What happens when you randomly decide to don a Viking hat with horns and a giant clock around your neck while attending Bonnaroo? People want to hang out with you of course. Pondo joins Barry and Lord Taco on The What Podcast to explain the origins of Pondo's Army.
Listen to the episode now, or watch the full interview over at Consequence. Then make sure to review, like, and subscribe to The What at the links above or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our programs, and grab the "Radiate Positivity" T-shirt at the Consequence Shop.
|12:45||Pondo explains to Barry and Lord Taco how Bonnaroo is different than other musical events.|
|33:58||What are some of the best lesons learned over 12 visits to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival? Pondo shares his lessons with Barry and Lord Taco. Hint: Take care of yourself and your neighbors.|
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the What Podcast. I'm Barry. There in the middle in the Pabst blue ribbon hat as always is Lord Taco. He's an actual Lord. We've explained that many times. And this week you'll notice that Brad is not with us as we explained last week. Brad and Hillary are moving from moving from New Orleans to New York. He's taking a job up there. Obviously we wish him well. I know they got there safely. Glad to hear that. And he'll be back as soon as he can. But with us is a special guest who you guys, most of you guys will probably no doubt recognize the name. Pondo, we're going to talk. He's a veteran as we are. We're going to talk about his experience at Bonnaroo and how excited he is to be back on the farm and what he's looking forward to. Just get another another take from it. So Pondo, thanks again for doing this. No problem. I was hitchhiking and you know, I know Brad's not here this week. I was hitchhiking and this guy on a PBR hat was driving by saying he wanted the people to talk to and he couldn't find anybody. And I said, well, I'll do it. And he said, no, we're not taking you. And then I slipped him a 20 and hey, here I am. Wow, that's amazing. It works. That's 20 bucks. It's 20 bucks. That's right. That's the level of screening. That's right. Yeah. It's been a while since we've been on the farm. I think the one thing I think that stands out for everybody, at least from my point of view, is the fact that we're actually getting a chance to go back to something that we enjoy and that we love and we cherish. For people who have gone multiple times, this has become like an event, a rite of passage each year. Going to Bonnaroo is like a family reunion or like meeting loved ones that you haven't seen in a long time. It's so powerful and so just energizing. It's like my body permanently knows when June is. It's like my brain will sit there and say, okay, it's March, it's April. Once May comes around, the brain starts working a little bit. And then June comes, if I hear the word Manchester United on TV, I'm not thinking soccer. Drop the United. I'm thinking Bonnaroo, the farm, and we're heading there. So are you guys super excited about being back? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I'm glad you set it up that way because that's kind of, I think I said on the last show that I have developed sort of a rhythm throughout the year. Like you said, when you hit May, for us it starts, or for me, it starts in January with the lineup release. Because of this podcast, even before we started doing the podcast, I think we were talking about it year round. And in fact, that's why we started the podcast because I think Brad and I said, you know, this is nuts. We're talking about an event that happens four days, you know, then out of the year in June. And we're talking about it. And if we are others probably are as well. So that's why we started this, but there definitely had become a rhythm, you know, January, you start looking at that lineup, you spend the next several weeks talking about it. You hit May or even a little earlier and you start thinking, I need to get all my equipment out. I need to make sure the rats haven't eaten holes in it. And I know where it is. Yeah. And that I didn't leave the batteries in anything. Start buying supplies. You know, what am I going to take this year that I didn't have last year? I mean, all those things start playing in and not having that. What we did last year, we very much did. Everyone was packed up and ready, but it still kind of kind of left a little hole maybe. What what's the last two years been like for you? Well, let's go back first real quick. When did you start going? How many years have you been going? I have been going nonstop since 2008. The story and it kind of goes with the Viking horns on the clock. I didn't I didn't notice. Really? I'll tell you something. This is the secret. Girls love a nice big clock. Make sure you had an L in there. You get sexual. Especially at work. I know two jobs. Anyways, 2008 was first year that I went and me and a good friend of mine went and with some other people and we had gone to Woodstock 99 and he dressed up as a psychedelic cowboy and he got on the DVD. So we're going to go to Baderu and he goes, it's your turn. And that's that time flavor. Flav was a rapper real popular