Bonnaroo FAQ

This page is a little old but the info should still be valuable.  The Survival Guide and Bonnaroo Bound are updated more frequently.

Boomerang and the rest of the Inforoo board put together a first timer FAQ and gave me permission to repost it here.  I haven't written this and it is not covered under the Creative Commons license like the rest of the Survival Guide.  My comments are {italicized in curly brackets}.  The original lives here , I've done some minor editing on this version.  Leo

1. Food and Water

2. Shopping at the Roo

3. Camping Issues

4. Centeroo

5. Alcohol

6. Getting In and Safety


What type of food is available to buy?
All the typical festival food, pizza and gyros and the like. There is indeed a good selection of veggie food for those of you who go that route. Check out the grilled cheese on shakedown, I hear it delicious, and super affordable. Other things to check out: mozzadillas and smoothies.

How are the prices for various foods/objects?
Not too bad… typical festie prices. Beer is around bar prices. Food on shakedown is cheaper than Centeroo food, but not a whole lot.

Is the water they give out for free alright for drinking? Is there a bad taste? Is the taste bearable?
It's not too bad, they wouldn’t feed it to you if it wasn’t safe. If you really don't do well with well water (haha) then you can bring as much as you want. I've seen people walking around with milk jugs full of water. Look into a CamelBak.


If I forgot something crucial would I be able to buy it?
Depends on what it is, there was a general store tent last year with “groceries”.  Things like sunscreen, glow sticks, pens, notepads, girly products, and other necessities. I think they even had condoms.  Prices are very high for most things.

How much money should I bring with me?
That’s up to you, if you want to go cheap you can do it for around $100, though I’ve heard estimates for as high as $600. Personally, I take $250.


How do I stay cool in my tent?
(1) some kind of fan is a really good idea; (2) really elaborate fans might be too much; and (3) those air-conditioning things that use cooler ice to chill you don't work in the Bonnaroo humidity.

Can I park a car next to my RV?
"The Companion Vehicle pass will allow an accompanying vehicle into a designated camping area next to the RV camping areas. Companion Vehicles will not be allowed to park directly next to an RV. The Companion Vehicle must arrive together with the RV so it can be parked in the appropriate corresponding area. Make sure you stay together as you approach the site. Companion Vehicles will not be allowed to park in the RV area fire lanes. Any vehicles or obstructions will be removed at the owner’s expense."

How big can my tent be?
If you go tent only, as big as you want. Car camping is a little more cramped, but still not bad, a lot of people bring shade tents and ez-ups. The people next to me last year had a huge four room cabin tent and an ez-up, and they weren't crowding anyone.

What kind of tent should I bring?
That’s up to you, make sure you seal the seams so its waterproof. Also, throw a tarp under it {this shouldn't be necessary with a good tent, if you do use a tarp make sure that none of it sticks out from the sides of the tent otherwise it can collect rain and funnel it under where it will stay  -Leo}, and make sure you keep it closed up when you leave. Nothing worse than coming 'home' at night to a wet tent.

How's the weather/what type of clothing should I bring?
Its HOT in the daytime, make sure you stay cool. Bring a hoodie for sleeping, it can get chilly at night. The sun/heat will likely wake you at 8am.

Tent-only definitely sounds appealing...can you tell me more about it?
You have all the space you want, and its super close to centeroo. Only drawback is no car. The thing about tent-only that is not so fun is carrying all of your stuff from the car. Still, it's probably worth it.

So I was reading the Bonnaroo website and it states that there can be no open fires. However I thought I saw in one of these threads someone talking about a mini-weber grill. Is it ok to bring something of this nature to cook some foods?
Yes, you can bring a small charcoal grill, but no gas grill {this doesn't seem to be the case anymore, small gas grills are OK}, just be careful with it. Let your neighbors use it!

Is it a horrific trek from parking to the camp area?
It varies from 3 minutes to 50.

Is there a limit to how much stuff you bring in?
Nope {there may be a limit of 3 cases of beer per person that you are allowed to bring in Bonnaroo in general -Leo}.

How do you usually carry your tent, coolers, etc to tent-only?
Either with a friend, or a cart of some sort. Some people bring wheelbarrows or wagons. Its up to you.

Are there plenty of porto-jons in the camp area or do I poop in the woods?
There are plenty of potties for ya, bring toilet paper! Please don't poo in our woods...

If I'm in BFE how far a walk is it REALLY??
I think I said this above, but if not... it really can be up to 50 minutes, depending on how fast you walk. I was not quite all the way out there last year, and we walked 30 minutes, I think.

Are there a lot of bugs at Roo?
I have never seen anything other than spiders, and this seems to be the general consensus that I have heard here on the board. Keep the tent zipped so you don't have spiders in it, other than that, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

How easily will I be able to get my vehicle in and out of the camping area during the festival? (I have a friend staying in a hotel, and I'm hoping to run over and use his shower and the laundry facilities one morning.)
They park all the cars in super long rows, one after another, so unless you are on the edge (which is unlikely) you wont be able to get out.

Are there generally Internet or WiFi sites on the premises?
I've heard there is WiFi on farm, but that it doesn't work well. Last year there was a tent with computers to check email and the like, if need be.

What are you supposed to do with your trash?
They give you a trash bag when you go in, and they collect it later. Last year they did this thing where for every bag of trash you turn in, you get a raffle ticket. If you can, try and spend a little time picking up trash, keep our Bonnaroo clean!

