The What Podcast takes a deep dive into music festivals every week and this time around Brad, Barry and Lord Taco offer their tips on what to bring and what not to bring to your first Bonnaroo, as well as how to make sure your festival experience is a positive one.
The farm in Manchester can be a daunting place, especially if you've never been there before.
For those that go dragging and screaming, for those that go with eyes wide open, this
week we take you from the exit to the entrance. Every step of the way, everything you'll need
to know for Bonnaroo 2021. The what podcast, Barry Courter, Brad Steiner, Lord Taco, taking
you through the festivals, the industry and all things in between. It starts. How about
Barry Courter, Lord Taco, Brad Steiner along with you. Welcome to the what podcast, which
bands this year that matter. If you're new to the show, welcome. If you've been around
for years, welcome back. I'm Brad. Guys, nice to see you again. I hope that you have gone
back and realized now that you've listened to some previous episodes, one of which is
how to make a hit part two with my esteemed boss and colleague Troy Hanson. How hard my
job truly is.
That was my takeaway. Boy, I don't know how you do it. You've got it rough. No, I feel
like it's a big deal. You know, creating art, Barry is very difficult. And you are a high
level artiste like myself. It is heavy as the head that wears the crown. Heavy as the
head that wears the crown.
I am so proud of the last couple of episodes, Mike Daly in particular, and then Troy Hanson
thereafter. I know it was a departure on what we normally talk about. And I know it's a
little sort of out of the field, but it's that kind of stuff that first I don't know
with if now I'm not know some podcasting expert who knows every podcast in the history of
mankind. But I don't know if that kind of stuff gets talked about very often. I really
hope that you got to spend some time in the last two episodes.
It's amazing to me how intertwined that's been my takeaway. Everything that we've done,
add those two to, and we say this all the time, the Ashley Caps, the Jeff Cuellars, the
Ken Weinsteins and the bands. It all obviously, and it has to, it all dovetails and it's not
as it's not as what's the word. They don't, they're not as far separated. I guess that's
what I'm trying to say. Sure. Sure. And you know what I mean? If they, one mixes with
the other or it all doesn't work. And I like that. I like the way you put that. The chemistry
is, um, is strong. But what I would say is the other thing is we all know each other,
you know, it's not something that is too, too foreign to any of us because we're all
sort of swimming in the same pool. Right. Exactly. But I will say when somebody who
I don't know in the industry, um, it just happens to be on a zoom call and says, uh,
Hey, wait, you're, you're Brad from the, I listen to that podcast every week and I've
never met you and I don't know. I've never told you about the show, but yet you're in
this management group who that's pretty exciting. That kind of stuff still makes you feel pretty
good. And so today I know that we've been doing a departure over the last couple of
weeks. We're going to come back to center today to where our roots are is that's with
Bonnaroo and go through some of the things that if you are maybe a first time Bonnaroo
goer, maybe at your second time and the first year is a little shaky. My nature was, uh,
this is going to be your first time checklist. We're going to go through every step of the
farm and all the things that you can expect. All the landmines, we know where the bodies
are buried. Barry, you've got a couple of Bonnaroo's maybe one Bonnaroo, two Bonnaroo's
over me, but I think this will be 15 or 16 for me. So we know every step of the farm
and hopefully can take you through each possible twist and turn that you may find come Labor
Day weekend. Agreed. And I was trying to remember Russ, will this be three or four for you?
This will be technically three, but I sort of counted this four since we had the mini
Bonnaroo last year to me that was Bonnaroo. Yeah, fair enough. So, so we come at it from
a perspective of me, I think 17 grad, you said what 15, 16 or 15 or 16. I don't know.
I'd have to actually do the count. I know my first, my first year was 2004 point being
you and I have done it a bunch. It's still fairly new for us. So, you know, we come at
it from all those different perspectives. Plus Russ brings a bus Russ in the bus. That's
the way to do it. We do it for ways. I don't know if you knew this, but 2004, here's a
Bonnaroo. Did you know in 2004, did you know that Maroon five was on the lineup? No. Yeah.
This was when they had that first album right after they changed the name that first album
that actually was really good, but they canceled and you know why they canceled at the last
minute because I know I'm not going to guess Adam Levine had a sore throat.
2004 was the year that was the torrential downpour where the reason why I said I was
never coming back to Bonnaroo is because we got stuck the second night after the torrential
downpour in camp and trying to make our way out of this miserable experience that we had
had our car got stuck at probably 20 yards from the exit and we got stuck there overnight
and we woke to the sounds of some sort of, I don't know, local kid pulling cars out of
mud that was three feet deep. It was a, it gave the kid $20, but you got your car out
and it was those glorious feeling I've ever had in my life because that first time I ever
went to Bonnaroo, I didn't have any of the resources like this. So I had no idea what
I was walking into. Yeah. Absolutely no idea. I've said every year I'll take the heat over
rain every time. It is a really good place to start actually, Barry, because if you don't
know the Tennessee heat in June, kind of rough, but there's nothing worse than rain, literally
nothing worse because it affects everything around you. The heat you can, you can bear
through, right? You just put your head down, try and drink a lot of water. But when the
rain comes, that's when things really get itchy. Your campsite gets destroyed. You,
that really rushed job that you did to set up, that comes to bite you in the ass. Everything
turns to mud, which also means things around porta potties all become mud. You don't know
what you're stepping in half of the time. You're losing shoes. It is a disgusting, disgusting
pit. Now I will say they've done a great job because they've overgrown the grass for so
long. Yeah. That's why I make a joke every year that I write about grass and the stories
that I write for the paper and not that kind of grass. Which kind of grass? Which kind
of, I mean- Yeah, but Russ, we've seen him work. We know how that story goes. It's hard
to understand what 80,000 people walking through the same puddle does. A small little trickle
becomes a river of mud after 80,000 people walking through it. They fixed a lot of that,
but that back in those early days. I told you the story, one of my first, it was either
first or second year, I was in a little pup tent because I didn't know camping. I was
by myself and I was laying there looking at the top of my tent, watching it thunder and
lightning think, I may not make it through this night. I really may not make it.
There's three areas we want to focus on today for the first time or checklist. If you are
not a first timer, you want to throw in an idea at the what underscore podcast, also
the place where we've been giving away some Bonnaroo tickets. We'll talk getting that
here in a little bit. But first, if you want to throw something in the what underscore
podcast, Barry, what was the- On Twitter.
On Twitter. Yeah, sorry. What is the biggest mistake you made your first year or two?
Not planning shade, not bringing some sort of pop-up tent, something for shade, a tarp
and trying to do it all at once. We'll talk about that some more. Not understanding how
big the place was and not also understanding there are things there like food and water
that you can get. You don't have to bring everything. So I mean, those are the big ones
that I've learned. Taka, what was your first mistake you made
first year? The biggest mistake you made? First year, biggest mistake. Well, I've not
gone that long, but I came from a camping background. I've already do a lot of camping
trips. So probably my mistake was over preparing because I was expecting, I was going in as
if I'm going out in the wilderness. And the biggest mistake I made was I packed a lot
of food that I thought I'm going to cook food. No, didn't cook a bit of it. I got spoiled
by the food vendors. We were in pod two that year. There was a professional chef cooking
just amazing food all weekend long. And when you're looking at digging out the grill and
getting out the propane and setting up the cook and then the dishes, I can just walk
over here and get a gourmet burger pretty cheap.
Yeah. And the other thing to talk about the food that goes unspoken sometimes is yeah,
you have great food that's around you, but honestly, you don't really want to eat all
that much. You know, you don't really want to. The funniest thing in the world to me
is how people will line up for hot Thai food. There is a Thai restaurant who was saying
to themselves, man, it's 102 degrees. I could go for some bad Thai. I could use some. Or
I mean, as much as everybody loves spicy pie. I mean, is a lot of cheese. Is that something
you really want to put in your body? Yeah. Given the bathroom situations. Yeah, that's
part of it. Brad, you're exactly right. You don't want to eat as much as you think because
the bathroom situations and you don't really, it's so hot. You don't, you just don't want
to. It's not, that's not a priority. Water is more of a priority. Sure. I have noticed
I was looking at the website and I know Brad, I'm sure you're going to bring it up because
I will. Let's ask you your first year mistake and then I'll go back to what Taco said. Getting
drunk the first night. Okay. I thought you were going to say bringing your grill and
all that. Well, that was, that was a mistake, but that's something I can just chalk up to.
I just didn't know what I was doing. Let's go back to the first night. That is a problem
because that is going to bury you for the entire next day and it's going to affect your
entire disposition. Let's not talk about Thursday, 2019 for me. Look, we have a guy that went
hard and this is a vet, a deep, deep vet. This guy's been there since day one. In fact,
he might live there still. He's with us and he, um, he got just ripped apart one night
with two years ago, three years ago. He stayed in his truck for two days. Yeah. Two days.
