This festival is not so much a music event as it is a temporary city that celebrates arts and culture.

That might sound a touch dramatic, but then again what isn’t sensational about a gathering of 90,000 people on a 700-acre farm?

Even in the city centre, or the entertainment village as they call it, you’ll be able to mingle with your fellow punters in a 100-acre area of extra curricular activities.

However music is the backbone of this festival and without the salivation-inducing lineups this four-day city wouldn’t exist in the first place.

Over twelve stages Bonnaroo has in the past booked the likes of Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, The Police, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Bob Dylan and so many more.

A Bonnaroo lineup has become known not just for its ability to draw the acts currently making waves, but by booking headliners that aren’t currently on the festival circuit.

In 2013 that was Sir Paul McCartney and Bjork, and in 2012 it was The Beach Boys.

At the main stage alone these legendary acts have drawn a capacity audience of 30,000 people. Those who aren’t interested aren’t left to boredom though. As our ‘Tips and Tricks’ section reveals below Bonnaroo is a hive of activities that are waiting to be explored.

First held in 2002 the event took inspiration from the two titans of the festival world in Glastonbury and Coachella.

Its rise in prominence has been a relatively recent development with the farmland purchased in 2007 and the permanent main stage installed in 2010.

While its popularity has ballooned since its inception the festival still lives up to its namesake.

Bonnaroo is a term that was made popular by New Orleans R&B singer Dr. John through his 1974 opus, Desitively Bonnaroo. It means to have a “really good time”.

That definition though is an understatement as we’re sure 90,000 people a year can attest too.


The 2014 Bonnaroo lineup treats both the young and old demographics with  current idols and latter day legends booked. Sir Elton John and crooner Lionel Ritchie sit side by side with Yeezus, blues troubadour Jack White and New York four-piece Vampire Weekend.

Just as French act Phoenix, Sheffield stars Arctic monkeys and R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean are headed by elder statesmen Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Damon Albarn and The Flaming Lips.

Flying the Aussie flag along with Nick Cave will be the John Butler Trio, electronic maestros Cut Copy, Sydney five-piece The Preatures and the ukulele bearing Vance Joy.

Head this way for the full lineup details.

Where And When

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Bonnaroo will take place at the Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tennessee from the 12th to the 15th of June.

How To Get There

Manchester is located less than an hour from Nashville so the city’s international airport is an Aussie’s best bet when it comes to flying.

The following are a list of estimated return airfares that were available at the time of writing. Punters can fly with Delta Airlines, JetStar, Qantas and American Airlines amongst others.

Adelaide: Two-stop flights are valued upwards of $2200, while three-stop journeys are worth around $3000.

Brisbane: One-stop flights are valued upwards of $2000, while two-stop journeys are worth around the same price.

Melbourne: One-stop flights are valued upwards of $2100, while two-stop journeys are upwards of $1900.

Perth: Two-stop flights are valued upwards of $2500.

Sydney: One-stop flights are valued upwards of $2000, while two-stop journeys are upwards of $1800.

From Nashville International Airport the festival offers an airport shuttle with information desks set up either end of the baggage claim areas. They do warn however that once you’ve arrived at the festival site it will be a fair walk to the camping area.

If you’re venturing down from a different part of the States you may wish to drive. The festival offers the following directions:

“If you’re coming from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, all other states in the Northeast, including Maryland and Pennsylvania, or other locations east of the site:

Use I-75 or I-59 to Chattanooga, From Chattanooga take I-24 west.

If you’re coming from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Wisconsin, or any other locations west of the site:

Use I-40, I-24, or I-65 to Nashville, From Nashville take I-24 east

If you’re entrusting your fate to GPS, just set it for Manchester, TN. When you get near Manchester you’ll see signs, and from there just go with the flow.”

While taking a Greyhound Bus is another option the festival also suggests carpooling to ease traffic congestion. They encourage you to use Zimride to find a way there with prizes for cars with four or more passengers.