Is there enough space in regular camping to have an ez up shade and a 2 person tent side by side?
Yep {maybe}

What's the best way of bathing? Is there a way?
Baby wipes!! Or get a portable shower. There are also wash stations scattered around, where there is a trough and a zillion faucets. They work out okay for most people. Its drinkable too. Lastly, there are usually mist tents around, which are cold, and crowded.  {there are also shower trailers, it's ~$7 for a cold water shower}

Alright, so the VIP tickets, yes, expensive... like $1100 for two tickets. If you bought those two, and had two cars, each with 4 people in them and gave one ticket to each car, couldn't you park both cars in VIP and just tell The Gate Keeper that the other 3 people are going to be tent camping? You'd end up splitting the cost between 8 people and have two spots... any thoughts on this? Yes, I realize the other 6 people in your party still have to purchase regular tickets, but it seems that VIP is not needed for everyone.
You must have a VIP bracelet for each member of your group, otherwise they will not be allowed into the VIP area. So, on VIP ticket per person, not per car.


What is Centeroo?
Centeroo is the main area where all of the shows and other official activities take place.

What kind of activities are there other than just the concerts?
There is a playground, art to view, the VW garage had instruments to play… They will post it all on the roo website later.

Is there cell service (i figure there is, just want to make sure so i have a way to keep up with my group)?
Personally, I have Verizon, and my phone worked well all the time. I have heard that T-mobile works well, but Cingulair can have some problems during the day. The other good way to keep up with your group is to have a meeting place and time, you'll find them that way. Walkie talkies are sketchy, if you use one, make sure it has a ton of channels, otherwise all you will hear is everyone except your friend.

Are late nite acts scheduled or just by chance?
All of the acts are scheduled. The only one that remains ambiguous is the superjam.

What is the Superjam?
The superjam is a chunk of time set aside (used to be on a stage, last year in a tent) where we don't know who is playing. It tends to be a bunch of random artists from the bigger bands at roo, who get together and well, jam.

Is there a security checkpoint on the way into Centeroo?
Yes, its not too bad. They will allow you to bring in sealed water bottles and small snacks. Alcohol is not permitted into Centeroo. They want you to buy their beer.

Are you not allowed to bring in any beverages to Centeroo, or just alcohol? What about food?
Snacks are okay, and so are sealed water bottles. Everything else Is a no-go.

I've also read about folding you bring these to shows, or just use them by your tent? Is it a pain in the butt to lug them around?
They are awkward to carry, and most people leave them at the camp. You can take some into centeroo if they are low ones. There are also little stools and things that are easier to carry.

Are their vendors close to/inside the camping area that sell ice?
Yes, or, freeze your water bottles and drink them later. Dry ice is an option too... Here is a thread about it:

What about my camelbak? Can I roll into Centeroo with it filled? Should I take it up there empty along with a sealed gallon of water?
It really depends on the line that you get in... I have seen people go in with their camelbaks unchecked, and I have also seen people being forced to empty those (and water bottles) out onto the ground.


Sure I like beer, but what if I want to drink wine or rum. How do you recommend bringing it in without bringing it in glass?
Will plastic containers work for both wine and rum? Bonnaroo's official stance is no glass allowed anywhere on the festival grounds. Please use your best judgment, and recycle all your empties.

They sell beer in Centeroo do you have to drink it in the beer tent, or can you carry it around? (there's nothing better then watching music with a beer in hand).
Yep, go for it. They only thing you can't do is take it from the camp to Centeroo.

Of course, we are all underage, but we will probably bring some beer (in cans). Will they give us a hard time at all if we just brought in coolers without trying to hide it?
Underage drinking is illegal. If you are caught in the Tennessee roadways with alcohol, and you are underage, you will be taken to jail. Use your best judgment.


How early can I arrive?
They've opened the gates at 7-7:30 Wed each year but, whether it's out of convenience for them or as punishment for the early-birds, the Wed night arrivals seem to be stuck in the SE corner of the farm. Whether this is good or bad, its hard to say. It's said that's far, but it looker closer than the NE corner to me.

Is there a map of Bonnaroo available? ,
Yep, here's a map of 2012 Bonnaroo (thanks to the folks at Inforoo msg boards) and last year's Bonnaroo and Centeroo.

Does it matter what time you get there?
Everyone has a different opinion on this… 

How much do they search one's car upon entry?
All vehicle entering the roo grounds are subject to search. There have been reports from folks who had little or no search at all, to those whose vehicle was torn apart.

Is there a shuttle from the airport?
Yes, there is, I hear its around $55.

How safe is a woman traveling and camping alone at Bonnaroo?
You should be fine, we are all family at the Roo! I am likely going by myself this year, and having been last year, I can tell you honestly that I'm not worried at all.

How safe are my possessions?
Most of the people at Roo are nice, and wont mess with your stuff. That said, use your common sense, keep anything valuable out of sight and in your car, and ask your neighbors to look out for your site, and offer to do the same for them. You should be fine.

Yo, day parking was closed on Thursday last year..Will it be closed on Thursday again this year?
 This is an email that an inforoo member sent to Bonnaroo about this:

I already purchased my pre-sale tickets and plan on driving into Bonnaroo each day because I live locally. Last year I heard of people being turned away on Thursday for day parking and having to park elsewhere and walk almost a mile to get in. I just want to confirm that day parking will be open on Thursday.

It does say on your Ticket page the following: All tickets are 4-day weekend passes, which include camping and parking (except for RVs, and other oversized vehicles, which will require an additional pass, see below).

Hi xxxxxxx,

This year, day parking will be available for you all 4 days. {this was from a year or two ago, no guarantees that it is the same this year}


For more info, check out the excellent Inforoo forums