Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kanye West is a Poser

Yep, you heard me right. He's nothing but a loudmouth who acts like he has a social agenda, but in reality, it's all about him.

How do I know this?

Remember a few years back during the benefit for New Orleans after Katrina, Kanye went off script to deliver an impassioned plea to the people of America. "They're killing us," he said, shortly before his famous "George Bush doesn't like black people." He was in a state of moral outrage as he railed against the injustices of the federal response to Katrina.

But as angry, offended, and outraged as he was then, he says nothing can compare or ever will compare with how offended he was at being booed by a Bonnarroo crowd, angered because his show started almost 2 hours late.

On his website, West wrote. "This is the most offended I've ever been ... this is the maddest I ever will be."

So let me get this straight: Kanye is more offended by being booed than by police shooting at looters in New Orleans? What a guy!

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bonnaroo Pictures

Here are a few shots I took during Bonnaroo. They are all work safe.
My little corner of Bonnaroo

Notice the truck tent, which really saved space and made my camping significantly more comfortable. The tall tent just to the right of my truck was my shower tent, equipped with a battery operated pump and a propane water heater. Hot showers are a wonderful thing. If I'd wanted to, I probably could have paid for my whole trip by selling showers to other campers.

The interior view

I built this setup over the last 4 years that my brother and I have been going to Bristol for the races. I've pretty much finished it,except for a good sound system. Due to space considerations,I left the movie projector and screen at home.

I could have been much worse off

These cars were clean just a day ago. The dust was everywhere. I saw lots of folks using bandannas to keep the dust from diluting the pot they were smoking.

Music Festival or Refugee camp?

Packed in like a can of sardines

If you were on the inside of a row, you were going to be staying for the entire festival, whether you wanted to or not.

One of the many vendors selling...ummm...stuff

Quoting from the Bonnaroo Guide:
Illegal drugs are forbidden at the festival, and the festival safety/security staff will work with law enforcement officers to handle drug related violations in accordance with Tennessee Law.

Native Americans selling overpriced beads to the white man. Can you get more ironic?

An object lesson in failure to achieve victory.

Yeah, ask them what happens when you fail to control immigration.

Centeroo field

Green Camping Bonnaroo Style

Nothing green survives Bonnaroo. Well, except for the almighty dollar.





If everybody is having such a good time,why aren't they smiling?


I'm having so much fun I'm just going to lie here in the middle of the hot, dusty road!

Ribbon fries

Obviously, Bonnaroo wasn't all bad. These ribbon fries were every bit as good as they looked.


And I got to meet Alexa Ray Joel and talk with her for a few minutes. For a young lady who has grown up in a spotlight with two famous parents, she is refreshingly candid, and just plain nice to be around.

She sings pretty well too!

Railroad Earth

And if you could fight your way through all the obstacles, there was some mighty fine music to be had,including these guys,Railroad Earth, a newgrass jam band.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 5

Day 4 Sunday

I bailed.

When I got back from the Flaming Lips Saturday night/Sunday morning, one of my neighbors let me know that she and her husband had chased some folks out of my campsite. They had been using my grill to cook up something that wasn't food. I was pretty sure after that that I was done, and when the kids across the street started playing an extended disco dance mix of Pink Floyd's Have a Cigar at 5:30AM I was completely sure. I was on the road by 7:30AM, which actually worked out kind of nice since there was absolutely no traffic. As I drove back towards Kodak, I thought about why I decided to leave early. There were a lot of reasons, but they boiled down to two big ones.

First, and most importantly, I wasn't in the right place to begin with. Everywhere I looked, I didn't see people enjoying themselves; I saw miserable people trying to substitute frantic activity for true pleasure. I looked through the pictures I'd been taking and I realized that almost no-one was smiling. I was surrounded by people who felt that the epitome of a good time was to drink or dope themselves to the point of insensibility then stumble around in a near coma until they fell unconscious in the middle of a street or field, wherever they happened to be. And if they weren't fogging their brains into oblivion, they were busy spouting the most insane political propaganda imaginable. I had a guy tell me that Bonnaroo was a racist event because they didn't invite black groups to play, which was ironic because we were listening to Ziggy Marley at the time.