and he wore Viking horns and guess what else? So I went and I established kind of the alter ego of Pondo and I said, you know, it'd be really great if we started something called the Pondo Army and originally it was more of a rib or a gag or something. And then I noticed like people online, I was on a website called Infra where we're going, you're going to wear the outfit again next year, right? And I'm like, Oh God, I had never even thought about it. And then I said, well, if we're going to do that, let's develop this Pondo Army into something. And what the Pondo Army States is, is that let's say for example, Barry likes heavy metal and we know Lord Taco loves a Sam fear and his pamploo. And let's say I listened to Britney Spears. He's a master. I agree. We may not like each other's music, but we'll respect it. I'm never going to dog you for what you listen to because to me, if we can all get along musically, just imagine how much we could accomplish in this world. Things are always going to be different. You're always going to have different opinion, but we want to respect it and embrace each other and we'll all do it collectively together. And if you can do that and if we could get some of these important people to do it, man, this place would be a much better place. And that's how the whole thing started. And I passed out Pondo Army membership cards every year. So if you see me come up to me and say, I want my card. I'll give you my card. But for the past two years, I haven't been able to pass them out. So every year since 2009, didn't do it the first year, but ever since I've been passing out those cards and some people treat it like a, where's Waldo? They'll be like, man, I look for you all weekend because you know, it's 700 acres. So there's a lot of things and I'm like, it boggles my mind because I'm thinking why in the hell would anybody spend four days looking for me? I wouldn't, I mean, I don't own mirrors in my house for a reason because I look like this guy. All right. So I started in 07. I went to the first one for the first day and then I've been going ever since, since 07 the clock. When you, when you mentioned Flava Flav, now I got to tell it. So the day after their performance in the media tent, Janine Garofalo, who was one of the comics there, uh, was doing the media event. And she said, did you guys hear what Flava Flav said? Like, I mean, what a comic, the insult dog said last night in the comedy tent. And we're like, no, I mean, some people had, but you know who insult the comedy. Right, right, right. Try it. Yeah, try it. Yeah. Try, excuse me. The insult. Yeah. I knew I had that somewhere convoluted, but he said, you know, why he wears that clock so that he can tell how far back he set the civil rights movement. That's all anybody was talking about that whole next day. It's so funny. You know, I'm not at all surprised by your story. I mean, I am because it's hard for people who've never been to Bonnaroo to understand why that's not so surprising. The fact that, you know, you created something and people are into it. There's something about that event that brings people together. You said if we can come together by music, every time I leave there, I say to everybody, why can't we be like this year round? Yes. You know, yes. Or take it home with you. We did. Just and why? I mean, everything from, you know, if, if you, if you see a piece of trash, pick it up and throw it away. Don't just add to it. I mean, certainly don't just step over it. Pick it up. Yeah, it's simple. And if everybody does it, you know, the place is pretty clean and treat people kindly. You know, I've told the story many, many, my first time going up there, standing in line and it's, as you said, you know, at that time it was closer to 90,000 people. It was 80,000 when it sold out. And so you, you know, you think it's crowded. People, it's hot. People are going to be short tempered, but I mean, I can remember standing in line and people would say, Oh, I forgot something. And they'd leave and come back and everybody like, go ahead, man, get back. You never see that anywhere else. And you're like, Whoa. Yeah. I mean, that was stunning. And then, you know, I thought I'd go by the lost and found just to see what was lost and what was found. And some guy was there getting his wallet. He'd lost it the night before in center in the, in the main stage area, you know, crowded is and somebody had turned it in. He was like, everything's in it. All my money's still. Wow. Somebody found it, made the trip, you know, to turn it in. And the guy was like, only at Bonnaroo, you know, those kinds of things stuck out to me and have stood with me. I've only seen, I was able to say, I've never seen a crossword until the last one. And there were two volunteers. They were a husband and wife and they'd probably been at about an hour, 11 and a half of their 12 hour shift. And he was not having it. He started yelling at her about, go get me a Coke or water or something. That's the only, only crossword I've ever, ever seen or heard. That's just, you know, treat people the way you want to be treated. It's the code, right? Right. It's funny that you bring up lost and found because one year I went by and Lord taco