Bonnaroo 2014 recap

Bonnaroo’s 13th edition took place this past weekend on a beautiful grassy 700-acre farm with over 80,000 charismatic attendees. Performances were outstanding for the most part, but controversy also reigned over Manchester, Tennessee as sun went down. 

Here’s the break down of this year’s most tantalizing music festival:

The People: Everyone in attendance was fully radiating positivity including security guards, volunteers, artists, and even the vendors. The Bonnaroo vibes were at an all time high and not even the weather, which reached sweltering hot temperatures could put a damper on that energy. Fellow festival goers were always around to share anything and everything they had, even if it was only a pretend handful of “cool vibes” to keep the massive school of people in a state of harmony. It was truly an incredibly uplifting environment filled with some of the world's most diverse humans that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Oh, and did I forget to mention the high fives were ridiculously contagious, I mean they even had an entire day dedicated to the gesture named "high five friday." Long live the Bonnaroovian code inside and outside of the Bonnaroo gates.


The Music: Of course the headliners brought some serious heat, but what I enjoyed the most was discovering the countless acts that were not deemed as "must-sees".  Most of these acts weren't even mentioned on the lineup. I’m referring to the random jazz band parades that popped up completely out of nowhere at any given hour. The playful chants that over took the crowd while waiting for performers to take the stage. I can still hear the echo of “when you say he’s just a friend, you say he’s just a friend, oh baby you, you got what I need”. The massive clock tower that dished out a good variety of music from all different time eras. All of these things added to the never duplicated Bonnaroo sounds that encompassed the farm and soothed many of our souls at the farm. Not to mention the super jams brought some fantastic funk, and showcased all different kinds of musical talent (but really, when will you ever see Skrillex, Big Gigantic, Zedd, AND Janelle Monae on stage together again.) This all added to the beautiful experience of Bonaroo, a feeling that truly had to be felt at the farm to be understood.

The Venue: The farm is undoubtfully one of the largest festival venues in the country. It ranks up there with Coachella and TomorrwWorld as far as size is concerned. However, overcrowding was a serious issue at the tents and the main stage. It was rather difficult  to see the performances unless you camped out for a few hours prior. Not only was sight an issue, but sound was also contained within the tent and was rather hard to hear if you were relaxing under the surrounding trees. My favorite stages by far were the Kalliope Stage and the Which stage. Both provided adequate space to dance and you could actually see and hear the performances. The mushroom fountain also added a unique touch to the overall experience.  It was located  in the center of the festival grounds and displayed a simple message that many people over look.  (Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time).  It was absolutely stunning and much needed in between sets for a quick cool off. There were also smaller stages, which housed acts put on by Redbull and Miller lite, producing a musical culture that never really ended for the duration of the festival weekend. The main stage, the What stage, had to be big enough to accommodate over 80,000 people, which is a rather difficult task, but somehow Bonnaroo pulled it off. Even if you couldn’t really see Elton John, you could surely hear him as well as the crowd sing along to “Benny and the Jets”.

The Kanye Controversy: Okay, yes, this year Kanye showed up, he performed as an entertainer and that is just what he did. He entertained the audience. I won’t say much on the Kanye performance because everyone I am sure has very strong opinions on his act.owever, I did take one solid piece of information from Kanye’s 15-minute rant. He made an outraged comment at the outrageous amount of graffiti around the festival saying "F*ck Kanye," saying "I see you writing F*ck Kanye all over your pissing stalls you know what F*ck you I am the biggest rockstar in the world." Just another reason why Kanye will always be Kanye. However, his rant was not all negative. However, I did take one solid piece of information from Kanye’s 15-minute rant. He managed somehow towards the end  to spit out one piece of knowledgeable information, “if you are a fan of me, you are a fan of yourself”. Which, I agree.  It is important to love one's self in order to love others as well (just not as much as Kanye loves himself). Many people respect Kanye as a musician rather than an individual or for a better word an entertainer and that is why he was there. As for the rest of his performance it was pretty subpar because the classical radio hits were drowned out by his own selfish yelling at the crowd.  When will Kanye ever learn, but moving on to a positive note.

Bonnaroo was the melting pot that showcased countless eclectic individuals and performances.  These all came together, producing one big adventure, which we cannot thank them enough for. The festival-goers truly transformed this farm into not only a place to party, but a place for creative freedom of art, music, and different beliefs. It goes without saying that many people will return for the following year. Just remember to take with you the simple messages passed down at the farm and above all RADIATE POSITIVITY! 

Written by Megan Holland