Bonnaroo 2014 via the festival
So, what makes Bonnaroo special and keeps dedicated 'Rooers coming back year after year? The festival's set up caters to making friends; because you remain camped in the same location for the duration of Bonnaroo, you will likely be partying and hanging out with the same people, building a sense of camaraderie and community.
With everything you need at your fingertips, there is no reason to leave the Bonnaroo grounds for the extent of your stay. The festival's 100-acre entertainment village features 24/7 activities, and past Bonnaroos have included a classic arcade, cinema, silent disco, comedy club, theater performers, a beer festival, and a music technology village in addition, of course, to the music. The largest festival in North America, Bonnaroo is continuing to grow each each year. Keep checking back for updates, and we hope to see you there!
Festival Line Up
- How do I get to Manchester?
- What area is the festival in? How do I get around?
- To camp or not to camp?
- What time does it start and end?
- Is reentry allowed?
- What are the prohibited items?
- What's the deal with food and beverages?
- What do I need to know about money?
- What will the weather be like?
- What should I wear?
- What should I bring?
- Does the festival have a mobile app?
- What are the ticket options?
- Anything else I need to know?
How do I get to Manchester?
Before even thinking about Manchester, you'll have to get to Tennessee, which you can do in multiple ways:
Plane: By far the most convenient option, there are three options to Tennessee, which bring you within a 1-3 hour drive to Manchester. Nashville International Airport (BNA), about 60 miles northwest of Manchester, can be reached by 12 major U.S. airlines as well as by Air Canada. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) sits 40 miles to the southeast and is served by American Eagle, Allegiant, Delta, and U.S. Airways. Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is the furthest from Manchester at anywhere from 160 to 180 miles away, depending on which way you go, but also an option served by Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta, Frontier, United, and U.S. Airways.
From each of those three cities, there are several options to Manchester.
Airport Shuttle: Bonnaroo provides their own “Bonnaroo Airport Shuttle” from the Nashville airport to the festival site on both Thursday and Friday at varying times throughout the day, as well as a ride back on Monday. Purchase your shuttle ticket in advance and be sure to read their tips about booking your flight so that you definitely have a ride.
Bus: Greyhound Bus Lines have a stop in downtown Manchester, about a mile away from the festival site, at 617 Woodbury Highway. From there, you can grab a taxi, have a friend pick you up, or walk that last mile. With that last option, however, use caution because you'll be at the mercy of all the other cars headed to 'Roo.
Taxi: Bonnaroo recommends the following two Manchester taxi services: Absloute Brown’s +1 (931) 728-7392; or Christy’s +1 (931) 954-0296.
Car: Of course, one of the classic ways to get to Bonnaroo is the good old-fashioned road trip. Drive yourself or join one of the many ride-shares available. From all points east of Manchester, plus Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia take I-75 or I-59 to Chattanooga. From Chattanooga take I-24 west to Manchester. From all points west of Manchester take I-40, I-24, or I-65 to Nashville. From Nashville take I-24 east. Plug Manchester, Tennessee into your GPS device or smart phone and follow the signs once you get into town.
RideShare: Bonnaroo is one of the most sustainable and responsible festivals on the planet, so we would be remiss to ignore one of the most eco-friendly options: carpooling. Check out Zimride for a way to “buy” and “sell” seats and lend your fellow travelers a hand. As an additional incentive, Bonnaroo offers prizes for cars with 4 or more people inside. Print out the official carpooling PDF (coming soon on Bonnaroo's travel guide), or make your own sign (8.5"x11" sheet of paper that says “Carpooling to the Roo”). to put in your windshield, and you could be an instant winner of upgraded camping, free meals, or other merchandise items.
What area is the festival in? How do I get around?
Bonnaroo is set on a beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Once you're there, relax and enjoy yourself - there really is no reason to leave the festival site or campgrounds until the festival comes to a close. The site has everything you need.
Note: if you're staying off site and you don't have a vehicle, daily shuttle rides to and from 'Roo are only available through one of the designated travel packages.