was there and lost and found and nobody was playing on. Nobody wanted to pick him up. Everyone said he's always been lost. So, you know, I don't know. I don't know what happened with that. They had him in that cardboard box in the kind of where we picked him. I think Brad, yeah, no, no one else wanted to admit to knowing me. So well, and Brad waited till Monday morning because he knew he could get him cheap. That is one of my favorite things too. On Monday morning, when you're leaving, look at everybody because if you want to see what an extra on the walking dead looks like, that is it. Because everybody's like, well, they look like I look now. So I mean, that's really not no stretch for me. Yeah. Monday morning or Sunday morning. Cause Sunday I'm an early riser. I get up and it always amazes me. Those people who go all night long on Saturday and when the sun's coming up, I'm getting up going to get coffee and they're going to their tent. Yeah. And I'm thinking you're not going to sleep long. It's sun's up. You know, that's it. Yeah. That'd to be miserable. How many people do you go with? First of all, where do you come from? Okay. I come from a little town called Henderson, Kentucky. We're near Evansville, Indiana and Henderson, Kentucky is actually famous for absolutely nothing. So it works out pretty well that I get, it's about a three and a half hour drive. I've gone with as many as six, but now we have four that, uh, we, that all together now, um, one of my best friends, Dave, he goes with me and, and the ages are crazy because I just turned 48. My birthday was Saturday. Uh, then my best friend, he's 47. He goes and, uh, then we got a woman who's 63, maybe 64. If I get her age wrong, if I get Cindy's age wrong, she'll come back and kill me. So I'll just say she's 49. And then we have her grandson who's 19, Braden. He goes, and then I really special friend of mine whose nickname is sweetness. I'm going to try to get her to go next year. Um, it's weird because you brought up something. I try to explain and sell people on Bonnaroo and until you go, you can't do it. It's like the grand Canyon. You try to explain the great Canyon. It's big. It's a lot of rocks. You can't explain it forever, but until you go and actually see it, you know nothing about the grand Canyon and Bonnaroo is such a unique experience for everybody. And the one thing that I love is both. You guys could go see totally different sets than me. You could get up early. I like, I could be one of those struggles coming back. We could have totally different experiences and still absolutely love every second of it. And I try to share those experiences and I try to explain to people that Bonnaroo is something you have to experience watching it on TV, watching it online. It's great. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not being there. And that's one thing I can say that separates this festival from so many others. Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I'll ask Ross while he's sitting there cause this will be what four for you. 18 will be 18 was my first one. I went to 18 and 19 and then I went to exit 111, which I get, doesn't really count, but that's the last time I was on the farm. Right. And, and, and, uh, taco is a little bit of an outlier because he loves to camp. In fact, he's in, in the bus and that's what he camps in that he does that on the regular. Um, I camp once a year and it's at Bonnaroo. Yeah. And prior to Oh seven, that's the reason I didn't go in two through six is the idea of sleeping on the, you know, on a, in a field in Manchester, Tennessee, especially, you know, at that time, to be honest, you know, mostly jam bands and also, you know, I was late and later in life with children and, uh, you know, it just was not in nowhere on my radar. Um, I knew from that first visit how cool it was, right. And how different it was, but the camping part of it. And I say that because that's usually what you get when you mention it to anybody who's never been. Yeah. And that's, that's what sold me on it. Yeah. Well that sold you and that turns a lot of people, I mean, I can't tell you how many times I've said, I go to Bonnaroo every year and people look at me and they say, you camp? When you sleep in a tent, you know, surely you get a hotel room. I'm like, no, I don't. In fact, I don't know about you, Ponda. You may not have had, have the opportunity, but like Brad leaves the site every day, I don't want to ever leave when I'm there. I, it breaks some sort of magic spell or something. And one of my best friends said something and it goes, I paused with first off of leaving and secondly, we're going to camp. Every time you go to camp or you leave, you risk missing something. In 2008, the coral reefers were playing in center room and we are sitting at camp and everybody's kind of tired. Nobody wants to go in and everything. I said, Oh, let's wait and go in. We go in and we missed some guy that played with them. Some guy named Jimmy last name Buffett. Yeah. By us being lazy and not wanting to go in, we miss Jimmy Buffett. And I mean, that's a once in a lifetime experience for me, you know, and like I tell everybody when you're at, if you leave and you go to the hotel or, and you