You cannot go hard. Like you think you can, I understand raging and understand, you know,
but you got to keep yourself level. You got to keep yourself medium. And if you go way
too hard on the wrong thing, ours was Margarita's. Um, we were back in sort of like the radio
compound and they were, they were doing a party the first night and Margarita's after
Margarita after my moon must've had 20 and boy, what a disaster of an idea. What an absolute
bad idea. Yeah. Bad idea because yeah, people ask me that all the time. You must go out
there and just party. And I said, no, no, no, no. The last thing that I want to do is
to be hammered. The last thing comes up when the sun hits your tent, you're up. Yeah. I
mean, we've had great weather last couple of years, but those early years, it was, it
was every bit as hot at three 30 in the morning as it was at three 30 in the afternoon. I
know guys, I know guys that don't have hangovers and they just, you know, they can live in
sort of, but even the slightest hangover will be multiplied by a million in that heat round
about six. Right. And, and as you said, September in Tennessee is not a whole lot cooler. No,
think it is. And it is not, it may not be as humid. I keep seeing comments. I keep seeing
people saying, Oh, September, it's going to be so much cooler. Like, no, don't be fooled.
Don't be fooled. Underestimate it. You know, I know it's sort of a, it's not an odd conversation.
It's not about global warming or anything, but in June it's relatively cool in Tennessee
compared to September. It's like the summer has shifted a month, Barry. Everything has
gone backwards. They're down the, down the calendar and September now is as hot as August
used to be. Yeah. It's weird. We get, like I said, June seems to be muggy or more humid,
but the September sun and heat is every bit as brutal. So yeah, we, we, we will get an
extra what hour of sundown cause it's going to be past the time change. I didn't think
about that. So the sun will set what an hour earlier than normal. Really? Yeah. Man, I
didn't think about that. That's actually brilliant. Yeah. Because there is a major difference
on that farm between three o'clock and seven o'clock. Oh yes. It is. And it's like, and
once that sun goes down, I mean, it does get cool. So, you know, bring a blanket. Yeah.
That's what I love the most about it. I love, I love, I know this is crazy. I know this
is a nutty thing to say. I love wearing pants on the farm. You know, it's a new experience.
I didn't even take them for years. You didn't want ants, Barry. I'd not, not long pants.
I didn't even bother. Sweatshirt, something like that. Didn't even bother. All right.
Well let's do this. We've got three areas that we want to hone in on. Uh, let's, uh,
go with the first one traveling, traveling to Bonnaroo, the what podcast festival first
So if you're traveling to Bonnaroo, if it's a long drive, uh, let's say you're driving
like the hams guys do from Iowa. What did your first tip Barry to somebody that is going
to have a multiple day drive to get there?
Uh, the what podcast. Okay. Good. Keep you entertained road road trip playlist. Yeah.
The entirety of your trip. Um, they've changed things, uh, with the early arrival, uh, obviously
plan, you know, however your, your, how long your drive is planned for that. Take your
time, uh, plan to get there when, you know, when you can and you're going to get in line
typically, uh, that's, I'm a little curious as to how all that's going to happen. So,
you know, not just plan for your actual drive time, but plan for, um, waiting in line. And
I don't, and to that point, my first, my first suggestion to you is don't rush, right? Don't
try to rush. Don't get impatient, uh, because the festival doesn't start the second that
your camp is set up. The festival doesn't start at the moment that you walk into center
room, the festival starts the moment you get into your car and put it in drive. Yeah. Because
that's where the Bonnaroo mindset means the most. If, if it's the closest thing to like
yoga thoughts and meditation that you can find, if you've got that place to just turn
it into your, your safe space, right? Start it there and don't start it when you get to
Manchester. That's a great tip. You know, I, I've told you, I don't like to travel.
Manchester's about as far as I like to drive in it. It's 45 minutes and I still whine and
complain like it's horrible. We barely got you to Beniru in Winchester. I complained.
That's a trip to the grocery store and back Barry for some people. Yeah. No, I'm spoiled.
Look, my commute to work is five and a half minutes. If I hit every red light, I'm spoiled.
I understand this. So, but to your point and you're right on, like I remember David Bruce,
you know, driving down for the mini room and even the Bonnaroo from New Jersey is what
do you say? 13 hours, 12, 13 hours. And for a lot of people, that's nothing. I mean, they'll
hop in the car and they like it and they like it. And yeah, you're exactly right, Brad.
So, you know, seriously plan on podcast music playlist, get your head right. Yeah. Just
know it's going to take a while and then know when you get to Manchester, it could still
take a while. And then when, and then when you actually get on site, go through taco,
you're the one that's done this and not us go through the search process. If anybody
is worried about getting searched, you know, cause they're going to have to check your
car for, you know, knives and glass and things that you shouldn't be bringing, but go through
that process if anybody's stressed out about it. Yeah. Yeah. And that's, that's, that's
really what they're looking for. They're looking for glass, glass containers and looking for
something that looks like a weapon. I've got, you know, a hatchet and camping knives and
hammers. I took all that out cause I didn't want anybody to be like, you can't bring that
in. Of course it turned out they just kind of, yeah, you're good.
And you know, if there is a interesting place, um, you know, where you've got, you know,
all of this stuff packed into your car, they're not going to make you unpack your car. Now
I have met somebody, a friend of mine that was asked to unpack their car entirely. I
don't entirely. I don't, maybe staff or by a police officer by staff. Then that then
became a police officer because I think that they were marked as a random to do a drug
search on and there is a possibility of that. So, yeah, so it's not, it's not completely
out of the realm of possibility, but it's something to be aware of. So rule number one,
and we probably should have said this at the start. Don't be a dumb ass. Yeah. Don't be
that guy. Just don't be the guy. Don't be the guy. Don't make them do what they don't
want to do, which is take you to jail. Because by the way, the people that are checking you
are also festival goers. Correct. These guys that are volunteering, they're, they're going
to the shows too. And in large part, they're volunteers. They're not police, you know,
they're not, and it depends on the time of day in the week, uh, early on, they might
be more gung ho than later with some of the searches and some of the rules and things
like that. But don't be a dumb ass. If you're bringing stuff in that you shouldn't, don't
leave it on the dashboard. Don't leave it in the console. Um, you know, do it while
you drive up, uh, you know, having a PBR in your hand when you drive up is probably not
the best idea. Yeah. I know. The other thing too is, and I, I've read this before, I know
that they put this in the rules and it is maybe one of the stupidest things that I've
read in print. You can only bring two cases of beer. It's not there anymore. Yeah. Today.
And I was, that was one of the dumbest things that nobody's counting beers. No, they're
not telling you bring glass. How are you pulling? How are you going to open up a cooler? Tell
somebody to dump out all the ice and like count those beers. Count everyone over by
four. Well, let me drink them real quick. Don't bring it in glass. I watched a carload
of people pouring out all their bottled water so that they could pour their liquor in their
from the glass into their empty bottle. Yeah. I mean, look, we, Hillary, the reason why,
um, the, our camp is called camp nut butter is because Hillary one time made a whole batch
of nut butter and put it in a glass container. Didn't think about it. We took it to Bonnaroo
and they're like, you gotta throw that out. And she's like, I spent hours making this
nut butter. So she picked a fit. They don't care about your nut butter. So we had to transfer
the nut butter into a different thing. And then they had to keep the glass. So it is,
it is ridiculous, but it also, you know, if let's just say, for instance, there is say
like a beer exchange and you have a very highly specialized beer that you'd love to bring
to share with insert person here that you meet at the beer exchange with the camp rhetoric
guys. How about just putting that very special beer, the bottom of the cooler? Um, if you
were to do that, I would never suggest that you do that. Don't break the rules, but you
know, there are ways around this. Well, I mean, in the glass thing is a good rule because
no, there's so many people walking around. We, you don't need to be stepping on glass.
That's right. That's what it's about. The other thing too, I saw somebody wrote right
one time. They said, uh, and this will get into the camp. You know what? I'll, I'll save
it because it is something that I wish that, um, there are bad ideas. There are very bad
ideas and there are very bad things to bring to camp that don't make any sense. That will
make life worse for everyone else. Glass is one of them because you know, accidents happen.
All right. So before we move on to camping, to wrap up travel, what do you, I've got a
couple of travels. Yeah. I'm not ready to move on. Wow. Yeah. Guys came, guys came loaded
to bear. I just wanted to make sure I wanted to make sure that we, we, if you don't have
a reason to leave on Monday or Sunday night, I would almost just take your time leaving
too. I would take your time trying to, again, this whole process, it's like the, if you
ever watched the movie search for animal chin, if you're a big skateboarder, the search for
animal chin was about the discovery is about the search and not the discovery, right? It
was about the path I got you there and not what you actually did. Again, if it doesn't
start, if it starts the moment you put the car in drive, it also doesn't end until you
get back into your garage. Yeah. A lot of the, a lot of fun, I guess. And we haven't
done it to the degree that a lot of folks have it, that waiting in line to get in is
where a lot of people make new friends. You start, you start really catching the whole
vibe because it's about, you know, being cool. You know, I mean, for me waiting in line is,
like my nightmare, but if you have the right attitude and you, you know, you're, that's
where the, that's probably where radiate positively really started was waiting to get in there.
