EDITOR’S NOTE: This weekend Phawker has not just one, but two, of its best correspondents on the ground at Bonnaroo. All weekend, assistant editor EVA LIAO and her trusty sidekick, book critic MAVIS LINNEMANN, will be blogging photos and scene reports straight from the primeval muck of Bonnaroo to your mind’s eye. Hope you appreciate that these chicks are living in a stifling tent and sweating their tits off so you don’t have to. I sure do.
EVA SAYS: Here we are in Manchester, Tennessee, roasting in 95 degree weather under our makeshift tent (we didn’t exactly know how to set it up so we lined our walls with plastic tablecloths). Its 10:30 a.m. and the three Indiana girls to the right of us are drinking Labatt Blue for breakfast. The boys next to us are playing a game of corn hole to Sublime and Jimi Hendrix. We’re located in Camp Luke Skywalker where most everyone is awake because it’s impossible to sleep under the scorching southern sun rise. As Digable Planets play in the background, one kid notes that its definitively “good to be here.”
Getting in here is a bitch. Last night, 80,000 people from around the world crammed cars, coolers, clandestine substances onto this dry and sprawling cow pasture. One triumphant looking kid told us he ate all his shrooms as soon as he got in after having to wait eight hours to enter. Us girls here at Phawker didn’t have it any easier. After a four hour delay out of the notoriously dysfunctional Philadelphia airport, we arrived in Kentucky at four in the morning. From there it was another six hour drive to Tennessee. When we arrived, we panicked when our press tickets weren’t ready. But it was all for the best ’cause some Illinois college journalist happily traded us weed in exchange for use of our bowl.
By the time we settled in it was 1:00am. We checked out Centeroo, where eleven tents and stages were still being set up. For a music festival that has transitioned from its jam bands roots to a more indie rock lineup, the scene consisted of hippies in tie-dye overalls and hipsters alike. We happened to catch the tail-end of the Rodrigo y Gabriella show. The guitar duo wiled out, their hands moving at an unreal pace and clearly visible on the giant screen behind them. Because it was only the first night, there were only about 20,000 people there, which at Bonnaaroo is considered a small show. It set the pace for the next three days to come building anticipation for bands like Tool, The Police, The Flaming Lips, The White Stripes, Wilco and STS9. We’re off to a good start but there is still much exploring to be done. Photos and reviews to come…