do a lot of media, a lot of my friends that, that take foot, do the photography thing will go to the hotel and I'll say, you risk missing something. Well, it's three o'clock in the morning. I said at Bionaru, you risk missing something at three o'clock in the morning. So it's just, you know, well, in my case, it's not just a show that I might miss or a star. I might miss a great time at camp. I mean, Brad and I were laughing this past weekend, not during the show. We met downtown for a couple of beers with another campmate and we just laughed about, you know, the stories that we picking on each other at midnight, you know, or later. That's, that's the part that I can't, I can't explain to people who, you know, when I say I go to Bionaru, they say, you sleep in a tent? Yeah. Well, as we've said on here many, many times, we bring our own carpet. We have a ginormous tent. We have a bloody Mary tent. Nice. You know, we do it upright. We have a picket fence. It's nice. It's not like we're sleeping in mud, which I think for some reason that's the image. They don't understand the 24 hour. This becomes a community. You bond with your neighbors. You'll end up talking to them and maybe they know somebody that you should see that you've never thought about. Oh, absolutely. There was one year that we went. I don't remember if there was a, um, there was a group that was playing. I don't remember who it was. And they're like, have you seen them before? And I said, no, you should really check them out. We went and they were like one of the top three acts we saw the whole weekend. And it's such an, it's such an amazing feeling because then you're like, oh wow, I didn't know about them. And I found out about them. And I think especially for people like me that are older, I think another drawback now is a lot of people say, well, I don't know people on the lineup or I don't know as much of the lot because it's younger. Explore a little bit. Take, take, take one day out of your schedule and just go through Spotify or do something like that and explore. And I said, you might find that you're going to find five acts. You knew nothing about that. All of a sudden you're just dying to see. Yeah, that's again, for me, the importance of this festival in my life. And I'm not overstating that is as a, as an entertainment writer, that's I've from since about 1982, you know, I've written about music. I've reviewed shows. But quite honestly, it was all arena shows and small venue shows that I was going to. And there was a lot of sameness. It was the same show, you know, they're going to do three songs. They're going to say, hello, Chattanooga band. They're going to tell a bad joke. You know, they're going to do two encores. It's going to be 90 minutes to the minute and you're going to go home. It didn't matter if it was a rap, well, a rap show. Those were different, but a country show or a rock show or whatever that it was, you could tell management, you know, they had a lot of the same choreographers and managers, just sameness. Uh, Bonnaroo changed all that for me in that, not just me, but everybody who went suddenly just what you said, Pondo that became the game was to discover the next favorite band. You know, if you could turn one of your buddies onto it, that was double bonus, right? Right. Yeah, that's exactly right. And, uh, that's a huge part of it for all of us and the other part of it for us. And I don't know how you and your group is, but we almost never attend the same show. And we, if we do, we never go together. What we usually do is we have a young and the one that's 19, we don't know where he's going to go. He's, he's, he'll do a little bit of EDM probably more than we will. And then like, uh, usually, uh, his grandma, grandmother will go with him sometimes. And then usually me and my best friend will go to a show, but a lot of times on super jam night, that's where we get split up because super jam is so special and so unique. And this year, the 1984 aspect of it's going to be just, you know, so we, we might all go to that show, but a lot of times, um, you know, it's what's pretty amazing is. To brag on, on Cindy, who is 60 ish. Uh, I have never been in the pit for a headliner and I've gone since 2008. She's gone, I think five or six times and she's already been in the pit for two headliners and she's 60 ish. So you know, it's like, it's like, there's literally something for everybody. One thing I did want to touch on real quick is it has been two years. Um, anybody who follows me on Twitter, and if you don't, I will do a shameless plug at Pondo knows best my handle on Twitter. Uh, and I do follow both of you gentlemen and Lord taco. Good Lord. If you could understand his tweets, please, someone give me a book and, and, and decipher some of that stuff, especially at like two in the morning after I've had some liquid courage, but it doesn't matter what time of day it is. I still understand it. That's the problem. Um, just in the past year alone for me has been absolutely horrific. I know everybody's had situations, but, um, last year, uh, August 31st, my mom passed away from COVID. I was in a hospital with COVID and both of us have been vaccinated to the fullest extent at that time