And that's where you, you, that's where the whole Bonnaroo ethos and vibe really gets
in. And I also don't think that I know the history of Bonnaroo is, is covered in terribly
bad traffic and awful long lines to get in. And I know they've done something in a few
things to make that better. People are still waiting in lines that are hours long. Uh,
it ain't going to go any faster, right? Well, maybe with this new, with the early arrival
and that's kind of what I meant earlier when I said it's almost like a new festival, being
able to start going in on Tuesday could be game-changing. I really don't know how many
people can do that. And I, I am very curious to see how it impacts, you know, they started
letting everybody in supposed to be Thursday morning and then it was 2 AM and then it was
midnight, you know, and then now it's Wednesday. They start mostly cause they want to get them
out of the Walmart parking lot and into the site. But, um, yeah. So, but, but they're
not going to open up center room until Thursday at noon still, right. Which means the plazas
will be done. Will they still be working on the plazas while people are driving in? You
know, we need to get, uh, probably Jeff quay are on and have this conversation. Cause if
you don't, if you don't recall in 2019, we were driving around the whole campus and there
was, you know, plot, it was Wednesday. They weren't done painting. No, they're still putting
there, you know, in years past, they were still putting the heads together. Yeah. So
I'm curious in this sort of the travel and camping sort of merges the two be prepared
if you're coming on Tuesday to basically camp for two days before center room open. That's
a whole different thing. Yeah. You know? Yeah. And in that case, you probably do need to
bring some food because we we've talked about this a lot and we can talk about this in camping,
but food has always been the, the like taco said, the thing that somebody does way too
much of and you end up being, the key is the key is non-perishable. Bring snacks, bring
stuff that's not going to spoil, uh, stuff you don't have to prepare. Like stuff that's
just ready to eat. That's really good because you know, I wasted meat, you know, eggs, you
know, I brought everything and didn't, didn't use it at all. Yeah. Like stuff like granola
bars, uh, peanuts, you know, stuff you can just open up and snack on. That's, that's
really good to have cause that don't go bad. As a man who has a bus that is hard to get
up and down a mountain, uh, what other kind of travel tips do you have? Oh yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. We'll talk about the mountain, but uh, yeah. Uh, yeah. Uh, like whether you're like
us, you drive 45 minutes or you'd drive in 12 hours. Um, the key is incognito because
the every cop on the way to and from Bonnaroo knows what Bonnaroo is. They know when it
is and they know people are coming down. They're going to be parked at every exit all up and
down the highway. So, um, do a, do a check on your car before you, before you drive,
make sure all your lights work, tail lights, turn signals, headlights, um, go ahead and
check tags updated tag. Yeah. Tag light. Make sure your tags up to date. Make sure your
insurance is up to date and do not decorate your car. Don't put Bonnaroo all over it.
Flying these cops flag. Yes. Yeah. Your freak flag. Just these cops will, will see you a
mile away and they will find any reason to just pull you over and harass you and search
you because they know you're going to Bonnaroo and they think, well, this is probably, you
know, an easy ticket for me. Yeah. And that's a tricky one, Russ, cause a lot of times people
are traveling four and five together and the back window has got a sleeping bag in it or
right, you know, so you've got to kind of be, uh, I mean, sometimes you can't not make
it look like that's where you're going, but like, that's a great point. What Russ said,
make sure your lights are working and your blinkers and, and all of that stuff. Yeah.
Because any of that, that's, that's, that could get you pulled over if they see that
and then, Oh, where are you headed to Bonnaroo? Oh, you mind if we search your car? You know,
don't say Bonnaroo say you're going to a music festival. We have a guy, we're just, yeah,
we have a guy in our camp and, uh, every year we ended up driving together. We would carpool
behind him and he, uh, his thing was always, if he ever got stopped, it was, Oh, no, no,
we're not going to go to Bonnaroo. All this stuff's in here for a fishing trip. We're
taking, uh, we just need to go across the US. There you go. A fishing trip. There you go.
Fishing trip. That's a good one. Yeah. Me, me and a pretty girl and a big giant floppy
hat. We're going fishing. Yeah. And, uh, AAA can be your best friend. I have AAA, uh, at
least once a year I have to get a tow or, you know, something, um, invest in AAA if
you don't have, but check with your insurance. Maybe you've got roadside assistance because
you don't want to be stuck on the road out of state with a flat tire or, you know, car
not running and you not having any way to get towed or have it fixed. Uh, AAA can be
I think that the best tip that I have heard so far is remember that the cops are on every
exit. Absolutely. So there is a spot, right? Is, you know, the way that we come from Chattanooga
is, uh, you get to the top of the hill. What's the name of that mountain? Monteagle. Yeah.
You got the top of Monteagle. And as soon as you get to the top of Monteagle, the second
exit, always a cop sitting there, bond over a weekend. Never fails. Never fails. Also
leaving it again, not as bad, but when you're leaving, your car will be covered in about
four inches of dust. That is a big signal letting them know where you've been. Yeah.
Hit a car wash for, for, I mean, I haven't seen them do what you're talking about. I
don't doubt that they do, uh, but they certainly are on the lookout and I know probably surrounding
counties know their people are coming too. Absolutely. They're, they're heavy in Dade
County in Georgia. I guarantee you anywhere, you know, 75, 24, all those cops know what's
going on that weekend and they're ready. Yeah. Yeah. Again, it's a great point. Those surrounding
cities are the ones that I would worry about the most. Manchester is not going to give
you any problems. It's, you know, those complete jerks just along these, there is a neighbor,
there's a town right before you get to Manchester that we drive through and every year, cause
we take a back road. As soon as we get off the interstate, there's a back road and we
come to that four way stop there. You remember that four way stop? That's not a slow down
in Manchester yet. I don't think it's Cook County even at that point. And, but as soon
as you get to that four way stop, you are surrounded by cops. There must be 50 of them.
Yeah. And that next building, they're behind it waiting on you. So we always slow down.
Yeah. Small town. They got nothing better to do. They know, yeah, we can probably pick
up one or two people here, right? Tickets. So just be careful and don't start partying
especially in before you're incognito. Yeah. There you go. You want to be as unassuming.
You want to blend in, look like every other car on the road. Don't stand out. Yeah. That's
a good point. 77 West Faleo. Yeah. Yeah. Me and my giant green. That's why I take back
roads the whole way there. Whether you're going to Bonner or not, they're going to think,
yeah. Oh yeah. I think you said it. It begins when you hit, get on the road, but it doesn't
end there either. So just take your time playing for the whole week. You know, I could even
talk, I could even go one step further. It's not just when you get in the car, it's when
you're packing the car. Yeah. You know, many fights I've gotten in trying to pack the car.
Oh yeah. I remember you, she tried to get, what was it? A hula hoop. Oh, that was, we
had the whole car so that she could get a goddamn hula hoop in that. By the way, she
never used not one time in that weekend. This was in the front of your house. We hadn't
even left yet. And I thought this is, they're already at it over a hula hoop. And you didn't
have room for a hula hoop. No, I couldn't even slide it into the top of the car. That's
how packed we were. And she wants to squeeze in a hula hoop. Wear the hula hoop. Why don't
you? Good luck. Yeah. Speaking of Monte Eagle Mountain and packing, like last, what, two
years ago, I had Barry, I picked up that generator from you. I had the couch, the full Bonneroo
couch. I had the sign. I had what? Like probably a hundred pounds of carpet. I was loaded down
and in an old, you know, air-cooled bus. Yeah. The prospect of climbing Mount Monte Eagle.
We didn't think about that problem, did we? We didn't know. We did not. We didn't anticipate
the weight issue that you would have. No, especially climbing the mountain. That was
a slow, slow climb. But I made it. No, it's fine. I mean, the key for me is just momentum.
If I can get going fast enough downhill and then hit the going uphill, if I can keep that
momentum, I'm good. But if there's like a big truck in the lane and I have to slow down
for them, it's over. Cause I can never achieve that speed again. I can't pick it back up.
Sort of sounds like your sex life. Gotta go. Gotta get that momentum. Just don't slow down.
Just don't stop. Yeah. As you get into camping, I feel like this is the, this is the crux of
the entire operation, right? Um, we'll get to experience and shows next, but the camping
part is the part that, uh, I can't stress enough. You gotta get right because you're
creating a home for yourself for four, if not five days. And if it's not right, you
will be so miserable. You'll get so irritated and you'll just want to quit and go home.
And if you're coming from a long way away, there's no option of just going home because
you're stuck. I know the one and only year that I camped out in what we affectionately
call a gen pop. Um, when I camped out there, I, all I remember is that once they got you
in, there's not, you're not leaving. You're not, there's no way you can leave. There's
just 10. Now they've got a lot more organized and there are paths and ways to drive in and
out if you were to, but I don't even think that you can come back in if you leave. Right.
