Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bonnaroo, me, and 80,000 of my closest friends

In the next few days, my tiny town of 8,500 people will once again welcome tens of thousands from all over the world to our backyard.

The Bonnaroo music festival is back, and for better or worse, my community will become one of the largest cities in middle Tennessee for a few days. The festival is one of the most important music festivals on the rock scene, and attendance is expected to be around 80,000.

As a lifelong resident of Manchester and a music lover, it is still a little hard to believe that a festival of this stature takes place here.

While some of the event's novelty has worn off, an adrenaline rush still takes place on the first day the masses begin packing our streets and emptying the shelves in our stores. If diversity is the spice of life, then my community will be quite salty in the coming days.

If the build-up is correct, the event will be as big as ever. Perhaps the biggest musical event of the year is the reunion of The Police, and they will be appearing at this year's festival.

That's right; the year's biggest music story will be appearing at the year's most important music festival, and it will all be happening right here.

This is pretty heady stuff.

The Police were at the top of their popularity back in the early 1980s. Their album "Synchronicity" dominated the top of the charts, and their videos were a staple on MTV (back when MTV primarily played videos instead of airing the garbage they do now, but that is another story for another time).

However, that was their last album of new material. They broke up at the top of their power and fame.

Not many rock and roll acts can make that claim. The Beatles broke up while still wildly popular, but as their final release "Let It Be" showed, they probably broke up just in a nick of time.

America's greatest rock and roll band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, also broke up while still near the top, but these examples are few and far between.

Most bands stick around well past their prime and wind up tainting their legacy (are you listening Rolling Stones?). Fortunately, The Police avoided that and are now providing the farewell tour they didn't give us 25 years ago.

As for me, I live painfully close to the festival site. However, I will just try to look at it as an adventure. This is the event's sixth year so there should not be a lot of surprises.

What is the worst that could happen? If anything does go wrong, worrying is not going to prevent it.

Some things are just meant to be endured.

1 comment:

Joltin' Django said...

There's got to be a way for enterprising Middle Tennesseans - MTs who don't own convenience stores or live close enough to the festival grounds to offer parking, that is - to profit from Bonnaroo.

I know of a company in Smyrna,TN, that'll print all-cotton T-shirts, with the logo of a person's choice, for 5 bucks a shirt. I think a feller could really clean up selling T-shirts with a pot leaf on the front for $12-13 bucks at Bonnaroo. All we need is a few hundred bucks to get the ball rolling and ...

Maybe next year!