It wasn't just the people; it was the music. When I was kid, music was about optimism; it's goal was to make you feel good. That's no longer the case. Today, a lot of music is about anger and frustration, and Bonnaroo reflects that. Sitting in my campsite, all I could here in some cases were the drumbeats and the bass lines,and you could literally feel the menace and the anger they conveyed. And the mood was contagious.

There's enough anger in the world without amplifying it.

The second factor was the organization of the festival itself, or rather, the lack of organization. It seemed like the purpose of the sponsors was to interfere with any chance of people actually enjoying themselves. It was strange to read in the guide that Bonnaroo was against drug use, yet see vendors lining the streets selling pipes, bongs, and other accessories while the police looked on blandly. The hypocrisy rankled, particularly when they were so concerned over whether my camera was "professional" or not.

In short, the good music and enjoyable portions of the festival were far outweighed by the aggravations that went with it. I got up Sunday morning and decided I'd rather spend Father's Day at home with my family.

So I left.

As I look back, I'm glad I went, and there were parts of it I really enjoyed, but I will never do it again. I will find other music festivals to attend, though, because I still like the idea of enjoying a weekend of really good music with a lot of other people; maybe I can find a festival with Meatloaf, Styx, Sister Hazel, and Simon and Garfunkel.

I'll buy tickets for that show tomorrow.

Posted by Rich
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Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 4

Day 3 Saturday

Day three started out hot, dry, and bright,just like the days before it. After the long delay at the gate the night before, I decided to avoid the main gate for the remainder of the weekend. I had to walk a little bit further to get to the side gate, but there was almost no line, and the security checks were much less strenuous. I was actually allowed to bring my camera on site for the first time all weekend. I went directly to The Other Tent, where Railroad Earth was playing and met up with my brother and his friends. We compared notes about the festival, and who we'd seen and heard. They were planning to stay there for the Hot Tuna, show, and I wanted to sample some other groups,so I moved down the road towards the Sonic stage, where I got to talk with Alexa Ray Joel again and get her autograph. I'd missed most of Railroad Earth's set at The Other Tent, so I was happy to see that they would be playing at the Sonic Stage in just a few minutes, so I stayed there,and happened upon another happy accident.

Jonah Smith,a singer songwriter I'd never heard of before was playing a set and I really enjoyed his music. His voice reminds me a bit of Ken Block of Sister Hazel, but that may just be me. In any case, I really enjoyed his set, and I've downloaded his album.

By the way, just about every artist I've mentioned has songs available on Zune Marketplace.

After Jonah, I listened to the full Railroad Earth show, and then wandered the venue checking out other acts, and doing some people watching. The crowds were the heaviest I'd seen at the festival and I decided since the Police were playing that night, I'd leave the crowds behind for a while and go out to my camp and get a little peace and quiet before the madness of 80,000 people trying to get to the same place at the same time. Yeah, I missed a couple of groups I wanted to hear this way, but I was fuly charged up and ready for the Police, followed by the Flaming Lips.

Unfortunately, as my live blog of the Police set covered, they didn't play for the full two and a half hours they were scheduled for, coming up about 45 minutes short. I guess the greatest rock band of the 80's didn't think they had enough good music to fill the full set. To be honest, Sting just doesn't seem to remember how to rock any more. He didn't really cut loose until the final song, and songs that should have rocked just kinda floated instead.

The Flaming Lips, on the other hand, put on one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. Even though I was a couple of hundred yards away from the stage, I could still see what was going on.

Their light rig was built to move, and to look like a flying saucer, although you couldn't see that at first. The show started with the stage filling with red light and fog, while spacey organs played a droning chord. As the fog built, the lights came down from above the stage, showing the flying saucer, and on top of the saucer was the Lips' front man, Wayne Coyne, trapped in a large transparent bubble. The saucer moves down to the stage, where Coyne walks the bubble down the ramp and is released after a titanic struggle. The saucer then tilts up to reveal a monster light show underneath, and the show began in earnest.

I'm not going to describe the rest of it because you really should see it yourself, but even though it wasn't my favorite music, it was the best show of the festival.