Not from there. No. In fact, you can't leave until your neighbors leave. Cause in a lot
of cases you start tethering and yeah, your bumper to bumper, they line you up. Yeah.
You're not going anywhere until the guys around you, you know, go. Um, I would say shade is
the key. Like I mentioned, I, my first year, all I had was, uh, I, for some reason I had
two saw horses and a two foot by three foot piece of plywood that ended up being a table.
And I don't think I was clever enough to have brought it on purpose. I think it was just
in the back of my truck and the only shade I had was an umbrella. And we, we bungee corded
it onto that table and rotated it as the sun moved. That was the only shade. I had no tarp,
nothing. Um, didn't think about it, you know, so tarp, some sort of shade, uh, very, very important.
Uh, the best tip I got, and I still do it is by bottled water, which I hate doing because of
plastic, but anyway, and freeze it. I just, I taco, I don't know about you, but I love this idea of
thinking about Barry just sitting alone with a parasol. I think about it all the time. Yeah.
Just twirling it. I feel pretty, um, but yeah, don't buy bagged ice by the case of ice. I mean,
water and then freeze it. Well, okay. Let's stop you there. I'm going to stop you there. Let's,
let's talk about just coolers and ice. First off, do you suggest, I'll ask you two questions. Do
you suggest investing a lot of money in one of those really, really, really expensive coolers,
which are heavy, very heavy, extremely heavy, but they'll last you a while or, or B do you,
and what is your experience? Do you like it? And what is your experience with dry ice?
I haven't used dry ice. I think some of some, go ahead. I think you can, you can be smart about
ice and not have to use dry ice. I don't know enough about it to suggest it, but I think you
can get away with just regular ice. There's a bunch of cooler tips. Yeah. There's a bunch of
cooler tips. The frozen water thing for me always worked. I always end up by the end of the week with
one or two that are still have some ice in it. You know, they start to thaw, but they keep what
food that I bring that needs to be kept cool. Cool. Plus I drink the water as I go. Yeah. Yeah.
When they saw then it's just water. It was the best, best tip. And your food doesn't get soggy.
Well, this is why you probably need several coolers and not just one.
I was getting ready to say, yeah, if you can get the expensive ones, the smart thing is to put the
things that need to stay cool the longest in there and don't open it. We'll just make that an ice
cooler. Yeah. If you got to, you know, if you use an ice cooler like we do to make Bellady Mary's
or whatever, that's a different cooler. But if you can keep the expensive one closed, it will keep
things. Well, the way that the way that we did, so this became an issue very early on in Camp Nut
Butter, where I realized very quickly that we needed a tent that was just for a kitchen. So we
have a kitchen. Yeah, we needed it. We needed it. So we have, we have a 14 foot tall, just kitchen
tent. Now that also comes with two coolers because we have so many people, two coolers that are just
clean ice, just clean ice that you can transfer either as a cocktail maker or you can put it into
another cooler as you see fit. Now, I would suggest that, but not only do you put those in the, in the
kitchen tent, but you have to, I think that the smart person would also cover those as well,
because the more that you can keep them out of the transferring sunlight, the better, no matter what
kind of cooler it is. So that's fine. Some sort of cover for it. That also the festival has done
better job. If you remember early on, Brad, people used to go to get ice and they would pay, I don't
even know 10 bucks. It was a lot of money and that you would have to walk way far to get it. And the
time you walked back half of your bag, it already, I know, but I still think that it's still expensive.
I mean, it still is, but it's available is, it's a little bit more available than in the past. So
if you can do dry ice or whatever, or get one of the expensive coolers and make that work again,
but you can get it. But I understand somebody who's coming in a Toyota to call or a Toyota,
you know, Tercel, I don't know what the Alica or Camry, it's going to be hard for you to fit
three different coolers in your car. So just understand that you do the bottle, freeze the
bottles. The bottle freezing is good. I don't like this dry ice idea. I've never been a proponent of
it. First off, it's expensive and you might as well just buy an expensive cooler if you're going
to spend as much money on dry ice as you want to. And it, in my experience, it always makes things
taste weird. Like if you put dry ice in food, nothing tastes right for me. I don't know what
it is. I don't like it. I don't like it. I think you need proper ventilation. You could, you could
create a bad situation if it's sealed up too tightly. I think, I think, I think it's frozen
bottles. Yeah. I think it takes up as much room as the bag ice. And like I said, it doesn't get
things soggy. And when we say expensive cooler, you don't have to get the name brand yeti. There's
tons of companies that are making coolers just as good, cheaper, still, you know, not $20, but
a worthwhile investment because it's a cooler that will last you a lifetime. It's not going to
tear up. They're well, they're well-made. Yeah. I'm going to plug a cooler business that is here in
town here in New Orleans that actually is a good friend of the radio station. But I love this
product so much. It's called Kysik, K-Y-S-E-K. They, their cooler is a dream. It's a dream. I
want one so bad, but you know, you're right. Spending $250 on a cooler just doesn't seem like a,
a advantageous thing for me to do. But when I want it and when I need it, I always say to myself,
I wish I had that damn cooler. I wish I had that cooler. I love mine, but you're right. They are
heavy too. They're heavy when they're empty. Yeah. Well, that's, but that's part of why they last so
long. Right. You know, it's like you get what you pay for. It's also, it's also only meant for
certain occasions. Like if you, if you take that out on a boat, especially a small pontoon boat,
it's going to sink you. It's so heavy. And I'm not putting that, I'm not going to put that thing in,
in taco's bus because I know it's going to make it even harder for him to get that mountain. So
it's only there for like certain occasions. I don't, you know, am I, am I walking it down to
the bayou to have a picnic? No. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No. You're, yeah. If not, you don't, and you don't
need it for that. That's a short term. All right. So my biggest tip that I can give you for camping,
um, and you have to understand it comes from a guy who is a total diva. I really need creature
comforts at home. So the secret to Bonnaroo first and foremost, if I had to give anybody one piece
of advice would be, especially somebody who's a neurotic and tied up to, um, every little thing
affecting me, whether a wind breeze of wind, um, you know, somebody touching me, all of this stuff
just gets so grating to me. I don't like bugs. I don't like being outdoors. I don't like touching,
you know, I, I don't like sweating. So wait to camp with him again.
Oh yeah. I had to create a world where everything just made me feel comfortable. Well, that wasn't
enough. I finally figured it out somewhere around the year five year six that the way to do this is
to just let everything go. And it took me a few years to, to know how to do that. But now I've
gotten to the point where I just let everything go and let it come to me when it, when it actually
comes to me. So, but before I did that, we started creating these creature comforts at camp that
camp that to me were game changers in 2005. Everybody called me crazy. Every single person
in this group thought I was nuts because they wanted, they wanted to hard head it and they
wanted to be real campers. They want to really show their real. No, I started bringing 600,
700 square feet of carpeting. Um, we, there's not a place in that camp that doesn't have some sort of
cheap carpeting that we have accumulated over the years. We might have enough to carpet my house.
That's how much carpet we have in our, at our disposal. So first off, find not just a cheap rug
at Walmart or something. No, no, no, no. I'm saying go to Lowe's and get that outdoor,
really large swath of it. It's going to cost you a couple hundred dollars and you're going to be
willing to give it up when you, when you say goodbye, but if you get five people, six people
to pitch in, get a giant piece of carpeting, you stake it down to the ground. It is a game changer.
You could probably go to a carpet outlet and just get whatever they're throwing away that, you know,
you don't care what it looks like. Do not right. Barry did his first year and bring carpet squares.
That shit doesn't work because you can't keep them together. You can't. It works. I use them to put
in front of my tent, a couple of them to wipe my shoes, whatever feet. Yeah. They work as door mats
is a door mat. Yes. Yeah. I wouldn't try to do livability. Try to do a bigger space is what we
have. No, right. That's one of my favorite pictures of Brad is, is a you with a little push broom
vacuum in the carpet, you know, like Sunday morning. Yeah. Again, so yeah, there's, there is
something now the Bissell is not the right answer, but there is chargeable, portable
vacuum cleaners. I highly recommend bringing a vacuum cleaner because by Friday it will be a
disaster because you've got so many, so many people walking through so much dirt, bring a
vacuum cleaner, give a broom, something to clean it off. I know that sounds nuts. I know that sounds
nuts, but do it. And I promise you, keeping camp clean changes your entire mentality. The other
thing about creature comforts and another thing that I got beat up by, we bring a couch, we bring
a folding, um, Ikea couch and not just one, we've got two at our disposal. Now I know this sounds
nuts and I know it sounds stupid and it's not feasible for most people, but finding a way to
make camp more comfortable than those awful Dick's sporting goods chairs is, is the winner. I agree.
Yeah. Good chair, uh, two, several things, uh, air mattresses are key. You gotta have air mattress.
I'll get the air mattress here in a second. Cause I've got a tip on the air mattress that
good chair, a good place. You're, you're going to be in camp a lot more than you might think.
