Well, it’s looking like I might get to go to Bonnaroo again this year, which means one thing in the immediate future: packing. I’ve gone the past two years with my internship, but goodness knows I wasn’t always very prepared. The first year I went, we packed up all five interns in my mom’s minivan (it was the “coolest” journey that car had ever seen) and we set out to camp all on our own. In case you’re having trouble picturing a bunch of never-been-camping, non-outdoorsy journalism majors setting up camp in an ensuing downpour, just imagine mud, humidity, and a tent pitched directly in a puddle. I spent the next few days very damp, but the weekend turned me on to so many artists. I will never forget being blown away by Band of Horses (I never miss a live show now, and it’s only PARTIALLY because of my obsession with Ben Bridwell) and in the process of waiting for GirlTalk to come on stage, I sat through the Phoenix set and completely fell in love.
As the time comes for me to pack up and do it again, I’m desperately trying to remember what I packed and what I forgot. The one thing that stands out is RAIN BOOTS. I’ve never been so happy to have those goofy boots, and they allowed me to stand in the middle of some pretty deep mud puddles (read: no crowds and great views!). Don’t get me wrong; plenty of festival-goers are all about the mud. One year I spotted a pack of
wasted folks dressed like fairies literally rubbing mud all over each other (awkwardly enough I think I had a class with one of them the semester before; Yay environmental geology!). There are certainly enough nature-types with the “dirt-won’t-hurt” mentality, but you can always find a clear spot in the mud. I vividly remember getting quite the prime and un-crowded view for MGMT two years ago when I was able to brave the sledge with my trusty Coach rainboots.
Another obvious yet essential item: water. As much water as you can possibly bring, and definitely a refillable water bottle. My big mistake is always leaving my H2O behind during the bigger shows: By the time I fight my way to the front of the crowd, I’m parched and dizzy and hot and too stubborn to sacrifice a good view for something as silly as my health & wellbeing.
Other things on my list this year? A BACKPACK (I got a hipster-looking one in London after a luggage-size problem; it’s lightweight and has tons of pockets.), hand sanitizer, SUNSCREEN (#1 buzzkill: sunburn on the first day. Ouch.), a watch for making it to shows, my infamous Keds (it’s their final appearance, I have to get new ones now!), and my BlackBerry obviously to track down private performances as well as obsessively tweet and twitpic the experience (my tweets are even unprotected now! Scandalous.). I’m quite sure I’m forgetting something, so I’ll definitely keep you posted. Next up? Some bands I’m siked to see, and what that probably says about me. We’ll see how much time I have to write, since I’m headed to Manchester this afternoon!