‘Sidelines Guidelines’: Bonnaroo edition

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Story by Meredith White / Contributing Writer

For fifteen years, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has hosted massive crowds full of people eager to witness the festival’s greatness. Now, the annual four-day festival named “Festival of the Decade” by Consequence of Sound prepares for its sixteenth year, as should you.

It’s just too easy to get caught up in the excitement caused by Bonnaroo’s lengthy lineup, which includes U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd and Chance the Rapper, but you must remember the essentials, too.


While this may seem like an obvious thing to bring with you on your Bonnaroo adventure, you’d be surprised to find that water is easily-overlooked. The Farm provides various stations for you to refill your water bottle as needed, but you’ll have to provide your own bottle for filling up. It also never hurts to bring a small cooler filled with bottled water of your own in case of emergencies — or if the water tastes similarly to rotten eggs, as it did in 2015.

Protection from the sun

While you may have places to temporarily escape the sun, such as a tent or the back of someone’s SUV, you can’t hide from it forever. Applying generous amounts of sunscreen and keeping the sun off your face with a hat will protect you from severely burning/suffering from sun poisoning.


For all your hygiene needs, both baby wipes and dry shampoo are must-haves. Additionally, bringing along a hygiene kit could be a wise idea. Use baby wipes to freshen up and dry shampoo to wash your hair. The god-send of dry shampoo can seriously make you feel a million times better in the humid Tennessee heat. And don’t forget paper towels and toilet paper. Although there will be plenty of portable toilet facilities at the festival, supplies of paper towels and tissues can run out quickly, so these two items are essential.

First aid kit/hand sanitizer

You never know when you’re going to need band-aids, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic cream or bandage wraps. Anything can happen out at the Farm, and it would be annoying to be forced to find the first aid tent for something as simple as a band-aid. Hand sanitizer is also needed to protect you from catching the many germs floating amongst the festival’s many visitors.


After you apply your hand sanitizer, you’ll want a snack. Yes, there are food trucks you can give your business to, but buying three meals a day can really add up. Instead, pack your own nutritional snacks such as granola bars and trail mix; something to keep your body fueled throughout the days of Bonnaroo.

Waterproof shoes

Think function over fashion here. You’re going to be on your feet for the majority of your time, and Tennessee weather can be very unpredictable. Pack some comfortable waterproof shoes and your feet will thank you later.

Ziplock bags

Ziplock bags are so versatile. Tuck away your extra food you prepared for later or put your phone in a baggie if the rain finds you. You can also pack away mini bottles of lotion, shampoo, etc. in ziplock bags.


You would hate to get grass stains all over your amazing outfit, right? Pack some extra blankets and foldable chairs to comfortably watch Bonnaroo’s artists perform.

Lightweight bag/backpack

Bring something small that you can shove all your essentials in. This way, everything will be handy to you, and you won’t have to keep running back and forth from the tent to your chair like a maniac.

Before reading this prep list, you may have forgotten the basic things that will likely get you through the weekend of Bonnaroo. But with these tips in mind, you’ll copy this list of essentials (and check it twice), pack your bags and prepare for one of the best festivals of the summer.

If you haven’t claimed your tickets yet, there are still some available on the Bonnaroo website.

To view the full lineup for Bonnaroo, click here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Wesley McIntyre, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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