You're going to be okay. More than, than the festival. I promise you. Yeah. Especially if
we're getting there Tuesday. So you're going to want a really good chair. Uh, and you're going
to want to, if you have a nice clean camp with good chairs, right? Yeah. That's where a lot of
the fun happens. If you're with people that you like and even your neighbors. So that's the other
thing. Bring more than you need. Bring more chairs, bring more comfort than you need. I know that,
I know you want to be very diligent and cautious about the things that you bring because you have
limited space, but when it comes to creature comforts, bring it. I don't care if it's a
flamingo, bring it. I don't care if it is, um, mailbox, we bring a mailbox. Yeah. We bring
picket fences. If you bring it because I promise you the, the more that you have fun with camp,
the better you're going to experience, have an experience, better experience. You're going to
have why you're at camp. Now, when it comes to, uh, the air mattress, uh, there are air mattresses
that are of course better than others. I almost want to say whatever you, if you have an air
mattress now sleep on it for a night or two and tell me if it doesn't have a hole in it.
I bought, we got an air mattress for a gift a couple of years ago and we slept on it, one
bonnaroo and the damn thing is already flat. It's already flat. We have people that come to town
and they sleep on the air mattress and within two hours they're on the floor. How did that happen?
We have no earthly idea. Whatever you do, sleep on the air mattress a couple of days and see if
it holds air because if, if it doesn't, you're going to have to spend another couple of hundred
dollars. Yeah. Check your stuff before you leave, check everything, take it all out. I mean, I pack
all mine in duffel bags, but I usually the night before two nights, I take even my tent, I take it
out and put it up just to make sure critters haven't gotten to it or dry rod or whatever.
I've known people that'll come to camp and they've got their tent and no tent poles.
No tent poles. Don't, don't let the first time you open up your gear be at Bonnaroo. Open it up,
make sure it's all there, put it together, make sure it works before you pack it up.
As far as, uh, I was talking about me, air mattress. I have two air mattresses. I just stack
them on top of each other. Yeah. I was going to say the other thing too. Bring another one,
just in case. Yeah, that way I have two that way. If one of them goes bad, I have a second,
but I also stack them on top of each other, which gets it a little higher off the ground and it's
a little more comfortable. Okay. Another, another tip for camp and livability. Now this is not about,
uh, making camp fun. This is about, uh, general organization. I also hate when camp is dirty,
hate when camp is dirty. And I, the thing I loathe the most about what we do is we believe that the
easiest way, the best way to make trash is to tie a trash bag around a tent pole. All right. Well,
that drives me nuts because that means trash is just sitting next to me while I'm, I hate that
figure out a trash situation. I don't care if you bring it. I one time told the team,
we're bringing a trash can next year. And they all looked at me like I was crazy.
Frankly, a trash can doesn't work because it's too big and bulky to pack, but got to figure out some
sort of trash situation. That's not just a bag sitting on the ground. I hate that. I mean bags,
uh, they usually are pretty good. The staff, the, uh, what do they call it? The green crew or they
do. But again, you gotta have something to give you clean bags, but it's gotta be, there's gotta
be a better answer than just putting a bag on, on the ground. All right. That's the first thing.
Second thing, you know, those, you know, those flappable bins, bring those, you know, those
closable plastic bins that you have or something to keep your clothes and your toiletries organized.
I bring a chest of drawers. Now, not everybody needs to do that, but if you did have some sort
of way, a stackable way to organize your toiletries, your dirty clothes, your clean clothes, um,
because yeah, look at this. What do you got? Oh yeah. So you have a closet, a closet. You need,
that's what you need. You need something like that to keep everything organized because I promise you
in the, in the middle of the night, when you're rushing and you don't have light, you're going to
want to be able to access something pretty quickly. Headlamps, flashlights, headlamps are a great idea.
Lanterns, pardon? Lanterns like outdoor lanterns you can hang out. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you know,
illuminate your campsite. One of the early things that I got off focused on was, uh,
sandals, tacos and all that. Those were fairly became all the rage, I guess. Screw that. We're
just wear a good pair of tennis shoes that are comfortable. Cause you're going to do a lot of
walking. The shoes may be the most important thing in the world. Absolutely. Even if you want to make
a fashion statement, our buddy, Nick, uh, wanted to wear white shoes and start at white and see how
dirty they got. You got, you got to buy and spring for the, the pads and the shoes that are going to
help your feet. The arches, the arch support is going to change the way that your back hurts.
Because your back will hurt at some point. Um, those arch supports are going to be, uh, yeah,
I wouldn't bring your, uh, you know, your, what were they? $1,500 Kanye shoes either. I would get
a pair of just comfortable shoes that could very well get wet and dirty and muddy. Just go buy
Bonnaroo shoes. Go buy shoes for Bonnaroo. Uh, make sure they're very comfortable and then don't care
if they get dirty, messed up because at the end of the weekend, you're probably just going to toss
them. And if they survive, good, good for you. You got a new pair of shoes, but if they don't toss
them. Yeah, I totally agree. The one thing that I would not bring for camp, um, I don't think that
you, we talked about food, food is necessary, but it's the type of food taco mentioned that, um,
I saw somebody say that they wanted to figure out a better bathroom situation. So their idea
was to bring a bucket and the way that they were going to solve the bucket problem would be kitty
litter. It's been done. Okay. That's fine if it's been done, but you are 10 feet away from the next
campsite. I don't know if that makes me feel the best. What's going on over there. There's somebody
with a bucket on the other side of that car that the answer for them to fix whatever they're doing
is kitty litter. Look at the amount of time, the space that you're going to take up bringing cat
litter and a bucket. Yeah, terrible. I'm going to say, cause I was just looking at the Bonnaroo
cause I was just looking at the Bonnaroo website, um, before we started doing this in the past,
we laughed about bringing grills and charcoal and all that totally unnecessary. You can now do it
this year. You can do it. And I'm going to guess that's because they think it's going to be September
and it's going to be the fall. Oh, I was going to say, because they're going to be there on Tuesday
and because you're going to be there earlier. So there might be more, you know, cooking like we
opposite of what you were saying earlier, taco, but how do they do that with, look, I thought
that they didn't want us having open flames. You can bring, you can bring the little green propane
tank. Yeah. You get the little green bottle of propane or, you know, small handful of charcoal.
Yeah. So if you want to, I mean, that makes sense if you're an RVer, you know, or if you're like the
one person in group that has a ton of space, how is somebody going to do that? Just, you know,
driving up from Florida or, you know, if, if you got, you know, I got the Bonnaroo skillet,
hell, I might bring the grill and bring the Bonnaroo skillet cast iron skillet. We might
put breakfast on it more than one. What was it? We had eggs Benedict that one Sunday morning,
Brad. Remember that was great. Yeah, we did. It was one, it was one year and it was friend of the
show, Chris Cobb that made it. And he was doing it because he wanted to get back in our good graces
because he had bailed on us the year before and year before that. And guess what? He hasn't been
back since. So he was there last time. Once he, yeah, I believe that. Yeah, no, Chris, he was
there for a little bit. The only person who are like of our eight, you know, people on our banner
with the heads, it wasn't there was Dewar. Everybody else. We had seven people that year.
All right. So any other tips of camping, anything that you should not bring?
Uh, Barry, are you going to bring up the, Oh, I got one more, one more thing before you go.
The one thing you don't need to bring. And we've talked about this in passing on the
bug spray. You don't need bug spray. There's no bugs. There's no bugs.
Do bring a sunscreen and all that obviously. But yeah, bug spray, you don't need it. We've seen
three bugs in, yeah, you know, you know what I've seen more than bugs skunk, a skunk. Yeah. So we
saw a skunk run through the campsite because we were the first ones there. Um, there are no bugs.
They spray this thing so badly. I mean, they cover the thing in, you know, they don't want bugs either.
That's going to ruin your experience. Now the man years in the very first year, like that was
first five years, Barry though, we were eaten alive, eaten alive. We had, we decided to camp
right next to a open body of sitting water because the guy that we were with thought it was lake
front property. It's a sort of Jimmy Buffett song. Yeah. No, it was a big mosquito trap and we got
destroyed, absolutely destroyed that year. So, um, I, some toilet paper, bring, you know,
I'll bring a lot of toilet paper, bring lots of toilet paper. Um, I think taco's point as far as
like food is a hundred percent grazing type foods. The granola is, I, yeah, my wife, my wife thinks
I'm crazy, but I bring a, uh, animal crackers and a jar of peanut butter. I mean, at the very least
that will get you through, uh, you know, a handful here and there. Absolutely. Sugar and protein.
I know taco made fun of this earlier, but my, my favorite snack is pimento cheese sandwiches.
Barry's wife's pimento cheese is the best thing that I've ever, I've ever tasted at camp. And I
know that sounds crazy, but you know what? There's some, there's a little bit of,
I don't really mind foods. It's going to lock me up.
