Bonnaroo: “A really good time.”

Picture via Wikimedia Commons

Outdoor concert festivals are popping up all over the country. No matter what your musical preference is, there is somewhere and somehow you can get your music festival fix. Bonnaroo, one of the biggest names in musical festivals, has been around since 2002 and draws thousands of people to the farmland of Tennessee each summer to give fans the best music experience around.

With over 150 bands spanning over 10 different stages on the Farm of Bonnaroo, it would be tough to not find someone you love after you leave the festival. If you’re a newbie like me, finding your niche, and preparing as much as possible will be the easiest way to get the most out of your Bonnaroo experience.

However, Bonnaroo is not just an expensive music festival, Bonnaroo with it’s rich history is also an arts festival, a comedy stop and a lover of all things local.

A really good time”: The history.

The word Bonnaroo literally means “a really good time”, and the founders of Bonnaroo have built a brand, and a loving fan base on that very mantra. Although Bonnaroo continues to grow each year, bringing in even bigger headliners each time, the 16 years of history Bonnaroo brings is rich and important. Started by the production company Superfly Productions, or four college-debt ridden students in 2002, the festival itself has grown from small local names to one of the biggest festivals in the country.

The Experience

If you’re like me, concerts are a huge part of your summer, but music festivals like Bonnaroo feel a bit intimidating. The drive, the camping, the parking- but luckily Bonaroo understands this, and wants their fans to find a home at their beloved festival. With an entire page on their website dedicated to newbies to the festival, Bonnaroo works to prepare every newcomer for their time at Bonnaroo.



The artists

Headlining this year’s show includes U2, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper , along with many more, and chances are, if you’re shelling out the 300+ bucks to attend this 4-day concert, you’re already a fan of quite a few of the artists. Fortunately, with over 150 bands to listen to at the festival, you get to experience new sounds and artists. Bonnaroo has teamed up with Spotify and created a “Bonnaroo 2017” playlist for you to discover and get accustomed to some of the artists that will be attending the show.

If you like the sound of a new artist so much, Consequence of Sound has also compiled a list of any other shows the artists of Bonnaroo are playing around the country this year, giving you another opportunity for a road trip this summer.

Let’s get crafty

Not only is Bonnaroo a musical festival, Bonnaroo is secondly an arts and crafts festival. Bonnaroo, with their own historic “landmarks”, like the “wall”, for the visitors to tag and express their creativity, they also host local vendors, artisans and cooks, and even feature their own on-site magazine,  in their attempt to reach all realms of local music and arts, bringing all aspects together in one giant festival.

Get a laugh in

In true fashion, a lover-of-all-arts festival like Bonnaroo, couldn’t forget about the comedy world. So if you’re a lover of stand-up, Bonnaroo is also your place to sneak in a few laughs in between shows. With 13 different comedians taking the stage at Bonnaroo’s Comedy Tent, you really can experience as much as possible during your time at festival. With names like 2 Dope Queens and Hannibal Buress, catching a stand-up show one evening is just one of the endless things you can do on your long weekend at The Farm.

A musical look back at Ohio University’s history

In 1977, Billy Joel performed in The Convo. In 2015, Waka Flocka Flame turned up the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium stage.

Times have changed.

Here’s a quick look back at who has performed at Ohio University throughout the years:

  1. The Grateful Dead, 1968

The Grateful Dead performed in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium for a free concert, according to Robert L. Williams II, an OU professor who compiled A Bulleted/Pictorial History of Ohio University. According to Willams, members of the band Jerry Garcia and Pigpen were later seen at the Union Bar.

  1. Simon and Garfunkel, 1968

    Simon and Garfunkel concert Ohio University 10-29-1968
    Simon and Garfunkel concert Ohio University 10-29-1968. Via Steinhoff.

The folk duo played the Convocation Center to a crowd of guys in ties and girls in skirts that were “delightfully short,” at least that’s how photographer Ken Steinhoff described it. Simon and Garfunkel broke up two years later.

  1. Led Zeppelin, 1969

To see an almost unknown Led Zeppelin at OU at The Convo, you would only have needed $2.50, according to Williams. That’s about $16 or $17 in today’s standards.

  1. The Who, 1969

According to Willaims, when the already-famous band performed at The Convo, Keith Moon’s whiskey was confiscated because it was a dry campus at the time.

  1. Bruce Springsteen

The Boss himself played on the same ticket as The Eagles, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Billy Preston.

  1. Billy Joel, 1977

Billy Joel sang OU a song because he was the piano man in a concert hosted by ACRN, according to a previous Athena yearbook.

  1. Neil Young, 1980

When Neil Young stepped on stage, the drinking age had recently been changed to 21. According to Williams, that greatly affected the future of Convo concerts, because less money could be made off alcohol.

And here’s where we are in 2015:

-Waka Flocka Flame, 2015

Waka Flocka Flame was the Sibs Weekend performer and when asked by a Post reporter what goes through his mind when he’s on stage, he answered: “Turn the f—k up Waka.”

-Sam Hunt, 2015

Hunt performed at the first Country Night Lights and sang his hits “House Party” and “Take Your Time,” according to a Post article. And a bunch of ladies thought he was hot.

To listen and take a little stroll down memory lane using the Spotify playlist below: