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MP3 PREP: 12 Essential Tips for Bonnaroo 2023

As the festival season charges full steam ahead, the preparation for each event becomes a task in itself. Welcome to MP3 PREP, your ultimate guide to navigating the pulsating world of music festivals.

This week, MP3 PREP has got you covered for one of America’s most celebrated music festivals, Bonnaroo.

Bonnaroo Announces Massive Lineup with Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, Foo Fighters & More

Whether you’re a festival first-timer or a seasoned Bonnaroovian, you’ll find this guide a vital companion. With almost 80,000 music enthusiasts converging on Manchester, Tennessee from June 16 – 19, Bonnaroo is more than just a music festival—it’s a way of life to many in the North American music festival community.

Here are the 12 essential insights for making your Bonnaroo experience unforgettable:

Plan Your Transportation

Bonnaroo’s location in Manchester, Tennessee, about 60 miles southeast of Nashville, makes it a journey for most attendees. Consider your options, whether driving, hitching a ride on a friend’s bus, or catching a plane. There are private shuttle and limo services available from the airport in Nashville.

Pack for all Types of Weather

Tennessee’s weather has a reputation for being temperamental, from blistering sunshine to sudden monsoons (literally, they had to call off 2021 because of the weather). It’s essential to pack with all weather conditions in mind. Layering up or down can make all the difference.

Parade at Bonnaroo Music Festival.
Photo Courtesy of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Join the Parade

At Bonnaroo, the parades are spectacles not to be missed. It’s a celebration of music, creativity, and the festival’s spirit. Whether you’re marching to your own beat or grooving through Centeroo, it’s a highlight that defines the Bonnaroo experience.

Stay Hydrated!

Between the heat, non-stop dancing, and being surrounded by crowds, staying hydrated is crucial. Bonnaroo has thoughtfully set up multiple water stations across the site, so ensure to make regular pit stops to refill.

Explore Planet Roo and Village Market

Planet Roo is Bonnaroo’s haven for sustainability, wellness, and global consciousness. After absorbing its vibes, head over to the Village Market. This uniquely curated marketplace in Centeroo is bustling with crafts, art, and exclusive experiences.

Be Prepared to Walk a Lot

Bonnaroo is a vast playground of music and fun. From stage to stage, food vendors to various attractions, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Ensuring you have comfortable footwear is key to keeping up with all the action.

Immerse in the Campground Plazas

The Campground Plazas are designed to be communal hubs within the festival. From unexpected shows and surprises to unique music and art experiences, they embody the spirit of the festival. Take the time to explore each one.

Partake in Onsite Activities

Bonnaroo offers a wealth of activities beyond the music. Lace-up for the legendary Roo Run, stretch out at a Yoga-roo session, march in the parade, or join the sober community at Soberoo. There’s always something happening at Bonnaroo.

Take a Break in Planet Roo

Planet Roo is the perfect place to unwind and recharge. Whether you’re dipping into Splash-a-Roo, shopping in the Village Market, or taking a spin on the iconic Bonnaroo Ferris wheel, this is your space to chill out and soak in the festival’s ambiance.

Check Out Who’s Broos Pub

Featuring a selection from over 20 different breweries, Who’s Broos Pub in Centeroo is a craft beer lover’s paradise. It’s the perfect place to try something new or enjoy a classic favorite in between sets.

If You Need Help, Find SafeFest

Say hello to SafeFest, a new dedicated team at Bonnaroo ready to lend a helping hand to those in need. Safety remains a top priority at the festival, and if you find yourself requiring any kind of assistance, be it medical or otherwise, look for the friendly faces in yellow t-shirts or the recognizable helping hand symbol (depicted below). SafeFest should be right there to assist you throughout the weekend.

Run the Roo Run

The Roo Run, a 5K loop around The Farm, is a Bonnaroo tradition. Costumes and creativity are encouraged, making it an event that’s as much about fun as it is about fitness.

Switch Up: RKS Out, GRiZ In

In an unforeseen turn of events, Rainbow Kitten Surprise has regretfully pulled out of their Bonnaroo slot due to health issues. While this news is certainly disappointing for their fans, the festival lineup continues to deliver with an exciting replacement.

GRiZ Announces Indefinite Hiatus in Emotional Instagram Post

Electro-funk artist GRiZ is stepping in to fill the void on Saturday’s schedule. Adding to the anticipation, GRiZ has also announced an additional “Chasing the Golden Hour” Sunset Set and followed up with an announcement this week on Instagram that he’ll be taking an indefinite hiatus from music following the conclusion of his 2023 dates.

Follow MP3 PREP for more festival tips and tricks. With these insights, Bonnaroo will be the unforgettable highlight of your summer!


Franz Hilberath is a writer, publicist, artist manager, and editor/founder of MP3 MAG. Franz's passion for telling creative's stories began as a journalist with local and national newspapers (Creative Loafing, USA Today), magazines (Marquee, Man of the Hour), and blogs (, CULTR). His byline spans live event coverage, music reviews and interviews with innovators such as ODESZA, Marc Rebillet, RUFUS DU SOL, Lee “Scratch” Perry, GRiZ, & SOFI TUKKER. Today, as an independent publicist (Franz.mp3), Franz has represented true creatives and esteemed labels such as Zeds Dead (Deadbeats), Gravitas Recordings, Mersiv (MorFlo Records), Night Tales (Ultra Records), Of The Trees (Memory Palace), Justin Jay (Fantastic Voyage), Meduso, KHIVA, RaeCola, THRASHA and more.