That's key. You, you, you know, your own body, you know, what you put in it. You know,
at this point you know my body. Yeah, we all do. Yeah. But yeah. Um, you know, eat food that,
you know, isn't going to stop you up or whatever, but, uh, it always.
We lost you. We lost you. People who were so upset. Oh yeah. Go back. We lost you. I always love the
people who still wake up at camp needing that coffee. They still got to be drinking coffee.
And who, yeah, it's too high for coffee. Who's drinking coffee? Right. First off,
because it's hot. Secondly, I know what coffee does to me. It's on a, it's on a plan. It's on,
it's on a plan. Yeah. Yeah. There's that. Um, speaking of sandwiches, uh, whatever sandwich
you like, I mean, um, the best tip I can say is you can make your sandwiches beforehand,
lightly toast the bread and then put it in a Ziploc bag, put it in the cooler.
The, the toasted of the bread will keep it from getting soggy. And then you've got like a nice,
dry, lightly toasted sandwich. And I think we lost bread.
Are you there? Oh, I locked up. Oh, you got, you got locked up. Yeah. I don't,
I didn't hear the last thing you guys said. I was just talking about toast your sandwiches.
Yeah. Um, Barry, Barry, is there, we've never brought a toaster. Uh, we've dabbled with the idea
of bringing an air conditioning unit. Um, we've, uh, dared bringing in microwave. Um, is, yeah,
that was a funny, I thought that'd be funny to hear. Yeah.
Uh, oh yeah. This is because you love your fellow campmates. Uh,
maybe not some egg salad sandwich, maybe pass on the egg salad. Yeah. Bring, uh,
bring stuff to share. You're going to want to share with your neighbor. Uh, if you make friends
with your neighbor, if there's something that's, uh, indigenous to where you live, you know, that,
uh, bring that, you know, to share with the, you know, like arrowheads or I was about to say,
am I bringing twigs and berries? You want me to bring some water? I don't know. Poutine,
you know, is a Northern thing. I'd never heard of it. If you've got something that you can bring
that is I'm sacrificing this by you water to you, you know, bring stuff to share and I present you
this Gator head. We can't stress enough that it, the marathon and not a race don't over-enlarge.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sprint. Excuse me. I mean, don't, don't hit it hard. Really maybe Saturday
night, but if you do plan on Sunday, just being a, you know, uh, a washout or whatever, maybe wait
till Sunday, but man, there's so many people get there on that first day and it's understandable
because you're excited. I mean, it's, well, it's going to be tougher this year because none of us
have been on the farm in almost two years. So you're going to want to just go crazy that first
night because you haven't been here in it forever. So, but yeah, restraint. You gotta pace yourself.
Yeah. Barry is sort of like the, um, the Godfather of our camping setup. Right. And so I can always
trust Barry to have all of the late in the knickknacks that keep things together. Like for
instance, Barry's incredible with zip ties. Zip ties are a, is like a tradable commodity.
Give me a thing that you have found over the course of your 17 years, Barry 16 years that you
find to be invaluable as a, as, as something that keeps camp together. Yeah. That's a good one.
Zip ties and bungee cords, bungee cords, a good roll of tape, you know, duct tape.
You can never have too many tarps. Tarts. Uh, I would throw tents, tent stakes in there. You can
never have enough tent stakes because invariably someone's going to need an extra tent stake and
that's a good like commodity you can trade for. And then like, you know, also if you're, if your
neighbors are next to you, you should be like, Hey, you mind if we like put our, you know, easy up
next to yours and then create like an unbroken shade, you're just like creating more shade there.
Yeah. And then you're, you're kind of becoming friends with your neighbors at the same time.
You're making an inviting space plan to share cause you're going to want to share. Yeah.
Bring stuff to share, bring stuff, you know, you're not going to need, but you know, somebody else
is going to need it. And then you might need something to trade for it. I do love this idea
of sharing amongst yourselves and asking your neighbor for something, giving your neighbor
something. Cause you know, you're going to ask them for something at some point, but I also fear
sharing too much because that neighbor may be the guy that does, I don't know, 3 a.m. karaoke.
And because he gave you a zip tie now all of a sudden he's the karaoke master and he's okay
to do that for the rest of the night. Yeah. Or you might be the guy. Yeah. You might be the guy in
the Walmart parking lot that asked for a PBR and I said, sure. Here you go, man. And he shotguns it,
throws it down. Can I get another one? Can I get another one? Like, no, these are to enjoy.
You know, our, our friend, uh, uh, Jim and, and his son drank all my bush last, the last two years
ago because they don't get it where they are. I couldn't believe it. I was happy to share,
I hope, I hope that the Burris family comes back with a loaded cooler because they, uh,
they emptied us out. They emptied us out. A lot of fun though. But, uh, um, yeah, there's,
it's interesting. You mentioned the 3 a.m. karaoke guy.
Most people are really cool and they're really respectful of their neighbors.
They are. Don't be that guy that thinks your 3 a.m. karaoke is everybody else's enjoying it.
Man, there is, there is never a year where there's not someone in every pod who thinks
that they're the next up and coming DJ. Yeah. Every pod has every pod has an up and coming DJ.
Every one of them, everybody wants to hear my music. Yeah, I get it. Don't be that guy.
I brought my turntables, guys. But guys, please don't do that. Yeah. I will say I told Nick,
who is in Middest, the, uh, the sweet, sweet transition beats that you hear here on the,
what podcast? Yeah. The guy that is part of that band, I told him to bring his stuff and create
some camp vibes. Um, but you know, that's a lot different than, um, to go, um, to go, um, to go,
get five 50 in the morning, you know? Yeah. I don't even think that's not what, what were they
playing? It wasn't even that it was, they were doing karaoke. They were doing karaoke, man.
And the part, the part that was crazy for us was that the guy was doing karaoke,
but every now and then they were obviously busy doing something else, but the songs were still
playing. So you just hear the backgrounds of friends in low places. That's what I'm, yeah,
sure. Mentals of friends in low places. Why it wasn't just that they were doing it. It was the
playlist sucked. And then, and then the end of the day, at some point they fell asleep and it was
still playing on a loop and you know, that's right. You know, dancing queen, just the, just the
beat mix of dancing queen. It was, oh, yeah, the worst, the worst, right. That's the other thing too.
You, you've got to experience, look, something's going to drive you nuts. Something's going to
make you angry. The level of patience that you have to have with your fellow Bonarovian is, is
radiating positivity. It's unlike any other festival. I know we talk about a lot of the
festivals here and you know, we're obviously going to go into how this is different than any other
festival when we talk about the other festivals, but you don't have to do any of this for the other
ones. You know, you have to, there's a level of patience that you have to have for Lollapalooza,
but you don't have to do any of this work. The reason why Bonarum is so important to us and why
we love it so much is because this work is what pays off in the amount, in the shows that you see.
Absolutely. All of this work pays off because the guys on stage, they see how much you've worked for
it. Yeah. And they give you more. That's why, that's why Bonarum shows are always better. Yep.
Absolutely. A hundred percent. Two other things. If you see somebody struggling, help them out.
Yeah, that's a good tip. And that happens a lot. You will see somebody struggling, help them out,
go get help, ask them, you know, don't just step over them and walk, walk on by like you might
at home somewhere else. And then God forgot the other one. My final camping tip, and if I've
missed any, I apologize, but my final camping tip, and this goes for anyone who is single,
anyone who is single at Bonarum, don't do it. Just don't do it. Yeah. Bad idea. Don't, don't,
don't have the sex. I know what it was. I already did it. I know you. We won't know what my other,
my other tip was. There's a reason why I say that there's a reason. I thought it was obvious.
Okay. That's a good point. Uh, next. No, go ahead. No, I mean, it is obvious. It is very obvious.
Just don't do it. Um, the other thing is orient yourself because the whole place is going to look
completely different at two in the afternoon than it will at two in the morning. Uh, figure out,
they do a good job of marking the camps, uh, the much better than before. Yes. It has been a very
good one. Yeah. I mean, I think it's a good one. I think it's a good one. I think it's a good one.
Yes. It has been a very good work in progress. Even, even then, especially if you've been
partying and partying and hitting it pretty hard. I mean, I had a guy trying to get into my tent
last year. He obviously didn't know where he was and was confused. Uh, or maybe he did. Maybe it
was me trying to get in. So that was, that was when Russ had sex. It was funny because he was
a pair of shoes outside of my tent. Um, yeah, you weren't confused at all. Um, but that happens a
lot. We, you know, our, our camp, uh, because we do the, the mailbox and the picket fence and all
that, we have people every year, you know, say, thank you. That's, that's our marker. That's where
we know when to turn left or turn right and that sort of thing. That's right. A landmark. If you can
set up something unique at camp, that's a landmark. I mean, you're not only helping yourself,
you're helping your neighbors because they're going to see that and be like, Oh yeah, I turn
here or I'm just down here. Brad and I've talked about it. It doesn't seem nearly as big a place
to us because we've done it and we've been all over it for so many years, but it's a big place.
And there are a lot of twists and turns with the camps and even in center.
