The Buzz

Bonnaroo, here we come!

Categories: Live Performance, Music

2011 Bonnaroo music festivalMusic fans gather at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

CBC arts journalist and music fest veteran Laura Thompson is at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Follow her reports about the goings-on down in Manchester, Tenn.

"Bonnaroo. Here. We. Come!" is the upbeat mantra that a close group of fabulously positive conspirator friends and I have been reciting for weeks now. We holler it freely and frequently. Leave the real world behind! Be absolved of everyday banality! Unleash your inner hippie! This can only be great!

Now, however, I briefly pause because a dose of reality hits.

How exactly do we plan for a 14-hour drive to the southeastern U.S. to camp for multiple nights, amongst people of all ages and in oppressive heat with a 60 per cent chance of thunderstorms?

What started as an innocent idea soon revealed itself as an enormous undertaking. After several planning meetings and lots of grit and determination, I think we're prepared. I do -- so I say now!

Bonnaroo 2012 is the latest edition of the massive, four-day music festival on about 283 hectares of farmland in the small town of Manchester, Tenn. We'll be mere specks in a sea of an estimated 80,000 festival-goers expected to descend on the site from far and wide. I anticipate a lot of lineups and not enough shade.

I also predict we'll find interesting people, good food and, of course at the heart of it all, amazing world-class music. Bands like Radiohead, The Civil Wars, Bon Iver, tUnE-yArDs and Red Hot Chili Peppers stand out on my personal must-see list.

"Something for everyone" is not an empty promise, with The Beach Boys, Kenny Rogers, Alice Cooper, Ludacris, Santigold and Phish also set to thrill.

In the thick of it all, some of the most exciting talent at Bonnaroo will be waving the red and white: Feist, City and Colour, Hey Rosetta! and Kathleen Edwards.

I've got my rain boots, granola bars and, of course, that trusty rousing mantra. But now, really, we're coming!

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival runs June 7-10.

2011 Bonnaroo music festivalBonnaroo crowds battle heat and dust in 2011. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)

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