"On the Road with Saraya" on Rock & Roots... BONNAROO 2014...

Jun 2, 2014


Saraya's 10 Essential Items for Bonnaroo

In preparing for Bonnaroo 2014, I thought it would be best to first revisit this handy “10 Essential items” list compiled by Mary Allen, my 2013 Bonnaroo partner in crime.

Next weekend -- June 12-15 -- I will return to the Manchester farm for 4 days of sweat-soaked music and fun. Stay tuned for my forthcoming previews, wherein I sift through the 100+ artists on the lineup to curate a hand picked “Top ‘Roo Artists You Need to Know” list -- and remember, it’s not too late to get on the bus! Full festival details available at www.bonnaroo.com.

1.) One pair of Chacos, Tevas or some other good quality Jesus-cleats

Do not pack sneakers or tennis shoes, you will not wear them. Sturdy, supportive, comfortable walking sandals are a must. This isn’t Lollapalooza, leave the Vans at home.

2.) A mid-sized backpack with a Camelbak

This backpack/water-bag thing will be your absolute best friend for the next four days.  Your water stays cool, you don’t have to fool with carrying a water bottle, and when you need a sip it’s right there for you. You might even begin to enjoy the taste of hose water sitting in rubber.

3.) A swim suit (or two)

Ladies: let this wonderful piece of clothing account for 2 of the 3 sports bras and 3 of the 5 tank tops you think you need…keep the 15 pairs of undies though!

4.) Spray sunscreen

You have dirt all over you, why would you want to rub it in? Get spray sunscreen, stick it in the water bottle pocket on the side of your backpack and re-up as often as possible. It’s a marathon in the sun; you will get your tan soon enough.

5.) Clip on hand sanitizer.

Even though you’re sure to encounter that 1% of germs hand sanitizer can’t kill at Bonnaroo, it is still a must. Nothing is more annoying than digging through your backpack to find that tiny bottle of hand sanitizer every single time you need it (which is often). Get one of those mini bottles with a carabiner attached to it and clip it on your backpack -- you won’t regret it.

6.) A lightweight tapestry

You will take sitting/napping breaks under trees in Centeroo frequently throughout the day. You will want something to lay on. Towels and blankets are too heavy and bulky to stick in your backpack but a tapestry is plenty big and lightweight. Come on, put that $39 you blew at Urban Outfitters to good use!

7.) A bandana

You will find that this simple piece of cloth has many uses down on the farm.  Most importantly, it is the only tool that allows you to ignore the nappy, tangly and frizzy mess on your head for four days. You might want to bring a few.

8.) Baby wipes

Four days in a row of steaming porta potties…need I say more?

9.) A Headlamp

Whether it be venturing into a dark porta potty, finding something you dropped, trekking back to camp, or searching the ground for "groundscores" late at night (we found a crisp $20 bill!), headlamps are useful for just about everything once the night descends.

10.) Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap

I was introduced to this magical 18-in-one soap product this past Bonnaroo and immediately questioned my hippy cred for not knowing about it prior. It’s a concentrated soap made of several types of organic oils and can be used for just about anything. When you’re doing your morning gypsy shower at the water station nearest your tent, you can literally lather every part of your body with this hemp and jojoba infused liquid and feel just as clean as the person next to you with five different shower products.  *Certified fair trade ingredients too?! Now we’re just getting crazy.

Stay tuned for my favorite Bonnaroo artists you should have on your radar, coming soon!


Saraya Brewer works for Smiley Pete Publishing as the manager of the arts, culture and entertainment website tadoo.com. A founder and organizer of WRFL's festival Boomslang: A Celebration of Sound & Art, (currently on hiatus), she is also organizing the music stage for this year's Crave Lexington, taking place at Moondance Amphitheater in Beaumont Center this September 13-14.