Photo courtesy of Nashville Predators
Story by Alexis Marshall / MTSU Seigenthaler News Service
Despite a crushing defeat to the Pittsburgh Peguins last night, the Nashville Predators had a big turn out for a watch party in an unlikely venue: a farm in Manchester, Tennessee. On the opening night of the 16th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the Which Stage hosted a watch party for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
At 6:45 p.m., the field began to fill with fans clad in gold and navy. Chants of “Let’s go Predators!” echoed on during the half hour before the puck dropped. The atmosphere was fairly calm with fans sprawling in the grass and joking the moderate weather.
As the national anthem was sung, there was a commotion near the front barrier of the stage. Fans rushed to the front as the Bonnaroo staff tossed t-shirts and rally towels out to fans by the hundreds. The crowd was a sea of gold when the game began.
Penguins fans came to the watch party as well. Most wore their jerseys meekly, vastly outnumbered by those whose allegiance lied with the Predators. Some left after the first period when the Penguins were up 2-0. After their 6-0 win, there were a few happy Pens fans and a lot of disappointed Preds.
Predators fan Aaron English came to the watch party from Lexington, Kentucky. This is his fourth year attending Bonnaroo. He said he was elated when the festival announced it would be screening the game. He even contemplated leaving the festival early to go watch Game 6 on Broadway in Nashville.
“It’s a hockey town, man. It’s hockey town, U.S.A.” he said.
For more Bonnaroo coverage, click here.