When we landed at Bonnaroo, I thought, ‘this is very similar to Vancouver Folk Festival – I know what to expect. It’s just bigger’. Well, this experience was nothing like my experience at Folk Fest. Not because it didn’t have a lot of different stages with an eclectic mix of music. And not because it didn’t have thousands of people flocking together, where bathing suit tops, sarongs and flip flops were the dress code. And definitely not because it didn’t have a delicious assortment of vender food and a huge assortment of jewelry, clothes and other arts and crafts to be sold.
It was so different because we were ensconced in the artists area, away from the masses. And here, we were able to meet the people who put the whole festival together and see how things really work. Here we met the sponsors, the hospitality crew, the bartenders, the volunteers, the production and camera crew, artist management, etc. Really, we met all of the important people.
And what we realized was that everyone takes care of each other and here is where you get opportunities to see things and experience things you never thought that you would.
Years ago, at my very first Vancouver Folk Fest I watched Michael Franti & the Spearheads perform a long ways back from the stage. And it was one of my favourite Folk Fest memories. At Bonnaroo, I had the opportunity to watch the performance from stage left.
Jay-Z always puts on a good show. But standing on an elevated stage left platform beside Stefan (from the Dave Matthews Band), a few feet away from Stevie Wonder, and across the stage from Beyonce, looking out at a sea of people as far as I could see, made a HUGE difference. It took me a while to come down from that Bonnaroo Buzz.
Watching the Zac Brown Band perform on the elevated stage left platform also gave me the opportunity to notice that one of the guys just so happened to be wearing a Rocawear t-shirt and button up woven. Guess our gifting worked!
And we just had to stay to see the Bonnaroo Finale – Dave Matthews Band performance.