That, excuse me, that, um, I mean, that's a good segue into part three, which is shows and
experiences and how to navigate the farm. That is Bonnaroo. It's Bonnaroo first timers checklist
on the What Podcast. So when it comes to shows and
experiences, Barry rule number one, I love yours, which is a point yourself, figure out the markers,
take a stroll when you get there just around and notice, you know, where things are, how you get
in, how you get out. There's only two real ways to get in from GA. Uh, you get the VIP entrance,
of course, but you've got two main entry points for GA. Uh, the GA line is long, you know,
to the check-in, the, the security check-in is, is a long line, bear with it. And then once you get
in, get in early enough to just sort of walk the grounds and experience it. And my first, I promise
you, this will come back to you in every possible way. Walk in early on Thursday, as early as you
can, and just take in how pretty the whole thing is taken, how beautiful the grass is taken, how,
how pristine the space looks, and then do that Sunday and see how far you've come. Yeah. Um,
because that Thursday, no matter what you do, if you, if you've been to Bonnaroo 10 times or one
time, please experience Thursday. Cause Thursday's my favorite day in, of the entire year. It's my
Christmas because it just feels right. And I don't like feel I've done it before. I don't like feeling
that feeling on Friday because that first day just lets my whole body and energy shift and the, the
feelings all come back. I don't want to do that when I'm rushing to a show on a Friday afternoon.
Right. That's a good point. And we haven't mentioned it yet and it will be game-changing.
It's probably the biggest thing they've instituted since the beginning that I can think of, and that's
jam track. Um, in the past, that's the, uh, transportation, free transportation in the past,
a lot of people, especially in then camps that were way out, it was a 45 minute walk. So if you forgot
your wallet or your phone or, or you just needed to eat lunch, it was a pretty big decision whether
you left. So maybe this is going to change some of that. Um, but orient yourself, have fun on that
Thursday, relax, take all that in, get, get this, get the, you know, the lay of the land, so to speak.
And then you can enjoy the rest of the weekend and see the bands you want to see.
It's just too much of a, it's too much of an explosion to the senses to walk in on Friday and
expect you to just like, Oh yeah, I'm good. Yeah, it's too much. If you can do that more power to
you. I go, there's no chance that I could do that. I agree. When, if you find yourself way out there
in what, you know, is affectionately known as the back 40, if you're way out there,
you know, it's going to be, it's going to be tough. You need to probably start strategizing your day
a lot more, uh, diligently than you normally would if you were in a pod really close to the
entrance. You know, like Barry said, even though jam tracks is going to make things a lot easier,
so you have to wait for jam tracks. You still have to pay for jam tracks. They're going to have to,
it's free. Oh, is it free? Yeah, it's free. Oh, that's awesome. So game change. That is really,
that is a game changer. You don't have to wait for it, but all that being said, it's still a hall.
It's still a, uh, don't think, and Barry says this so often, don't think that you have to do everything.
You're not going to see every show. You're going to have 15 artists on a Friday or Saturday that
you want to see. I promise you, you're not going to see probably half of them. Yep. You don't need to
because it brings me to my biggest point about the experience overall. Find the one or two a day that
you absolutely don't want to miss, but don't make a schedule. I know it feels like you should because
there's so much that you want to go to. Just trust it. Trust the farm, trust the process.
Don't go too crazy trying to make a schedule for your day. No, I disagree. Totally. Uh, wow. Well,
only in this, in this regard, as soon as the lineup comes out, start making your schedule
because it's fun. It's fun to do that. But what I, what I would agree with you on is when you get
there, you're going to throw that schedule away. Sure. Yeah. That's what I mean. That goes back to
your point of letting yourself go. And I think that's really the key. Once you get there, your
camp is set up. You need to just learn to let Bonnaroo happen and have a great time. You're going
to, you're going to find yourself because of the friends that you make, because of where you are,
because you don't want to walk across the entire, you're going to find yourself at a show that you
never expected to be at. I mean, you might all of a sudden find yourself at a Megan, the salient show,
and you really wanted to see John prime, you know, the, those things are going to happen and don't
try and beat yourself up to, to, to make all the shows they want. Just go with the whole energy and
the flow of things and have a, have a working ideas to where you want to be most of the day.
But the rest of it, just let it come. Right. How many times have we, in our group, somebody has a,
this is my number one all time. Don't miss it. There's no way I'm missing that. And then they do
for whatever reason, because I'll just hang at camp. Yep. It's either too hot. I'll have, I'm
having a good time or the show that I'm at is great or it's too far to walk. Or we have a
reason we have a saying at camp nut butter. So what'd you do today? I just hung out at camp.
Yeah. Because camp ends up being more fun than the effort that it's going to take at three o'clock
when the sun is so bad, it's 102 heat index. I really, really, really want to see the shins.
You know what? I'll just, yeah. Can they come to camp? Yeah. It is, it is a hard, it's a hard thing
to swallow, but you know, you, you just can't get too lost in the weeds and worrying about
your schedule and, and seeing all the shows that you want to see. And we don't even know, Brad, how
all of the new things they've created for the, for camping, general camping, all of the experiences.
You may not even leave. You may never leave your camp. We have no idea what that's,
how that's going to impact things. You and I have never, I haven't ever been to the, the,
is it the tent Christmas? Is they, do they call it a tent? Snake and Jake's.
Oh, snake and jakes. Yeah. New Orleans. I've never been to the, um, I've been the robe.
Uh, honestly, you know, there is, there's a rage thing. You know, you heard, you heard the foo fighters
came out and said that they're doing a disco album. I don't anticipate them playing any of this
DG's, uh, disco album on the farm, but what if, what if they just happen to find themselves at a
super jam or find themselves just happened to be somewhere else playing a couple of things under a,
under the DG's name, they do that. You know, they did a, they do a, uh, a only vaccinated show in
LA for what, 200 people a couple of weeks last week. That's not, I'm not, I'm not saying they're
going to, but it would not be surprising if they did a surprise pop-up show and insert pod here
as the DG's. Yeah. Yeah. That's what I mean. I don't know how that impacts everything. You,
I could honestly see somebody not leaving their camp or their area, uh, or, or going into center
room. Yeah. His name is Denson. Didn't AC say they, they have the data and they say like, you know,
13 to 20% of people there just never leave camp. They never go into center room. Makes, yeah. I,
I don't remember that, but I don't, it's a significant percent. Yeah. I don't doubt it.
Well, we have 10 people in our camp and one person did never leave his for the entire time. So that's
about right. Yeah. The, what about, um, the one person that doesn't leave camp at our place,
his name's Brian stone. He does do something that is nice. He oftentimes forgets to do it,
but he does do something like he's got a, um, he takes the schedule, he prints it out on a grid
and then he laminates it. Right. And then puts it on a, on a ring and it sort of hangs there on,
on the, uh, on the tent. And he makes like three or four of these. Brilliant. Yeah. I tell him a
lot. He stumbles out of stupid sometimes. And he did when he came up with the laminated schedule,
where you can just pass it around to, to anybody and everybody. I love that. Absolutely. That's
what I meant by, you know, when the lineup comes out, do that. Cause it's fun. You know, the
schedule comes out, pour over it and make my list. And here's what I'm going to do. And you know,
I've said it before and Ashley caps told us he does the same thing. And then as he said,
like all of us, once he gets there, it never happens. He may have the right to,
but it never, you can't do it. Um, but he does it. He does it. He does it. He does it.
Um, so don't try, have a plan, you know, but go with it and then beat yourself up. If, uh,
if you miss something, cause you're going to miss something. Um, as far as, uh, when you get into
center room. Uh, so if you've never been there are, the stages can be very confusing. Um,
identify the, what the, which this tent, that tent, and the other stage and understand why they're
called that, where they are in the map, et cetera. So that, you know, when you're actually having a
conversation with somebody, you don't get and find yourself in the wrong place. Also cell signals,
very spotty. So if you want to meet somebody, if you want to make something happen, you better do
it at a very specific time and in a very specific space. So find a home base. You're going to be in
center room for a while. Find a home base if you have to, because cell signal is going to be
difficult. Now, um, there have been years past where it has been okay, but you know, in the heat
of it on Friday and Saturday night, when the place is packed and there's 90,000, a hundred thousand
people there, it's a sold out show. You're not going to be able to get anything through. So
find a home base just in case you, um, you lose everybody. Worst case scenario, you just go back
to camp. I mean, at the end of the day, you just go back to camp, but it's going to be hard to
navigate without a cell signal. You don't need walkie talkies. You don't need walkie talkies,
but you do need, you do need a totem. And I would suggest being very creative in your totem
because you could be the totem guy. And then I looked at that thing. I love, I know you are,
but I love totem guys. Who doesn't love seeing a really creative, well done totem. Oh yeah. It's
great. It's the one thing that differentiates Bonnaroo from all these other festivals who do
not allow you to bring any of that shit in. I love it. And we've said this before on the,
on the show, but not today, maybe, um, if you're in a group and even if you're with say a significant
other, you're both, and you're going to have a better time if you don't tie yourself to another
person. You know what I mean? If Brad wants to go see whatever and I don't, I'm not, neither of you
need to get your feelings hurt. You need to be able to be fluid, have your own fluid, have your own,
have your own time. And, and for the most part, the people we've talked to, see, it seems to work
that way, but I could just imagine being, you know, with a significant other or in a group that felt
like everybody had to go to the same place and you know, that doesn't work. I'll go one step better.
