Bonnaroo 2017- A Loophole To Reality

AmberLynn Anderson

Photos by Taylor Reed

    Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival really knows how to put on a show. I went last year and although it’s only been my second year, Manchester has become my home away from home. The music variety of this festival is definitely something else. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival had just that, a ton of music and a lot of art. I don’t just mean art as in the paintings on the walls either, I mean it seems everyone there is an art themselves. The way people flowed together was beautiful. We danced and laughed and sung together as one family.   One thing that I’ve grown to learn throughout the years is that life can be so damn tough and exhausting and when we finally get these “breaks” we utilize them to the fullest extent. Sure, when we get back home, reality can hit like an atomic bomb but small moments that are all we have and sometimes all we have is each other. Having someone is all we really need; friends, family, even strangers sometimes. You’re never really alone in this world especially if you are part of a Rave community. Bonus features of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival this year impressed me to the fullest! Hidden entryways were guarded by security-lines! These lines were special though, they allowed a handful of people to get to the very front, almost “photo pit” which is a type of access that got us pretty close to Flume, one of my all time favorite artists.   The water refill stations were short, and the weather this weekend was impeccable! I am a little disappointed that a lot of artists didn’t bring out any guest performances like they did last year, but last year was the fifteenth year so it was a little more special to them! Unfortunately, the lines for the Ferris wheel were ridiculous so I didn’t get a chance to ride, but perhaps next year? Also there wasn’t as stingy handing out water bottles as they were last year, and that’s something I stress to everyone-STAY HYDRATED! Festivals are always fun until you damn near pass out from heat exhaustion guys, nourish your bodies and drink water all day! Tennessee is known for the heat and temperatures got nearly up to 100 degrees this year. I’ve seen a lot of sweet outfits, and I also seen a lot of nudity. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for freeing the nips, but I feel like we should all take a second to remember this is an all ages event and I had seen children of all ages including infants. I had actually seen a newborn baby at his first The Weekend concert, not a lot of this newborn generation can say that in 20 years!  I get that children should know it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin, but in my opinion I think that, that opinion is for that child’s parents to decide if they want to let their kids be exposed to that. If this were an 18 and up event, than go for it! I might come off as a prude but I just feel like this is more of a family event! Respect everyone.

Enough of my hippy rants…that lineup though! Let’s start with some of the headliners: Red Hot Chili Peppers, honestly…and some of you may try to condemn me to hell for saying this, were not that great. I’m pretty disappointed in them actually, it seems they were tripping on their own words, the set wasn’t as exciting as I’d thought it was going to be. The band had such a musical influence on me growing up and I was extremely let down by their set. Moving on though, Chance The Rapper was hype as hell! Although, yes, even Chance had a “moment” or two, his set was fun and loud and one of the places to be Saturday night and I was in luck when he played “Sunday Candy.” I caught a little bit of Major Lazer’s mind altering, bass blowing set before I realized the time and headed out to a set that I have been anticipating for a while now, Russ. Russ is a hip-hop artist based out of Atlanta. His show was fun and, yes, even I screamed like a little girl a few times. I give him my two thumbs way up and highly suggest checking him out if you like hip-hop! Glass Animals put on a very funky set, I have heard and listened to them a few times in the past couple of months but being in that crowd and of course hearing artists live is a completely different experience! The English Indie band had an amazing and differently upbeat tune that was hard to ignore-not to mention I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Baley, the lead vocals in the media area. Now being the raver that I am, and have been for years now, of course it’s obvious who I’m going to say was my favorite this year. But when I say that the legendary Flume put on the most magical set of this weekend, All I can say is that I’m going absolutely insane over his set! The EDM sets I had seen this weekend had hit home for me. I’ll start with Eden, Jonathan Ng, is an Irish electronic pop producer who had started The Eden Project, as an alias and had discontinued that in 2015, as ‘Eden’ had ventured more into the Indie pop style. His extremely emotional lyrics grabbed my heart to the point of tears. I’ve been a fan for a long time but that set was something beyond special to see. I was lucky enough to get behind the stage area during Herobust’s set as he threw down some of the heaviest bass that I had the pleasure of feeling grab my chest! To follow the drum and bass set was the master of most when it comes to the scene…G Jones! The big red headed teddy bear holds the secret of throwing down in his beard, I swear! I’ve seen him play before at Tomorrowworld a couple years ago and honestly? He just keeps getting better and better! Borgore was there this year with some throwbacks of his that I was really surprised to hear, such as “Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse” and “Decisions.” The only time I had made my way to the Silent Disco was when I had went to see Eliot Lipp’s set and I’m very glad I did, he did an all vinyl set that I was very impressed with. Vinyl is extremely hard to compile but he did it with ease. Last but not least from our rave world, comes the legend…Marshmello! I wasn’t surprised to see such a packed set when I ventured on over to The Other Tent on Saturday…I can always appreciate the masked Dj’s fun tunes, and hyperfeel. Marshmello radiates great vibes and such happy music! Ya know, minus “Alone.”   For the new and upcoming music, all I have to say is this: ELLA VOS! If you haven’t checked her out, you should before it’s too late! This young lady is the epitome of grace and beauty! Her elegant lyrics and stage presence had caught my eye as I was wondering around the festival looking for new music (and a potty) and all I could remember was thinking “wow.” Her song “White Noise” was featured on the YouTube channel “Chill Nation” and also remixed by R3HAB. This girl is going to blow up, and lucky for Taylor, and me she was kind and humble enough to meet her fans after the show!   To close out this festival, with fireworks, final high fives, final last goofy pictures around the campsite, the very soul reason we are all there-the music. The Weeknd everyone, The Weeknd’s performance was something I had anticipated for the whole festival and it did not disappoint me whatsoever. It might sound crazy, but I feel like The Weeknd is the Prince of our generation. His voice, the way he danced, and the songs he played. He knew what he was doing and I feel like he made a real connection with the audience. Along with The Weeknd, Tory Lanez was an exceptional show and I feel like he had also made a soulful and heart felt performance that I really enjoyed! There’s so much great music out there guys, you just really have to look for it, find it, and most of all…experience it! Small moments like these are what I live for. Thank you so much Bonnaroo!    ]]]]> ]]>

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