Day 3 Tips

  • Saturday, the venue is packed. Be prepared for large crowds and nowhere to sit. Hot, tired, and cranky Rooers will be sitting everywhere they can find the least bit of shade.
  • Eating on site can be challenging since there are, as I just mentioned, not many places to sit. A few dozen picnic benches would go a long way towards improving conditions in Centeroo.
  • Flexibility is the watchword for the day. The large crowds make it certain you will miss something you wanted to see.
  • To avoid waiting in long lines to get into the venue, here are two helpful hints.
    • First, avoid the main entrance like the plague.
    • Second, and this will seem counterintuitive, don't go early. Get to the gate with just enough time to make your show. The reason is simple; everybody else will be doing the same thing and a huge crowd will develop. Health and safety concerns will force security to speed up the inspection process, resulting in a line that moves about as fast as you can walk.

  • Be prepared for the weather to change. Temperatures Saturday night dipped into the high 50's or low 60's which is very chilly unless you have a decent sleeping bag. Or a decent sleeping partner.
  • When going to a show at one of the main stages, you have two options.
    • You can get there several hours early and fight your way through the crowds to get somewhat close to the stage, then stand up for 5 hours straight. Or you can get there 10-15 minutes before the show, set up a beach chair and sit back under the stars and listen to the band play live.

  • The night and evening shows are much more pleasant than the day shows. They are also more popular. Plan accordingly.

Posted by Rich
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Upgrading Entries.

I've come to the realization that Microsoft word does not play well with the internet, so I'm going back through my Bonnaroo entries and correcting all the ugly punctuation,and also correcting some og the glaring errors. These were first draft style posts, so I'm going to take a little time to lean them up.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 3

Day 2: Friday

I normally sleep in a very dark bedroom. While my tent does a good job keeping out the rain, bugs, and apparently any humans of the female persuasion, it doesn't block light very well, so I was up early with the sun. Now as all good physicists know, light is heat, so the inside of my tent began to get warm. Very warm. Fortunately I was able to use my negotiating skills with Sol, and he agreed that if I opened up some vents and rolled over, he wouldn't broil me inside my tent for at least two more hours, so I went back to sleep until about 9.

Now one of the things about camping every year is that you gradually acquire all kinds of camping goodies; In my case, those goodies include a freestanding hot water shower. So after I crawled out of my tent, I proceeded to take a nice Navy style shower, which was kind of weird because here I was nekkid, and there were dozens of people walking by on their way to the venue. Not that I'm shy or anything but I'm not used to carrying on a conversation with folks while I'm showering.. Anyway, the shower went fine until I realized that I'd left my towel in the cab of the truck. I could have just left the tent nekkid and grabbed my towel, but remember yesterday, when I said you should make friends with your camping neighbors?

I don't think they were prepared to let our friendship get quite that close.

Fortunately, Tony, the guy camping right next to me, was nice enough to retrieve my towel, although the ladies across the way were yelling for me to flaunt my inadequacies before the world.

I told them maybe tomorrow.

I got very lucky with my neighbors. Through sheer luck of the draw, 6 of the ten spots around me were filled with people close to my age, and we all talked while we set up our campsites. We quickly formed a little community, which was great, especially on Saturday, when some of my neighbors had to run off a few folks making themselves at home in my camp.

It's kind of a funny place, this place. While I was making my breakfast (Eggs, bacon, and lemonade) a guy came up and tried to place an order. He thought I was a vendor or something I guess. Maybe I should hang out a sign and make some money while I'm here.

Anyway, once I'd finished my morning constitutionals, I looked over the schedule and made sure I knew what my choices for today's music would be, then I packed up the laptop and headed for the venue. Yeah, I brought my laptop; so what? Bonnaroo was providing WiFi hotspots, and I planned on using them. Unfortunately, the bandwidth was severely limited, and I could barely get on the internet to do anything useful. That's why you're reading this late.
When I got to the venue gate, like I mentioned in yesterday's report, I learned that the rules had changed, and security wasn't letting any cameras through whatsoever. Fortunately, I'd left mine back in the truck. However, apparently Bonnaroo hired their security from the same place that the airports hire theirs because there were cameras and camcorders everywhere. I'm wondering what they won't allow tomorrow.

After last night's less than appealing experience, I went looking for some music I knew would satisfy, and I found it. The first show I watched was Uncle Earl, a 4 woman newgrass band that rocked. It helped that they were pretty, too. I'm guessing that this show provided the first of the surprises that Bonnaroo is famous for. John Paul Jones, former bassist for Led Zeppelin, came out and played a few numbers with the band on the bass and the mandolin. It's this kind of flexibility that marks a true musician.