It's not, if, if this significant other that you're with is not somebody that you are majorly life
invested in, don't bring them. Yeah, no, no, this is not a, this is not a halfway. This is not a
dating event. Yeah, this is not a dating activity. Let me write that down. Wait. Yeah. Don't bring
them. Did, did Russ try this one year and how did it work out? Uh, actually the first year it worked
out pretty well. That was the year I did the thing you said not to do. I know, but, but you also spent
all night waiting for the person to get there. Right. And then they got there very, very late.
So you wasted your entire evening waiting on that person. You didn't go to any shows that night.
And then when you did get there, you stayed up all the whole night. Yeah. And so you slept in the next
day. Well, the second day worked or the second year it worked out because I said, oh yeah, give me a
call when you get in, I'll come out and help you set up. And then I proceeded to get drunk off my
ass passed out. Mr. Phone calls woke up. Oh yeah. That's cool. That's how you do it. My man. That's
how you do it. Maybe I just, I just, there's just very few times where, unless you are totally
invested in the person that, um, it's going to work out. Uh, maybe I'm a pessimist here. It's,
I just don't find it to be the best place to sort of like figure out a dating opportunity. It just
too much work, too much work. You're there to do something else. Well, I mean, I guess the point
in all that, and you said it earlier is this is a commitment. It is a, a full on commitment. Uh,
I don't recommend anybody go there who thinks they just might want to try it out and see if they like
it kind of thing. Right. You cannot dip a toe in the Bonnaroo pool. You're not dipping a toe. And
I wouldn't bring somebody with you who's like that. Who's like that. That's right. Thinking,
thinking you're going to, you know, they might like it, but if they don't, then people are
miserable. If you have, if you have somebody even on the fence about it, don't try and convince them.
Yeah. Don't cause then you're both, you're both miserable. Yeah. Cause then you're just trying to,
your whole weekend is going to be about them. The other things about the experiences bathrooms are
a lot better than you think. Showers are a lot better than you think. Um, the bathroom situation
is not really a problem anymore. The, the, there are very few times where, um, I've had to wait
in a tremendously long line to a clean bathroom. Um, I feel like the, the thing that separates
Bonnaroo now is man, once they figured out the running water situation, it changed everything,
changed everything. Those bathrooms are tremendous. The shower complexes are nice.
And I'm going to say this, and I don't mean to come across as anything, but genuine here,
the shower situation and the bathroom situation in general admission in the regular camp area
is better than ours. It's better than backstage. Uh, and it pains me to say that, uh, but it is
so much better than ours. Now ours is good. It's really nice out there. It's really, really nice.
It's not something they put a lot of effort, a lot of work into the, the general camping area.
I mean, and I'm somebody who is a massive Devo when it comes to my bathroom and personal time,
uh, and my cleanliness. Yeah. You have nothing to worry about out there. You have nothing to
worry about. It's a lot of fun. It's a great time. If you, if you love music, uh, it's, I've always,
I've always, uh, described it as a little bit of heaven inside of hell and the hell part gets
better and better every year as they, as the things you're talking about. I mean, heaven,
hell's pretty fun. Um, it can be, it can be that. Yeah, I'm looking forward. I can't wait.
Did we miss anything in the experiences and shows aspect? Uh, anything that we should, uh,
circle back on in the shows and experience section of Bonnaroo first time checklist. I can't think
of any. Oh, I don't think so. I like, I like this idea. I know it sounds crazy and it doesn't yield
a lot of results. We gave everybody a couple of years ago, a portable camera, a disposable camera
didn't really work out the way that I wanted it. You, I only got probably three or four pictures
that I really liked. Um, but don't miss those kinds of little touches. Um, we had a girl show up,
she had a, she had a, uh, Polaroid, one of those Polaroid cameras, huge and massive to carry around,
but around camp, I'm telling you, there's a picture of me and the camp group that's on a tiny little
Polaroid that I keep at my desk. And I look at every single day of my life. I love that picture
and it's not something that I would see if it was just on my phone every day. Yeah. There are,
there are clever little fun ways to make this thing unique for you. Uh, don't pass those up.
There's one of mine. Yeah. Yeah. There he is. See exactly. That's exactly what I'm talking about.
You're going to find, um, for the first timers that it becomes a year round thing,
which is strange to say, but that's why we're doing this podcast. We talk about it. Well,
because of the podcast, but even before the podcast, we talked about it every week
and we're not alone. And that's what you're going to find. You'll, you'll find friends that, uh,
you know, you'll communicate with all the time. It's a, it's an unusual.
Experience. Somebody asked me about pit access, trying to get into the, uh, the pit. Well, the pit
is, uh, up until a few years ago, the witch stage did not have one. Uh, now it does. Uh, and there's
one on the what stage there is a place between the pit and the regular crowd. And that's for what
used to be roll like a rock star. And I don't know if they're doing that anymore. So, so that's one
thing VIPs don't get in there, but the pit access is a European pit, whereas you have to line up
all day and they let in the people who are lined up for specific shows. Like for instance, if you
want to line up for Tame Impala, you know, you'll sit there for two, three hours beforehand, uh,
in a separate line than the people who wanted to see the Foo Fighters, for instance. Um, so
just familiarize yourself with sort of the layout of the place. And if you really find a show that
you really want to sit around and, and, and wait for pit access, you can do that. You're going to
be sitting there for about two hours. Um, but there's also opportunities if, if you want to just walk
into the pit. I mean, granted, you know, there's, we get in there a different way, but Brandi Carlisle,
we just walked in the regular way and just walked in right up front, right up front.
Those, those opportunities happen. Um, some people don't want to, I like it. That's where I prefer
to stand because I think the sound is, it's just perfect. That's the other thing that you, you,
nobody talks about enough. The sound at the what stage is the greatest sound sister I've ever heard
in my life. I have never been to a show or a festival where the sound is better than the what
stage for years, the which stage lagged terribly. It was such a bad audio experience. It's gotten a
lot better. Um, it's not the what stage, I don't know what it is, but that what stage is the best
sounding stage I've ever heard in my professional life. The tents can be iffy. Uh, I, I'm not the
biggest fan of seeing a show at a tent unless I'm in a pretty specific area. Um, and on the big tent
shows, if I'm there too late, I'm just walking by. Yeah, it's tough. Speaking of the walking by,
that was something I don't think we mentioned specifically, but kind of, uh, make a point to
go see somebody you've never heard of. Um, on whatever this, the T tiny stages, whatever,
cause those guys in a year or two are going to be on the big stage. That's right. Hey,
our friends, unlikely candidates, friends of the show, unlikely candidates. They're playing on
Thursday night. Yeah. How many acts of, you know, you and I seen on those small stages that are now
huge or that we missed one is named the black keys. Lizzo. We missed nobody saw, right? Nobody saw
nobody saw the there. I can't stress everybody. I had to start somewhere. It sounds trite, but
go see, make a point to see X go see Bristain Moroni, go see Bristain. He's terrific. And,
and Brad, you, you know, um, you said it earlier, kind of quickly trust, you know, the guys who
book this thing know what they're doing. Uh, you, you may see somebody that you don't care for,
and that's fine. At least you tried, but their chances are going to be really good that they're
good at what it is they do may not be your, you know, your taste. Uh,
another difference. That is another big difference between all the other festivals.
It's I'm not casting. I'm not trying to say dog other festivals, but they just don't put as much
care and precise technique into the lineup and the schedule. Like the Bonnaroo guys do.
Yeah. I, that to me from the musical point of view, and you know, I've done this so long,
a long, long time, I guess the discovery part of it is the fun part for me anymore. The camping,
all that is, but musically, if I leave there and I've discovered and have a new favorite or two or
three, that's a great festival. I mean, your, your crown jewel for your life is war and treaty,
war and treaty. Absolutely. And Bahamas, uh, never heard of either my morning jacket. I didn't know
who they were until I saw them. Now they were bigger. They weren't on a tiny one, but I had not
heard of them. Love them. Absolutely love them. So, all right. Well, there you go. That's, uh,
that's the best we can do first timers checklist. I think that, um, a big time MVP award for today
is going to Lord taco. Uh, big, big day. Great show today. Russ, very good show today. A lot out of
time. Good job. Hey, a day where a Russ shined. I wish that I had a trophy for you, buddy. I wish
they had some sort of, you hear that Troy. Yeah. I was going to send this one to Troy.
Well, what podcast thanks for joining us. That's Barry. That's Lord taco. I'm Brad.
Thanks for joining us.