To camp or not to camp?
While there are hotel options in Manchester, our Bonnaroo alumni insist that if you're not camping, you're not really at Bonnaroo. The festival is known for its late night shows and parties, which you're likely to miss out on if you plan to stay elsewhere. That being said, Tennessee in the summer is likely to be hot, sticky and muddy, so if embracing the dirt isn't your thing, you may want to look into hotel options. You can also rent a fully-stocked RV if you want the comforts of a hotel with the perks of being on site, but it will cost you. There are also a number of camping options, like Tent Only Camping, Family Camping, and Group Camping.
What time does it start and end?
We'll update you on this information when it is released for 2015.
Is reentry allowed?
Yes, but you must have your wristband scanned when you leave and when you return. If you do not get your wristband scanned when you leave, you will not be allowed back in. You can exit only through the East or West Tollbooth.
What are the prohibited items?
Campsite: Bonnaroo does not allow glass containers of any kind (wine bottles, drinking glasses, pickle jars, etc), weapons, fireworks, illegal substances, bikes, scooters or personal motorized vehicles, professional photography equipment, pets, glowsticks, box trucks or trailers, charcoal or propane (unless you have a portable grill- if you do, you may bring up to 40 lbs. of charcoal and a small container of propane) or gasoline (unless you have a generator). Vending of any kind is not allowed, and please remember that they DO search every vehicle on the way in!
Centeroo/Festival grounds: In addition to everything listed above, Centeroo does not allow cans, food or drinks other than water and small snacks, or folding chairs that sit higher than a foot off of the ground. There will be a security checkpoint to get from the campsite to Centeroo.
What's the deal with food and beverages?
Campsite: The best way to survive Roo camping, especially if you're on a budget, is to stop by a grocery store and stock up on food before entering the campgrounds. However, remember that while you are encouraged to bring food, drinks, and coolers into the campgrounds, you are NOT allowed to bring glass, so make sure everything you bring is either in plastic or aluminum containers.
One festival alumni (and four-year Roo volunteer) suggests packing bread, peanut butter, beef jerky, Pop-Tarts, crackers, and anything else you may want to snack on if you don't want to spend money or leave your tent. When making your shopping list think of things that won't need refrigeration and will fill you up! There are pods located throughout the campground which serve traditional festival food like hot dogs. It may not be the most gastro-adventurous fare, but it will hold you over.
Centeroo/Festival grounds: As for the festival itself, you are not allowed to bring outside food into Centeroo, unless it’s a factory sealed water bottle or small snacks. There are tons of food options within Centeroo, ranging from steak kebabs to tacos and pizza, with vegetarian and vegan options as well. Food truck oasis, launched in 2011, also provides food for a range of tastes. Sample delicious cuisine from food trucks coming from all around the Southeastern U.S.
What do I need to know about money?
You won’t be able to use credit cards, but there will be ATMs throughout Centeroo. Avoid the lines and ATM fees by bringing a fair amount of cash.
What will the weather be like?
Summertime in Tennessee is very hot, sticky and humid. Expect highs of around 85°F (29°C) and evening lows of about 60°F (16°C). Bonnaroo also has a history of rain, so pack enough rain gear to stay warm and dry - that goes for your tent, too!
Click for weather forecast
What should I wear?
Summer in Tennessee is sure to be hot. Bring shorts, tank tops, summer dresses, swimsuits, and any clothes that are comfortable in warm sticky weather. The weather tends to cool down at night, so a sweatshirt or light jacket is a must-have for the campgrounds but not as necessary within a crowd. Bonnaroo has a history of rain, so a rain jacket or windbreaker is advisable. Rain boots and/or sandals are also a smart item to pack so you're not dealing with water-logged, muddy sneakers all week. We recommend bringing two pairs of sneakers regardless of other footwear.
What should I bring?
While there is General Store in Centeroo where you can purchase any forgotten items, advance preparation will save you the trouble of running back and forth to your campsite or paying for expensive festival must-haves.