Next up was Alexa Ray Joel, Billy's daughter. It seems she's inherited her father's talent and her mother's looks, a great fortune in both cases. While her skills aren't as polished as her father's, she has a strong bluesy quality and is a pretty good song writer. Once she gets a few more miles under her belt,she might be something special. The last number she did, "Makes No Difference to Me" (title?) rocked the joint. I got to talk to her a little after her set the following day,and she's a very sweet down to earth person.It's early enough in her career that she's still genuinely flattered when people respond to her.

Next on the list was Kings of Leon, the first act on the main stage. Good solid hard rock, but I got there only 10 minutes before the show, so I was way on back in the pasture. I could barely see the stage, but the two gigantic jumbotrons made up for that lack. During the show we actually got a spot of rain that made things a little cooler for about 45 seconds, then just turned to steam. After about 45 minutes, I ventured on to check out some other acts.

From the Nightwatchman, I heard the following speech:

"We're a new territory here and now. We're taking it back from George Bush. We are now the People's Republic of Bonnaroo."

Considering the fate of most People's Republics: bloody purges and disastrous famines, I hope he's wrong.

Michael Frenti made the following musical statement:

"God is too big for just one religion!"

Tell it to the Muslims, pal. They're the ones running around beheading folks for their religion.

That does bring up an important point. Bonnaroo isn't just musical; It's political as well. Or maybe it's political, and they have some music on the side. Over and over I've heard the message that Bonnaroo is a green festival, and the sponsors have gone to great lengths to preach environmentalism, global stewardship, and the like.

Look folks, organizing a music festival to promote environmental responsibility is about as dumb as sponsoring an orgy to promote zero population growth. As I look around the grounds I see a eighty thousand people trampling every living thing into the dust. There's litter everywhere, despite the best efforts of the cleanup crew, and the easy availability of trash receptacles. And let's face it, there's no such thing as a green RV.

Well okay, the color green maybe, but you know what I mean.

But the point I'm trying to make is that if you want to hear some good music, and there's plenty of it here, be prepared to get a heaping side helping of sanctimonious enviro-babble along with a nice desert of liberal guilt.

Making up for this are many wonderful new things to learn and try. Just as an example, I saw a radically new way to prevent sunburn. First, take off all of your clothes. If you're shy, you can leave your pants on. Next, allow a complete stranger to cover your entire body in paint and glitter. Finally, do this in front of a hundred cheering, clapping, horny old farts who are taking your picture to post on the internet as soon as they get home on Monday.

No, you will not see any of those pictures here.

There's a weird sort of thing going on here; I've never seen so many people be so proud to display their body, but at the same time be unhappy with it. Tattoos, piercings, scarifications, brandings, breast and other implants (and no, you'll see no pictures of those either); so many of the people here are desperate to go to any length to feel better about their bodies.

Okay, enough social commentary. Back to the music.

I saw Jennifer Nicely, a girl from my neck of the woods perform. She was thrown off a bit by the noise of another band playing in the background, but she pushed herself through it and did a credible job. She has a jazzy delivery that reminds me of Norah Jones, only not as accomplished.

Next, on my way to hear Nashville band Bang Bang Bang, I got a chance to listen to The Roots. Remember yesterday when I said you should listen to music you normally wouldn't? Well, this was a case of that, and I'm glad it did because I enjoyed the show a lot. They're listed as a hip hop group, but their performance went far beyond any hip hop that I've heard, admittedly not much. If I had to describe them, and since I'm writing this I do, I'd have to say they remind me a little of Blood Sweat and Tears and Earth Wind and Fire all mashed together, plucked out of the seventies and body slammed into the new century.
It sounds strange, but it works. I'd go see them again, and that's saying something.

Next up, Bang Bang Bang.
Loud Loud Loud.

The feature act today was Tool. If you're into anger, rage, and depressingly monotonous bass lines, not to mention Satanic lyrics and imagery, this is the group for you. I went back to my campsite and ate dinner.

The midnight acts included The String Cheese Incident, a bluegrass jazz fusion group that played from midnight until 3AM. I went out to catch the show, only to get caught in a 45 minute line while security performed a very thorough check on everybody. I'm not saying that they went too far, but usually, I have to pay $100 plus tips to be touched like that. I felt like I owed the guy dinner or something.

