A Metalhead at Bonnaroo: Four Hippie Myths Debunked

Shortly after writing Are Out of Town Music Festivals Worth The Hassle? I decided to embark on a cross-cultural adventure. The mission? To explore the Nashville music scene and attempt survival at the 80,000-person music festival Bonnaroo.

Four days of camping in the heat (actually, we slept in the trunk of our SUV) surrounded by dirty hippies tripping on everything from moonshine to bath salts, all contained on a 700-acre farm with carnival rides, raves, seven-plus stages, and security guards who actually help you sneak in everything from umbrellas (potential weapon) to booze? I did a pretty good job of convincing myself that I could handle it. I felt as if I would be behind hippie enemy lines, giving myself a chance to turn a couple of people to the dark side (since I missed my window with Taylor Swift when she was in town).

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise