For four days, a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee transforms into every music lover's dream. Today marks the beginning of the 2011 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
This year's lineup includes: Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widesrpead Panic, The Black Keys, Buffalo Springfield feat. Richie Furay, Neil Young, Lil Wayne, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, Iron & Wine, Girl Talk and Ratatat.
Here is a guide to get the best experience out of Bonnaroo.
You're at Tennessee for the music, we get it. There are a few things to keep in mind when you're prepping for the drive and while you get there.
First off: organization. There may be six or more artists playing at different stages at the same time, at any given time. Arrive to Bonnaroo prepared. Make sure you know the schedule and who is playing at what stage. Sometimes walking from one stage to another can be a trek, so make sure to wear a watch and know which acts you want to see. A lot of the big names, such as the Buffalo Springfield concert will go unrivaled. For the smaller acts, though, know when and where they are performing.
Number two: pack light. You'll be at a music festival in Tennessee. The lighter you pack the better. Keep in mind the temperatures in Manchester will easily reach 90 plus degrees. Granted there are no rules for clothing at Bonnaroo, you'll want to be comfortable. Do not be surprised if you see some men and women, regardless of age, donning nothing but their birthday suits. For me, shorts, sunglasses and a bandana over your head is all you need. For the ladies, shorts and a bathing suit top will do the trick. You do not need much clothing, and you will not need to change much. There are faucets around the farm where you can wash anything if need be
Number three: don't expect to get much sleep. You will be sleeping in tents - that should say it all. With temperatures reaching 90 plus degrees by 10 a.m. don't expect to get your beauty sleep at Bonnaroo. You will be going to bed very late, as you'll want to stay up to catch every set possible. The best way to make your tent as comfortable as possible is to use a canopy or sheets to block out the sun. Oh, and if you're planning on going in an RV, you're simply not getting the full Bonnaroo experience.
With that said, enjoy Tennessee. Enjoy the music, the dancing, enjoy the camping - and if a mud fight breaks out after a storm, embrace it.