and, um, doctor coming there while I was in there and told me you have a 30% chance to live while I found out later that that was inflated. I wasn't supposed to make it. Uh, so then my mom passed away. And then in January I got readmitted into the hospital for dehydration and that was because I was still sick from after effects of COVID. They happened to do a CT scan and they found a mass on my left kidney. So I had cancer of the kidney and, uh, I tell everybody, I said, man, I must've had a hell of a party because I woke up next day. I'm missing a kidney. They had to take the whole kidney out. And so it, and, and there's been a bunch of other small things that have gone along with it. And so this year I'm going to appreciate Bonnaroo more than I ever have. Uh, whenever we're on that long road going in and I got goosebumps talking about it now, I will probably start crying. And the moment we parked that car and get out and I see that grass and I feel the sun on me and I see the Ferris wheel and I see everything and everybody going every which way and people laughing and you can probably already smell the porta potties that are outside of center room. That moment is probably going to be one of the best moments of Bonnaroo ever. And I'm actually probably expecting to break down and cry for awhile. I'll probably be no good for about 10 or 15 minutes and then I'll get back in Pondo mode and I'll be ready to go. But I have missed that place so much. It has become a fabric of my life and you know, you talked about four days earlier, you know, four days out of the year you go and do this. Most of the year I don't wear this. Most of the year I work at a auto parts factory. Well except recently since I lost my kidney I haven't been there because I've been out for F and L.A. but you don't know how many people do not know me as Brian. They know me as Pondo. They will see me out places. I will go to Nashville or whatever. Hey Pondo! I'm like wow and they recognize me without the ridiculous get up. And it's amazing that this is a place where you can go, let your hair down. Well taco doesn't have much hair so we'll let that go. I just got a haircut. And be whatever you want to be for a few days. Let go of everything at home. Plug out and just go and have the best amazing time. And think about how many people you've met at this festival. Well not just. But at the events that we've had, taco's stories of running into people like you just said out and they recognize his voice or the hat or something. Brad ran into a listener two weeks in, two weekends ago down in New Orleans. Yeah it happens. But beyond that is people like you, obviously the guys at Ruham and Charlotte and Daniel with the Ruh bus, I mean we speak fairly regularly. You know? Yeah almost daily. Become friends with all of these people and keep up through Reddit or emails or texts or whatever. It goes beyond a website or whatever. It's personal. These are people who care about. Right? Yeah we understand. We don't get into it too much but it has been a tough year for all of us as well. And this event, this weekend, in fact I started writing a column for one of the magazines we do trying to talk about this. And typically when I get the first sentence I'm essentially done. I've written three of them already. I've completely restarted twice which is very rare for me because it just, when I get down to a certain point I'm like I haven't said anything that I wanted to say yet. You know what I mean? Because it has to be a certain length. So it's remarkable to me that five years in and in year three of an event that hasn't happened we still are talking about it. Correct. But again as I said earlier I'm not surprised. It is when, it's surprising when you say it out loud like that. But to you and Taco and Brad and everybody else it's not at all surprising because I mean how many times have you listened to our podcast or someone else's and had somebody call in and say all my friends are so tired of me talking about Bonnaroo all year long. It's like I was trying to tell, explain what your podcast was about one day and I was telling some friends I said you got to listen to the What Podcast and they're like the what? I said precisely and they said is this Abbott and Costello? I said no it's the What Podcast. It took a few go arounds but I said trust me if you listen you will gather so much information and you might wear a PBR hat in the future. We are well aware it's a stupid name but it made perfect sense when we conceived it. Right, right yes. As you know the what, you know the way they name the stages the what, which, this, that and the other and when we reached out to Bonnaroo and said hey we think we want to start this podcast they said we're thrilled. Please do but you can't use Bonnaroo in your URL or you can't use any of our graphics so you know and of course we're thinking it'll be what three months at best. Yeah we thought one season and we'll be done. Yeah so you know see you and anyway it works and taco's done as I said last couple shows done a terrific job with our website which by the way I wanted to mention we got a lot of emails from people who said hey I'd love to have some of the stuff from your basement and I'm 100% serious