You may also wish to check out the festival’s Weekend Pass and Nashville Shuttle Pass package, which takes you from downtown Nashville to Bonnaroo by bus for $520 per person.

Where To Stay

Bonnaroo is primarily a camping festival with the usual accommodation options for festivals offered.

GA camping is included in the ticket price with bathrooms, hand washing facilities and fresh water included. Showers are available, but must be paid for.

Those with VIP tickets will get deluxe bathrooms and showers, exclusive VIP lounges with laptops and internet access, phone charging stations, gaming areas and live video feed of the performances.

There is a limited tent-only camping area, which eliminates those pesky vehicles, but it operates on a first come first serve basis.

Groop Camping – yes that’s how they spell it – is also available for a limited number of tribes with a minimum of 24 people and eight vehicles. This option costs an additional $35 per person.

There is also a family camping area for those bringing small children to the festival.

Onsite tent rentals are also available for a limited number of ticket holders. The Cot Tent Rental includes bedding, a combination lock, help from on-site staff and it is within close proximity to Centeroo. This option will set you back US $750 for two and $850 for four. You will also need to provide a $300 deposit.

Glamping Tent Rentals include bedding, a mattress, bedside table, a table with two chairs, a battery powered lantern, combination lock and it is located within close proximity to Centeroo. For a queen unit it’ll set you back $1500, while a double unit is valued at $1555. A $300 deposit is also required.

Hotel packages are also available with shuttle services. You can read up on them here.

How To Get Tickets

GA tickets are available at four different price levels. Once all tickets from a price level are sold out a ticket to Bonnaroo becomes slightly more expensive. That being said the earlier you purchase your ticket the better. The cheapest price level is valued at $234.50 (now sold out) with the final level worth $284.50 (Service fees are also applicable), so you’d better get in quick!

VIP tickets will set you back US $1,499.50 per pair with a service fee on top of that. This package includes an exclusive VIP entrance, preferred parking and VIP camping (as detailed above), special shower and restroom facilities with attendants, a pre-event dinner and party on the Thursday before the festival, access to exclusive lounges, exclusive viewing areas and a commemorative merchandise package.

Tickets are on sale from the 22nd of February at noon EST American time. Get your tickets here!

Insider Tips & Tricks/Things You Shouldn’t Miss

Wanna roll like a rock star at Bonnaroo? Well you totally can! When they say roll they mean it literally. Those who purchase this option will get to stay in private tour buses with accommodation for up to 8 people. It includes your own private bunk on board, two air-conditioned lounges including TVs, a stereo and DVD players, a private bathroom, storage space and executive showers and restrooms in the campground. You’ll also get rock star access in the festival, which includes access to a private lounge and special viewing areas. An on-site concierge will be on call 24 hours a day with exclusive gourmet catering also provided. For more information on prices just email [email protected].

Fancy yourself a bit of hip shaker or a groove thumper? Bonnaroo runs its own Funkiest Dancer search to “find the raw, uninhibited, homegrown funkiest dancer that ever was”. All you have to do is record a 60 second video of yourself to one of the songs on the Official Funky Playlist and you could be heading to perform at the main stage at the festival, which of course includes VIP access to the event and a merch shopping spree worth $250.

We can’t forget that Bonnaroo is also an arts festival as well. Which means you’ll be able to trawl through many a craft vendor in-between sets at the Bonnaroo Market.

In addition to this there’s also an entertainment village. Within the village there is a comedy theatre, which has its own festival, a cinema, yoga classes, a music technology village, cafes and The Brooers Festival which sees microbrewers from around the US showcase their hard work.

You’ll also be able to find some of the best festival grub you’ve ever tasted at Planet Roo, the green village. With over a hundred vendors we’re pretty confident you’ll be able to find something to get excited over.

The festival also has its own Splash-A-Roo water slide and holds the Roo Run for those wishing to work off some of that festival food.

While there are general stores throughout for those who have run out or forgotten necessities and the market which is defined by its own fountain, you can also spend some cash at a silent auction where the profits go to the festival’s own charity.

For more details head to the official Bonnaroo website.

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