Day 2 Tips

  • Bring a beach chair or something else to sit on. A three hour show feels a lot longer when you're sitting on the hard ground
  • Arrive extra early to the venue of your choice. The main stage is surrounded by a huge field, and if you don't get there fairly early for the popular acts, you might be better off just watching MTV from the comfort of your couch at home. The other stages and tents are a little easier, but getting there 15 minutes early makes a huge difference in where you sit.
  • Do not expect the rules to remain consistent. Just because you were allowed in one day with a camera, don't assume you will be allowed in the next day. Or the next hour.
  • Allow extra time to get into the gates. Sometimes you won't need it, but most times, you will.
  • If you're running your campsite off of an inverter wired to your car battery, start your car every couple of hours or so and let it run for 10 minutes.
  • The number one tool for Day 2 is patience.

Posted by Rich
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Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 2

Day One Thursday

When I first decided to go to Bonnaroo, I had a major misconception. I anticipated a camping crowd similar to the ones I was used to at Bristol. Had I thought about it ahead of time, I would have known better. Obviously a festival crowd is a lot different than a race crowd. I just didn't appreciate how different. I've never seen so many dreadlocks and so much tie dye in one place. It's rainbows and snakes as far as the eye can see.

Not to mention the bikinis everywhere, some delightful, others frightful. Due to the heat, minimal attire is the rule of the day, and most of the female crowd is following the rule. In fact, there's a burlesque show here that's probably going to close down because even after the stripper finishes stripping, she's wearing more than most of the audience.

One piece of apparel noticeably lacking is the bra. In fact, I've seen more guys wearing a bra than girls.

I wish I were kidding.

The personality of the Bonnaroo camper is a little bit different as well. I've been camping at Bristol for several years now and today was the first day I'd ever been offered a double lap dance for a stick of butter. Unfortunately, along with such generosity in spirit, comes some less desirable traits as well. Once I got my campsite set up, I got many admiring remarks, particularly on the shower and the kitchen, but I also got some warnings to hide anything portable, like my grill and stove, otherwise they might get stolen. Now I'm sure that there are difficulties with thievery at Bristol races as well, but I've never worried about leaving my grill out before.

Ah well, we must adapt to the modern times, so I lock up my grill when I leave camp.
Getting from your campsite to the venue can be tricky, particularly on the first day, since gates may be open or locked at seemingly random intervals. Like yesterday, when I asked why, I got:
"I don't know."

So you walk around following the crowd, which is also wandering around semi aimlessly, because they don't know either, then one of them stumbles across an open gate, and like lemmings over the cliff, everybody converges on that spot. As you work your way through the crowd, you come to the security checkpoint, where you will be checked for contraband. The interesting thing about the search isn't the full contact pat down, it's the fact that the definition of "contraband" changes from day to day, from gate to gate, and from security guy to security guy. Apparently some security guys take their jobs very seriously because I saw two young ladies walking around without bikini tops. I guess the guards thought they could be used to strangle somebody.

While it may be annoying to be told that the camera you brought in yesterday is no longer allowed today, it does result in hours of entertainment for everybody else trapped in line behind you. Think of yourself as being part of the show, and you know you always wanted to be in show business, right?

When you get through the gate tip your security guy if you enjoyed the service, then head through the vendors into the main area. Don't expect your usual carnival vendors here. The items for sale are usually handmade, and run the gamut from wooden puzzle boxes to hand tied hammocks to a place that lets you build your own drum. The food also offers more choices than your average carnival or fair, including Cuban food, Greek, several varieties of Asian, and for the true Vol fan, gator tail. If you're cheap like me, you'll bring most of your food to eat in camp, but leave a meal or two open for experimentation. Besides, it's such a long walk back to camp that you'll probably want to eat at the venue to save a little wear and tear on the feet.

Thursday's shows started off around 3:30 or so, and there weren't a lot of acts I wanted to see, except for some Knoxville groups like Smokin Dave and the Primo Dopes, and the Westside Daredevils. The Dopes show was pretty good until politics took over, but what else would you expect from Todd Steed? I stayed with him right up until he tried to put himself in the place of a soldier, apparently without ever actually speaking to a real soldier. Considering my son is about to ship off to Iraq in the next few months, I lost patience with Smokin’ Dave and skipped the rest of his show. I'm sure he didn't mind.