you know but buy a t-shirt or something just so we can kind of cover the costs and I've started a pile and yeah I'm glad to get. Shameless plug, shameless plug. Shameless plug the whole point for me is to empty this basement out of stuff but that was a lot of fun and it was fun getting emails from people. So what are you I mean you said really and happy birthday and I'm glad you're better absolutely I mean I was kind of following that I wasn't gonna bring it up publicly unless you wanted to. Well this is my best birthday present right here. Yeah. Come on the podcast I mean that's what I think. Happy birthday. Thank you. Yeah glad we could do it. Thank you. I wanted to go back and ask I'm intrigued by the grandmother and grandson going I've been with both of my kids and I remember the first year my son was he would have graduated high school and I was like bad news man dad's gonna be there too and he's like I don't care you know I thought you know I'd be harsh in his mellow kind of thing but. Yeah I was just trying to imagine I was just trying to imagine me at Bonnaroo with my grandmother like I just. I know right. First off first off I definitely want to let you guys know this Cindy is not your typical grandma she is. Had to be the case. She's like I said she's been in the pit twice she's a mate amazing woman she is a breast cancer survivor and she goes out and she parties just as hard as anybody else there and Braden is 19 got a good got a good head on his shoulders and introduced her like the soon as soon as the lineup comes out he'll be like okay we're gonna go see this this and this and she'll play something he'll play something for her and you're like she's like no no no you're gonna go see that I'm not gonna but then she'll hear something like I think this year she heard Nathaniel right lip in the night sweats and she wasn't real familiar with them and then she's like wait a minute we're gonna go see them and so you know and it's it's an it again shows the dynamic where you can literally be pretty much as long as you're old enough to go and that's that's a subject for you know another day but. Anybody can go from ages you know I remember when the body greenies went I don't know if you guys are familiar with them they were amazing and I watched earth went in fire with them right in front of me and you know you have literally four grandmas that they're right in front of me and I'm talking to them and they're enjoying every minute of it of course they go at night you know that they they come in they don't camp but that's just like amazing so it's literally a festival for everybody the one thing that I will say that that you have brought up a couple of times it's not a festival it's an event and I've used that line a couple of times so I don't know if I picked it up from you or we stole it from someone else but that's the best way to put it's not an effect it's not a festival it's an event and now with the plazas going on there's so much going on that it truly is an event because there's stuff everywhere now yeah yeah yeah it I think that's really cool I can't imagine being able to go with a grandparent or a grandson grandchild and you know either way is really cool to be able to share something like that but the other thing we've said is the only the only real couple of rules and I've had parents ask me before because you know they'll they'll say you go every year my kid wants to go you know their high school age or whatever my only thing is if they're the type of person who finds trouble they'll find trouble if they're a level-headed mature kid they won't have any trouble at all again they people take care of each other you know but if you're just that kind of kid that somehow always seems to be in trouble you can find it there but you can find it anywhere the other thing and we've said it on here many times is don't come with a spouse or a significant other unless you're both really into it because it's not a halfway event. Oh gosh is that a true statement. It's not a it's not a test the water kind of event is it. Correct yeah correct. Come ready to have fun the whole time and explore my point about us not going to the shows together is not that we don't like each other but it's that it's it's goes along the same lines is if taco says I want to go see Nathaniel and I don't right he's not feeling guilty and I'm not feeling guilty you know I'm not gonna mope and pout and he's not either go have fun and we'll meet back and that's that's our whole group is that way and I think it's really been important that everybody understands that. One thing I want to mention just in case people are new to your podcast which by the way is if you're not listening on a regular basis please do because I have learned countless things from you know Brad's not here but all of you guys have taught me something I'm not wearing a PBR hat though. The one thing that that Bonnaroo has I'm not a drug user I don't and I don't participate and I usually don't drink when I'm there but they have a good policy there of a you know if you see somebody messed up or you're with a friend who's messed up who's done something maybe they shouldn't have or has partied too hard they have the you know just just get