Bless Your Little Bonnaroo Hearts


I got stuck in traffic on 24E in Nashville yesterday caused by a wreck on 40E just past Fesslers Lane. However the traffic situation was made exponentially worse by the presence of both CMA Music Festival goers, folks trying to get to Bonnaroo and TDOT’s wisdom to have that area of downtown’s roadways under construction. I mean really TDOT?

It was 97 degrees and cars were overheating everywhere. After 45 minutes of sitting pretty much in one place, I personally had to turn on the heat to keep my vehicle from overheating. What fun. But hey, stuff happens.

However a noticeable number of the Bonnaroo folks with Michigan, New York, and Ohio license plates were behaving horribly. How do I know they were Bonnaroo bound? They had tents strapped to the top of their cars. The cars were either clunkers or way too nice for the age of the folks driving them. Think I borrowed Dad’s BMW SUV for the weekend. Most had at least three to four passengers none of whom had reached their mid-twenties. I saw young feet hanging out of car windows. “Bonnaroo Bound” was written in shoe polish on rear windows. And a few other possibly offensive, stereotypical tells that I will refrain from mentioning here.

They were cutting in and out of traffic with no signals, sitting perpendicular to traffic across multiple lanes to force people to let them through ect… If you had a bumper on your vehicle near these folks, it was in peril. All of this while sporting those wonderful, feel good bumper stickers like Be Your Own Goddess, Peace Love Kayak, and CoExist. At this point, as my internal body and temper temperature neared that of the sun, my thoughts wandered from my usual “Welcome to Nashville, ya’ll go home now” in the direction of “ I’ll CoExist this Jeep right up your dirty hippy ass.”

But at least an hour and a half later with my tank on empty and dripping buckets of sweat I arrived at my air conditioned home with an engine that had blessedly not overheated. My Dad would have been proud. Those ill behaved Bonnaroo bound folks were heading off to spend days upon days in a field with no shade, no decent bathrooms, no good showering facilities, and a sea of stinking humanity during the hottest June on record in Tennessee since the 1930s.

And why?

I’ve seen the line-up. It is pretty damn good. I personally would like to see a number of the artist. But not a single one of them are good enough to stand in 90 degree temperatures risking hideous sunburns and heat stroke , elbow to elbow with a hundred thousand people who haven’t showered and the inevitability of having to use a port-a-potty (i.e. big smelly poo oven) looming over me. I don’t see how that can be anything other than a miserable experience even if you are stoned out of your mind on every mood and perception altering substance you can get your hands on. Even when I was a youngling before I turned into an old conservative fuddy duddy, this kind of thing never seemed fun.

Why do people pay to do that to themselves? At least the CMA folks can take a break from the extreme heat in air conditioned downtown establishments and go back to their comfy air conditioned hotel rooms that offer showers, beds, and toilets that flush.

Country music and its fans are sometimes made fun of and their overall intellect questioned. Lots of jokes about cousin luvin and trucks with dogs in them getting runned over by damned ol’ trains. But they are looking smarter and smarter by the minute.

And another thing. Why do they have Bonnaroo in June? October in Tennessee is usually lovely. I have met very few college students who wouldn’t skip a class or two. October is a great time for an outdoor festival. Great camping weather. Slim risk of mass waves of heat stroke victims. You know people can die of heat stroke right? Even though you couldn’t sell bottled water for ten bucks a pop, just seems like the more reasonable thing to do doesn’t it?

Despite the foul behavior I witnessed yesterday I have only one thing tosay to the folks at Bonnarroo. Go with God, Buddah, Allah, Shiva, Zues, Mother Earth, Aten, and Chuck Norris. Bless your little hearts you are going to need all the help you can get.

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