Campsite: If you are camping, bring the usual camp gear: bug spray, extra toilet paper, wet wipes, and a flashlight to find your way around at night. Do something to make your tent easy to find by attaching a flag, balloon, or other festive marker. There will be noise around the clock, so if you want to get any shuteye make sure you have some earplugs - these will be useful side-stage as well. Also, don't forget to pack these essential items for low-maintenance grooming while camping.
Be respectful and pick up after yourself; it’s a good idea to bring some garbage bags. A camping stove can also be very helpful for saving money on food, but be sure to bring enough charcoal, propane, or gas to last the weekend. Folding lawn chairs will also provide a nice respite from standing or sitting on the ground. One of our festival alum's suggests bringing a car charger compatible with the vehicle you drove to the festival in as charging lines can be long, and also suggested bringing a shade tent so you can hang outside without melting. A shade tent is especially helpful for midday naps, since your tent may be too hot to sleep comfortably in - especially when the sun rises.
Centeroo/Festival grounds: Be sure to bring enough sunscreen to last you through the weekend, along with sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap. A sunburn will only make the heat that much more unbearable. You'll also want to bring an easy to carry bag to hold your camera, water, sunscreen, and phone while you're in the festival site. The stigma of fanny packs is gone; they are perfect for carrying your phone, cash etc. while leaving your hands free for dancing.
Water is extremely important not only due to the summer heat but from long-hours of dancing as well; bring empty or unopened water bottles, and take advantage of the free water refilling stations across the camp and festival grounds.
Does the festival have a mobile app?
Bonnaroo hasn't updated its festival app from 2014, but we'll keep you posted when it does.
What are the ticket options?
Tickets to Bonnaroo 2015 will go on sale Friday, January 17 at Noon EST.
Anything else I need to know?
If you have a smartphone with Google Maps (or something similar) drop a pin for where you park or camp. It’s not fun searching for your car/tent at night.
In addition to the food vendors, there are a ton of craft vendors located throughout the grounds. You can pick up a hand-made drum, sunglasses, or anything else you might desire.
There are no on-site gas vendors, so be sure to fill your tank before entering the festival grounds. Portable gas cans are only allowed if you have a generator.
No Events Listed
There are myriad vendors at Bonnaroo, and food will be plentiful. Between the pods, Centeroo food court and food trucks, there is sure to be something to satiate anyones appetite. Vegetarian and vegan options are readily available, and with so many choices, you can eat something different for every meal. That being said, we recommend stocking up on camping appropriate foods before you hit the road, or at least before you enter the campsite. Our Bonnaroo alumni recommend bringing plenty of ready-to-eat snacks you can grab on the go, and remember only small snacks and water are allowed into Centeroo. If you have a camping stove be sure to bring that along as well, and keep in mind that liquor stores are closed on Sundays and that many of the counties around Manchester are dry.
El Molcajete Mexican Restaurant
- 1308 Hillsboro Boulevard
- Manchester, TN 37355
- + 1 (931) 728-6250
At El Molcajete you can find Mexican fare and a full bar at a decent price, not far from the festival grounds. Head to this Manchester hang for a cold margarita and a break from festival madness.
- 2367 Hillsboro Boulevard
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 728-6336
This neighborhood steak house has everything a hungry festivalgoer could want, from enormous burgers to chicken and waffles. If you need a place to go to get away from the hectic festival atmosphere, O'Charley's is a good bet.
While camping is the preferred sleeping option at Bonnaroo, there are hotels located within the vicinity. You can also bring an RV, or rent one fully-stocked from Bonnaroo's RV oasis. If you have $25,000 to spare, you can rent a souped up tour bus for you and 8 friends, complete with catering, private bathroom and sleeping quarters and VIP treatment.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel, Manchester
- 111 Hospitality Boulevard
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 728-9383
One of the closest hotels to the festival grounds, this Holiday Inn Express provides guests a number of amenities at an affordable price.
Amenties: Free WiFi, Indoor Heated Pool and Whirlpool, Complimentary Breakfast
Embassy Suites Murfreesboro
- 1200 Conference Center Boulevard
- Murfreesboro, TN 37129
- +1 (615) 890-4464
Located approximately 45 minutes from Bonnaroo, the Embassy Suites is the place to stay if you want a spacious hotel room. Each suite has a living room, private bedroom, full size bathroom, a workstation, two TVs and two phones, refrigerator and microwave.
Amenties: WiFi, Fitness Room, Pool, Business Services.
Vista Inn & Suites
- 188 Westgate Boulevard
- Murfreesboro, TN 37128
- +1 (615) 848-9030
The Vista Inn and Suites is a 35 minute shuttle or drive to Bonnaroo. Options for accommodations include regular rooms, whirlpool suites or business suites.
Amenties: Pool, WiFi, Business Services, Small pets allowed, Coffee, Free Local Calls
- 1410 North Jackson Street
- Tullahoma, TN, 37388
- +1 (931) 455-4501
The Quality Inn is just a 20-minute drive from the festival grounds, and is close to local points of interest, including the Jack Daniel's Distillery.
Amenities: Free Continental Breakfast, WiFi, Pool, Exercise Room, Business Center.
Once inside Bonnaroo, there won't be a whole lot that you CAN'T get- food, souvenirs, and basic necessities are readily available. We do suggest stocking up on food, sundries and alcohol before entering the festival, so we've listed some helpful retailers below.
- 2518 Hillsboro Boulevard
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 728-6000
This is your one-stop shopping center on the way in to Bonnaroo. Known as "The Infamous Walmart" to 'Rooers, this Walmart has typical bigbox items, as well as a gas station, Subway restaurant, pharmacy, photocenter and more. Stock up in one trip, but keep in mind that it will be packed.
- 1656 Hillsboro Boulevard
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 723-1770
Stock up on liquor, wine and beer on your way to Bonnaroo, but remember that no glass is allowed into the festival, so plastic is the way to go.
Bill’s Liquor Store
- 801 McArthur Street
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 728-3346
Another option for your beer, wine and liquor needs, this store is located just west of the festival grounds at the intersection of McArthur and Hillsboro.
- 944 Hillsboro Blvd
- Manchester, TN 37355
- +1 (931) 728-0995
While they may not have organic fare, Food Lion is an affordable, fast way to pick up cooler necessities.
In search of a good party? Look no further than your campsite! Bonnaroo is known for its late night shows and all night parties; there is sure to be something going on that is just your speed, whether it be an all night rager or a low-key drum circle. Make friends with your neighbors and join together to throw your own party or catch an EDM show. Whatever you decide, there's no need to leave the festival grounds to have a great night.
While you probably won't have a reason to leave the festival grounds during Bonnaroo, we've provided you with a few day trip options for before or after your time on the farm.
Old Stone Fort Archaeological Park
- 732 Stone Fort Drive
- Manchester, TN 37855
- +1 (931) 723-5073
This 2000-year old American Indian ceremonial site is small but beautiful. Located near the festival grounds, Old Stone Fort provides a calming respite from the craziness of Bonnaroo.
Jack Daniel's Distillery
- 280 Lynchburg Highway
- Lynchburg, TN
- +1 (931) 759-4221
The Jack Daniel's Distillery is located in Moore County, the smallest in Tennessee. Check out the visitor's center, with rare mementos of Jack's life, or sample some delectable whiskey.
Ocoee Outdoors Whitewater Rafting
- 1985 Old Copper Road
- Benton, TN 37307
- +1 (800) 533-7767
Located about 1.5 hours from the festival grounds, Ocoee Outdoors will pair you with experienced guides so you can get the most out of your whitewater rafting adventure. Trips frequently stop along the way for some body surfing and to hang out on Jump Rock, although rafters do have to be at least 12 years old to partake.