wondering why your peas aren't coming back, the historically inaccurately named Bonnaroo Victory Garden is located in Planet Roo outside the post office (yes, there is a post office at Bonnaroo). At the victory garden, you can learn how to grow your own garden. There will be volunteers at the garden throughout the festival to answer any gardening questions people may have. There will even be classes held about how to garden in small places, how to compost and even how to plant your own Shiitake mushrooms. The Victory Garden is equipped with a full schedule of its happenings.
6. Inforoo.com Because using your face to ask another face a question would be such a challenging, unwelcoming prospect, the website inforoo.com was created as a place where all Bonnaroo questions, concerns, rumors and tips could be discussed. The site includes guidelines for first-timers, communication for caravaners and threads about airport transportation. There are conversations going for nearly every genre of intrigue. People can register to the site to participate, starting threads about literally anything Bonnaroo-related. Check out this thread making a shout out to all attendees 35 and up.
7. The Annual Bonnaroo Beard and Mustache Competition Of course this exists. It even has a hashtag. No wait, we'll tell you: #Roostache. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Bonnaroo invites all to show up at the Solar Stage to show off their facial hair creations. The three categories in the competitions are best mustache, best beard and best fake beard or mustache, and the winners win tickets to Bonnaroo 2014. There are even official Bonnaroo beard and mustache contest rules. They take it pretty seriously.
8. Roo Run Like any good town, Bonnaroo has a charity run. Bonnaroovians are invited to participate in a 5K across the Manchester farm. Participants register for the race before hand and donate $5 to the Bonnaroo Works Fund. Runners can win prizes, even if they drop out of the race. Check out the map of the race. Just another crazy activity to add to the festival's itinerary.
9. Roll Like a Rockstar I know what you're thinking: Camping is great, but what I really want is plush couches, refrigerators and chauffeurs. Us too! Fortunately, Bonarroo offers the Roll Like A Rockstar tickets purchased in a package of eight.
The lucky group of friends with this access will party all weekend long in multiple VIP lounges around the farm. They will enjoy three gourmet meals a day, open bars and exclusive main-stage viewing. Each set of tickets comes with a a private air-conditioned tour bus that comfortably sleeps all eight people. Not to mention, they are located in a secured private wooded area super close to the Main Venue and Centaroo. Along with private bathrooms and executive showers on the campground, the air-conditioned lounges are equipped with flat-screens, microwaves, stereo systems and pretty much anything you would not imagine having at the tip of your fingers during a music festival. When these lucky campers arrive, their buses will be pre-stocked with goodies they've requested. The most lavish accommodation: 24-hour golf cart service to chauffeur attendees around the festival.
So, what does something like this cost? A whopping $3,000 per person. That's a pretty price to pay to roll as Roo royalty. The most amazing part. The passes are sold out!
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10. Rootreat (Pod 2) Pods are little community centers that are placed all around the festival for people to gather and mingle. They are the hubs for security, information booths, medical service, etc. Pod 2 is really something funky. Pod 2, also known as Rootreat, will host ceremonies and classes.
Rootreat can be spotted by its brand new sculpture of rhythm and steel that reaches high enough to be seen from a ways away. Various yoga and meditation classes are held there, as well as ceremonies such as quinceañera-, bar mitzvah- and baptism-redos. Apparently last year a couple renewed their vows here. Now that is insane. Way to go Bonnaroo, next year let's go for a town hall and a library.