From the Dave debacle, I wandered around and sampled music from all of the tents operating before winding up listening to another Knoxville group, the Tenderhooks. They had a lot of trouble getting the mix right, which made it hard to hear the lead singer's vocals, but the female base player sang some lovely harmonies. It sounds like they have promise, and they're playing another set later in the weekend so I may try to catch them again.

And that brings me to a major dilemma that will face every Bonnaroo goer: trying to decide which groups to see when there are 8 playing at the same time. And don’t even dare to hope that your two favorites won't be scheduled to play at the same time. They will be.

My first night ended early, about midnight. At that point I'd been awake for 38 hours and I was ready to sleep. I had to miss the Westside Daredevils, but they too will be playing later in the festival, so I'll catch them then.
Tips from Day 1
  • Plan ahead. Use your schedule to pick the acts you really want to see. Fill in the gaps with shopping, eating, or hearing an act youve never heard of. Challenge yourself.
  • Be careful what you bring in to the venue. Just because they let you bring it in yesterday doesn’t mean they'll let you in today.
  • If you get turned away from one gate, try another.
  • Take your time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got three more days of this ahead of you.
  • Try food you've never had before. Yeah, it's a little pricey, but it's nowhere near as bad as Disneyland.
  • If you’re turned away from the gate for carrying something you shouldn't, try another gate.
  • Get to know the folks camping near you. You're neighbors for the next 96 hours; you might as well be friendly.
  • Drink plenty of water before you leave your campsite, and keep drinking it while you're at the venue. Bonnaroo provides free water stations, or you can spend $2.50 for a bottle.

By the way, to answer your question, the young ladies got their butter. I did not however accept their generous offer.

Posted by Rich
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Tales from Bonnaroo Pt 1

Ok, I've switched venues, and while I'm waiting for The Flaming Lips, I'm going to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi to upload some of the things I've written over the last few days.

Getting There is None of the Fun

The emotions experienced in getting to Bonnaroo compare favorably with many other notable life transitions, like your first root canal, your first "full" physical exam after you turn 40, and the first time a woman rips your heart out and stomps it flat on the floor. It's not getting to the festival that's so tough; it's what happens after you get there that causes strokes, high blood pressure, and screaming fits of rage.
First of all, the organizers of this event decided that in order to improve traffic flow, they would have two entrances, one on either side of the campground. This sounds wonderful, except that on the opening morning, they only used one entrance!
I asked a traffic control person why they were sending us all the way to the other side of the campground, and got an answer I was to hear over and over again throughout the weekend;
'I don’t know, that's just what they told me to do."
Now, it's bad enough that they only have one entrance open, but for some reason, they decided to fill the campsites from back to front. So, by virtue of being early to Bonnaroo, I'm camping just about as far from the venue as possible.
But the fun doesn’t stop there, no sir. As you first enter the campground, they break the line of traffic up into about 15 lanes for inspection. You see, Bonnaroo has a lot of very strict rules about what they allow on site and what they don't. Those rules are spelled out in multiple places on their website, and include limits on how much alcohol each person may bring in with them. Obviously, in order to enforce these rules, they have to inspect every vehicle that comes in the gate.
Here’s where the insanity begins. How are you going to inspect a fully loaded and packed up truck, car or RV without causing a traffic snarl of epic proportions? Answer: You can't. So the folks at Bonnaroo have come up with a unique solution. They divide a single lane of traffic into about 15 and route them to 15 inspection stations. After you pass through the inspection, they recombine these 15 lanes of traffic back into one. Of course, there are no lane markings, so what happens is a free for all that makes a demolition derby look like a Sunday drive in the park. Here’s the capper. After creating this monstrous traffic snarl, the inspection consisted of a single question.
"Do you have any glass containers or weapons in your truck?"
"Does an 8 pound sledge and a crowbar count?"
"Then no, I don’t."
"Okay, off you go."
No, I’m not kidding.
After passing through this rigorous inspection process, and after weaving my way back into single file, I drove the length of the campground out to the back 40 where three teenage kids guided me to my spot in paradise, a 10 square foot plot of overgrown weeds and space to park my truck. I actually caught a break on this one. I'm at the end of a row, so if I have an emergency and have to leave, I can get out. The folks in the interior are not so lucky. They can't leave until the people around them leave which should make Monday a very interesting day.
Planning and Arrival Tips
  • Come early, come late, it doesn’t seem to matter much as far as the wait goes.
  • There are very specific rules on what you can and can’t bring with you and the type of shelters you can use. They are available well in advance of the event. Ignore them.
  • You will have a very limited amount of space to set up your campsite, roughly 100 square feet plus your vehicle. Plan accordingly.
  • Prices are high as you might expect. Make sure to bring everything you need.
  • Bring extra ice.
  • Plan on drinking roughly a gallon of fluids a day. This does not include alcohol
  • Bring your own toilet paper.
  • Showers are $10. A solar shower from WalMart is $6. You do the math.
  • You will want to take a shower.
  • Your neighbors will want you to take a shower.
  • The three most vital things to bring besides lots of water are
    • A hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunblock

  • Traffic getting into the site is a nightmare so make sure you have plenty of gas to get in, and back out again.
  • Cell phone service is available, but spotty. Encourage your family to send text messages instead. They get through easier.

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Live blogging Bonnaroo

I'm not sure how long this connection will last, but while it does, expect to read my thoughts on the Police as they take the stage in about 15 minutes.

8:47 This laptop has more than lived up to my expectations. As I sit in the middle of this field typing, I have about 4.5 hours of battery life. I expect I'll need it.

8:51 I just had a web designer ask if I was really online or not.

I am.

8:52 A girl just asked if she could check her myspace.

8:54 I can't touch type. This should be interesting.

8:55 I'm proud to accept the nomination as world's biggest geek for live blogging a rock concert.

9:00 Open with Message in a Bottle. The crowd of 80,000+ rises to it's feet. Ok, some stagger to their knees but the thought was there.

9:04 I'm probably 150-200 yards from the stage and at this distance, Sting looks like a horse's butt. Wait, I'm sorry, that's the actual butt of the guy standing in front of me.

9:05 Many Miles Away??? The mix is a little bass heavy.

9:09 The Elvis Twins, jumpsuits and all, just walked behind me.

9:11 Walkin' on the Moon. I;m not entirely certain, but I think somebody nearby is smoking something that isn't tobacco based. Don't tell anybody, OK?

9:15 This s the perfect antidote to Tool, who played last night. They were all about anger, rage, and aggression. I skipped the show but could still hear it from my tent, so the cleaner happier sound of the Police is a welcome contrast.

9:16 Some song I don't know. Driven to Tears??? Enough people have sat down so I can see one of the video screens now.

9:21 Voices. I heard about Stewart Copeland calling Sting a "prancing little man" on stage. I haven't seen that, but it does seem that Sting has been so sensitive for so long, he's forgotten how to rock.

9:22 I may be getting some of these song titles wrong. That's okay. I think the band is getting some of the notes wrong as well. Just kidding guys. (Like they are going to read this.)

9;30 Another song I don't know. Sting is singing "Woo-ooohhh-oooh" if that helps. Truth is everybody?

9:35 Every Little Thing She Does, with a little calypso feel to it. Sing along....Eeeooohoh

9:37 I'm not sure if Sting is aware of where he is. He hasn't said the word "Bonnaroo" yet. Then again, it is a silly word.

9:38 Wrapped Around your Finger. Sting is definitely more comfortable on the slower,more sensitive numbers.

9:47 ASIDK. Just had a nice conversation with the girl sitting behind me who wanted to know what the heck I was doing. She was very nice and refrained from telling me how strange I was.

9:50 De Doo Doo Doo, De Dah Dah Dah Sting skipped the high notes but he's going to be singing for another couple of hours, so that's understandable. I skip the high notes when I'm singing in the shower.

9:55 Walking in your Footsteps. Nice bongos. Oops, sorry, that's the girl standing in front of me.

10:00 ASIDK I Can't Stand Losing You?? Sting says "Bonnaroo" for the first time. Also the first number that begins to rock.

10:01 Roxanne And the crowd goes wild.

10:17 Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

10:22 ASIDK

10:27 The last few entries were sparse. I was trying to use the internet to help a young lady named Hannah find her group. She needed a phone number so she tried a reverse lookup. Ain't the internet cool?

10:30 Every Breath you Take. Sting pretended to end the show an hour early. Uncool.

10:36 ASIDK but it rocks. For the first time tonight, I suspect Sting still possesses his testicles.

10:42 And the show is over, 45 minutes early. I want my money back. Hey, do you think Meatloaf will ever play Bonnaroo?

Thus ends the Police live blogging experience. I hope you enjoyed it/

Posted by Rich
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