Bonnaroo 2014: A Photo Diary From The Guts of a Real Person

Sunday

Lineup:
Capital Cities
Okkervil River
Warpaint
Fitz & the Tantrums
Arctic Monkeys
City & Colour
The Avett Brothers
Wiz Khalifa
Little Dragon
Elton John

no clothes

By the last day I was completely out of clothes and/or ideas for how to dress myself.

Megan’s giving it all she’s got.

call yr dad

socks

potato head

octopus

avette brothers

“Y’all are even more beautiful up close.”
— Avett Bros

Real talk: I want to be over the Avett Brothers because when I hear them on Spotify it’s no longer a satisfying experience, but they are hard to beat live. The first time I heard them sing “I & Love & You” was in the drizzling rain at Bonnaroo 2010 and I cried like a small child lost in the forest.

cans bottles


Monday

Lineup:
The Sad Sounds of My Heart Breaking
Steak & Shake
Dry Ice

drive away

Tradition obligates me to take one last sad photo of us driving off the farm.

808

The 840 bypass is one of the most beautiful highways in the country. The speed limit is 70 and the road itself is wide open and it is completely devoid of billboards. There’s also a castle on a cliff.

bubble ice 2

We had some dry ice left over from the cooler, and some bubbles left over from being people who frequently buy bubbles, so we did what any sane person would do: combined them.


 

Thanks so very much for accompanying us on this journey that was our summer vacation! If you’re interested in more of this kind of thing, a gallery of a billion Tennessee pictures and so much personal commentary will be on A+ next week.

You can buy tickets for Bonnaroo 2015 in this general vicinity in a couple of months. What did you do that kept you right here this summer? Where did someplace let you be you?

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Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 900 articles for us.

29 Comments

  1. these photos are really beautiful, laneia. they remind me so much of austin and just looking at them evokes all the feelings i have when i’m in that city. maybe it’s because i have visually similar memories from all the festivals i’ve been to in austin, from all the cute tattooed girls i’ve seen in austin, and from all the weird shit i’ve seen people wear in austin. or maybe it’s the graffiti or the music that reminds me of austin. but perhaps, just maybe, it’s because austin is the someplace where i can be the me-est me.

  2. I didn’t get to go this year [as I was saving to move out of the Midewest] and I am just oh so thankful for this article. The atmosphere of Bonnaroo is unlike any other music festival I’ve been too. You’re engulfed in it.

  3. Wonderful photos. Going to Bonnaroo seems to slip my grasp every year. The first year I actually bought tickets and ended up not being able to use them. I so wanted to go to Bonnaroo this year, because Neutral Milk Hotel is one of my all-time faves! Your photos make me want to double my effort to go next year. It looks like fantastic fun.

  4. My boyfriend goes to Bonnaroo every year and missed it this year. The way he talks about it reminds me of how I talk about pride festivals and queer spaces. I really want to go to Bonnaroo with him someday because I feel like I would see a different version of him (when he could be his more honest self). Someday.

  5. I have never been to a big music festival like this – the closest I ever got was having a ticket to HFStival (’90s alt-rock radio station festival, it was like the raddest thing) when I was in high school but then I got cast in Jesus Christ Superstar and had a performance so I couldn’t go. Sad.

    But every one of Laneia’s Bonnaroo posts make me want to go to there, even though I am a socially awkward person who hates camping and hasn’t heard of most of these bands.

  6. I feel like I would have a perpetual meltdown at Bonnaroo because crowds and loud and traffic, but these photos and words while listening to Valerie June was a very excellent time.

  7. Beautiful pictures! Festivals are where I am the best version of myself, too. Although I usually go for smaller, regional fests. My favorite thing is volunteering at smaller festivals- you get a free ticket and get to know the festival organizers. Two weekends ago I volunteered at a festival and I got to drive a shuttle van and met tons of cool people and musicians.

  8. i went to bonnaroo in 2008 and 2009 and both times it was like a religious experience. it is very life-affirming to hear that someone else has cried from a feelings overload in the middle of a bonnaroo crowd. you are speaking my truth, thank you so much, and you are not alone.

    i had always felt very grounded by music my whole life, but then at some point (after some no good very bad personal shit) it just became another reminder of how sad i was. i spent a lot of time contemplating what it meant that music just sounded like noise and what would become of me if that never changed. it was disorienting and terrifying…like waking up and not being able to taste food. something was broken and i couldn’t fix it. i have thought about going back to bonnaroo pretty much every year since my last visit. each year i think maybe going back will help me find what i lost. but ultimately every summer i decide that being confronted with that much unadulterated life would be too heartbreaking in some way. but! things are way better now. and even though i live in a ridiculously expensive part of the country on very little money i dont care i am going next year no excuses. i am going, i am going, i am going. i am making that promise to myself in front of god and the internet and everybody else in between. because i am ready, i deserve it, and the farm is calling my name.

    oh and i should mention that your photos are really stunning. i only wish i had more information re: elton john. was it fucking sublime or underwhelming? those are the only two ways i could see it going.

    • shit i meant to tell you! it was sadly underwhelming. i’m not sure if this was a result of having seen paul mccartney in 2013, which literally nothing in my life will ever top, ever, or if it was also underwhelming to other folks. tbh most of the 2014 lineup was underwhelming. and yet! it was still an amazing time. wtf bonnaroo i can’t quit you.

      i hope i see you next year! can we cross our fingers for band of horses please?

  9. I came back to comment on this because my past idiot self felt your hippie bullshit feelings in my heart and didn’t tell you that and I’m sorry! Sometimes you feel so incredibly different than who you were supposed to be but then these posts come along and let you know that there is always a place where you can be the youest you. Maybe it’s Bonnaroo or A-Camp or like, just driving around in your car but it’s out there.

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