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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bonnaroo Blog-a-roo:
We were halfway to Manchester when...

Now for the part of the weekend that gathers the most questions: what about the drugs. Now the official stance by the promoters of the festival is “drug use is not part of the festival and will not be tolerated”. And that shall be the tone of this blog. But we all know the realities of music festivals. Four days of nearly 24-hour music, dancing, and art? Yeah…

They can be fairly thorough on the check-in, so if you plan on bringing anything you shouldn’t, be extremely discrete. Like hidden. You’re better off safe than sorry. And think about this – even if you don’t get arrested, it would suck to lose your stash before the festival. I’d say don’t risk it… you can find what you need inside.

Things begin to chill out by the tents. I actually took count, the first twelve tents I passed all contained people getting happy. This is another reason it’s important to make friends with the neighbors. Chat it up, you may have things to trade. Plus, “salesmen” tend to flock more towards larger groups. And it’s always good to have a second set of eyes out to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. You want to make sure you’re not getting an aspirin for $20…

You’ll see security on the main roads of the camping areas, so don’t be dumb and light something up you shouldn’t while walking to Centeroo. I’ll say it again, be discreet. The cops will leave you alone, but if they see anything weird they’ll swarm. Like if a ton of people emerge from your tent breathing in and out of balloons… they tend to frown upon that. Also keep in mind there’s a security checkpoint to get into Centeroo, so expect bags to be peeked in and pockets patted. Legend has it the volunteer security is paid in whatever they confiscate, so be careful!

Things have been safe throughout the history of Bonnaroo, and it plans to stay that way. So remember that Bonnaroo is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t want to burn out too early. I’ve heard stories of people taking too much Day 1 and being too burned out to leave the campground the rest of the weekend. If buying things there, make sure you know what you’re getting and how to use it. I suggest not taking things you haven’t done before, but if you do, do a bit of research on the internet first.

And if you want to hear something weird: You really can’t find pot there. No shitting ya, I have yet to see someone selling it there. I’m guessing that because of its bulky size, it’s not worth the risk trying to smuggle it into the festival for profit. Crazy, right? The safest drug out there requires the most effort to hide. Just another reason why we need to make it legal, but I’ll leave my soapboxing for another day.

One thing about the common substances – they will dehydrate you. It cools down a bit at night, but when you’re jumping and dancing around a tent with tens of thousands of others, it can be hotter than the day. And all these chemicals speed you up and make you pour out sweat in buckets. Hey, I’m not lying when I say Bonnaroo is great exercise. Make sure you make plenty of trips to the water stations, and take a run through the Mushroom Fountain. Depending on what you’re on, you may find yourselves unable to resist! When the sun comes up and you finally get back to your tent, down some Gatorade so you’re replenished for the morning. The key is, STAY HYDRATED!!!

And if drugs aren’t your thing, that’s all good. To each their own. I’ve met plenty of people there who don’t partake and they have just as good a time. People are discreet about it, so you need not worry about it being in your face. It’s enough of a high just being there, and there’s so much to do that you’ll be mentally occupied on or off the stuff.

Oh yeah, and just to disclaim: I am not advocating the use of drugs nor implying they exist in any manner at Bonnaroo. But this article exists to keep people informed and safe in case they do. Stupid technicalities…

So let me conclude with my overall suggestion on the topic: “Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground” and all will be good throughout the show…

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