them there get them some help they're not right there to judge they're there to try to get you better and I love that policy because especially with EDM becoming way popular now and a lot of people associate drugs with EDM and that's that's I think a stereotype maybe it shouldn't be but the you know don't ask what's going on they just want to help and the not judging is something that I think makes that festival really really good especially for people who maybe have a tendency to do things that they shouldn't do I'm not suggesting at all you guys need to go get messed up or something like that but if you see somebody who needs help and you're afraid I don't want to take them because they're going to get in trouble for being on drugs no help them because by helping them you're going to keep them out of a situation where maybe they can get help and enjoy the festival and maybe not get sick or perhaps even worse that's right yeah that I vote again the only real rule in my opinion is don't be an idiot don't don't make them do something to you they don't want to do right they don't want to kick you out they don't want to arrest you they don't want you to be sick and they certainly don't want you to you know die so yeah take care of yourself and you know the extra days and the fact that we have not been there for a while really has me worried about people hitting it going too hard that that's why I said that I'm really worried about that yeah me too me too I mean I your point about seeing the grass and feeling the sun I'm the I'm the same way and I know even in in the last time we were there you know we what do we say don't don't go hard on that Wednesday and then all three of us went pretty hard on that yeah I was guilty of that too yeah which makes Thursday terrible and half a Friday terrible you know I think about it as a it's a it's a marathon but I am very worried because we've been so pent up for so long you know it's going to feel like free at last kind of ready to go kind of thing so take care of each other you know really be considerate of that what are the other lessons that you that you've learned you know you you've been there as many times as I have and every one of them is different but there are definitely some things both from the camping and pacing myself and food and all of that you mentioned I don't do I don't do drugs I wish I did because that would be the perfect place I've always said that yeah I've always said if I did drugs because everybody looks at the outfit and they assume so I get offered like all kinds of hey man here this here's this no no I'm good no no I'm good you're not going anywhere you're not driving right everything is there yeah I do good walking back to camp just on soda so I don't know what I would do if I was too bad and that's the same with everybody think I must be like a week-long partying and drinking I'm like nope one word or two words porta potties I do have I do have a couple of simple rules that I tell everybody one is pace yourself it is not a sprint it's a marathon if you want to drink that's fine but drink in moderation don't don't sit there and say okay let's just doubt because like you got you brought up Thursday and Friday you're miserable and you end up missing sets and you you end up having nice trips to porta potties too just just that's if you're thinking about having that last shot or whatever just consider porta potties all morning long right right because you don't want to be in there before they're cleaned unless you want to go into all the way in the center room to make yourself a schedule and don't worry about it yeah decide who you want to see and if you miss somebody I promise you it's not the end of the world I hate when I see these people well I'm gonna spend 30 minutes at this show and 10 minutes at this show and five minutes at this show you know what you're gonna see you're gonna see a lot of dust walking back and forth that's right one thing I'll tell everybody else make friends with your neighbors because nine times out of ten they will have something that you forgot you're like oh I forgot that and your neighbor's got and it makes yourself a community also it helps against people being around your site that maybe shouldn't be you know like if I say hey these are the four people we're gonna have here and your neighbor says well these are the three people and you come back and you see some people that shouldn't be there you know they shouldn't be there so that might even help you out a little bit I tell everybody to pack a sharpie because you never know you might run into Lord Taco and you might want to ding an autograph somewhere you know you never know who you'll run into at a center room I bet a couple of famous people in center room had them sign a shirt or two the last thing that I tell everybody is your main goal there is to have fun in a good time and if you don't feel like you're having fun or a good time then you could probably do something else yeah if you're at a show and it's you're just not feeling it there are probably at least three or four or five other acts playing and with the plazas all other things going there's plenty to do and you can go off by yourself you don't have to have