Music

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: The Quest for Bonnaroo

by Jazmine Johnson

Music is a powerful thing. It can represent anything and everything. It’s our culture, it’s how we define ourselves,
how we cope with our emotions, how we relate to situations and how we connect with others. Regardless of how strong of a role music plays in your life, it’s always present.

If you ask anyone who knows me, the one thing that is always mentioned (besides my affinity for mexican
food) is that I love going to live shows. Though it can get expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment. I remember seeing Vampire Weekend live after a 5 year concert-going hiatus. Standing in the GA pit at Merriweather Post Pavillon amongst hundreds of people, I became so excited about the show, I nearly fainted (it was also hot outside). I stood there anticipating what songs they’d perform and the possibility of making eye contact with Ezra Koenig. 4+ years later and with over 60 concerts under my belt (but who’s counting), I still experience that same rush. I get in this state of euphoria as the music from the band surrounds me and the stage lights flash across my face. I’m feeling slightly nostsalgic just writing about it. Honestly, you can’t beat the stage presence, the light shows
and the intensity of the music as it fills the entire venue. Beats by Dre ain’t got nothing on a live show.

As an avid concertgoer, I knew it was time I take it to the next level, so I am making the 646 mile trek from DC to Tennesse to attend my first ever overnight music festival at Bonnaroo. Though I dream of one day going to Coachella (I still get chills thinking about Kanye’s performance two years ago), I thought I’d start with something closer to home. A lot of the lineup (which is pretty awesome by the way) can be seen at smaller venues near me such as the 9:30 club, Blackcat and Rams Head Live. So I have to ask myself, why spend the money to travel so far for acts you can see down the street? The reason is for the experience. I get to camp out with great friends,be in the presence of some of my favorite artist, hear some of my favorite songs live and surround myself with thousands of people with similar taste. it’s a new and exciting adventure that allots me the opportunity to experience music in a new way. It’s going to be four days of great music, great people and even greater vibes. The only thing I’ll be worrying about is how I’ll manage to see both Feist & Ludacris who are scheduled to perform at the same time.

The festival runs from the 7-10th. From 10am to the wee hours into the next day, I will be singing, dancing and
living carefree. For those of you who are going to Bonnaroo, I hope to see you there; for those who aren’t
going, I hope you follow me on my journey; and for the rest of you who have never been to a music festival, I hope I can give you some insight on what to expect and encourage you to attend one yourself in the near future.

I will be tweeting & taking photos of the entire trip so follow the hashtag #CSFestivals on twitter and instagram to get the play-by-play on my adventure to bonnaroo