somebody attached to your hip right yeah I recommend taking some time and just going off by yourself yeah away from the group I haven't thought about it that way but that's a that's we've been saying the same thing but not only you know don't be somebody else's dead weight you know don't don't bring them down if they want to go somewhere else and don't feel bad if you want to go somewhere else go do it there's there's more than enough to do and you'll meet back up at some point you know don't get your feelings hurt I tell everybody a good meetup spot if you need a meetup spot the clock tower is always there with the or the or it's not clock tower anymore now it's the Bonnaroo tower you could always meet right there at a certain time and you go there you're easy to be seen and that makes it easier find a spot or in front of the ferris wheel or something like that or or both of you can get back to camp and you're not directionally challenged meet back at camp I know for some people it's difficult because if you're like a 40-minute walk maybe you don't want to do that maybe you want to meet back up don't be afraid to go off on your own because you might find something amazing going on that you never would have found otherwise yeah if you are in a group too along those lines when you get there walk around as best you can get the lay of the land and and take visual markers write them down if you have to it's a huge place you know we've been there enough I feel like I could I won't get lost I know where I am but when you first arrive it's overwhelming and it looks completely different at three in the afternoon than it does at three in the morning so get your visual markers and also consider your phones are probably not going to work right I would go ahead and assume that your phones are not going to work so if you you know you leave your buddies and say I'll text you where I am in an hour they may get it in an hour they may not or they might get it five hours I do that for you know from a work standpoint I leave I leave here with a whole list of things I'm gonna do I'm gonna send updates every hour and pictures and it never works you know maybe in the morning and that's about it only because I get up before everyone else so just you know bank on that so figure out some way to communicate you know if you're there with a large group or you're there with kids or whatever you know we're gonna meet at such and such a place like you said the clock tower or the ferris wheel or the mushroom the water fountain you know whatever there are plenty of locations and you'll figure out there they're central to where you're mostly going to be we've talked a long time about what to bring and those sorts of things for the most part I think you know bring bring you're probably gonna want to bring less than what you think yeah you know they're absolutely especially now in the last several years with the stores and the on-site vendors and all that if you forget something you can get it sure you know it may cost an arm and a leg but you know it may cost more than you want to spend but you can you're not going to be without and the food is really good I haven't found the food to be outrageously expensive plus you're not gonna want to eat three huge meals a day sure is again porta potties I gotta give a shout out to my guys at roadie rolls they do a food truck at the gourmet food truck roadie rolls their farm to table Cory and his gang are there every year they're amazing people I've actually gone on the truck and made a roadie roll for myself at Bonnaroo they are they're located in Charleston in Atlanta if you get a chance to visit their green truck please do tell them Pondo sent you it's amazing food if you don't know what a roadie is what a roadie is or a roadie roll is look it up they do have a website at roadie rolls.com and I sponsor those guys year round and they're they're just humble really good people and they want to feed you I'm telling you right now they would love love to have your business that's that's you know that's one of mine I for so long for the first several years didn't eat anything on site oh wow I brought my own thinking I was saving money and you know again I didn't bring much and then I'll be honest I kept hearing campmates say talking to the poutine they kept saying poutine and you know I was too embarrassed to ask I thought it was some something obscene they were making a joke and then I went ahead and they haven't been back unfortunately the vendors but yeah the food is great I'm curious because of what you said and and the camp rhetoric guys and rubas I mean Daniel has got so many things planned there are going to be so many many events within Bonnaroo I'm really curious to talk to people in July and August to see how it went you know what I mean how it went actually went compared to what they thought it was going to be right well I think with the plazas exploding this year I think there's good with so many bands playing and another shameless flood for people who don't know rubas is having a Wednesday pre-party make sure you go to that hang out with those guys are fantastic wonderful people you won't meet it meet nicer people at least Daniel paid me ten bucks to say that so I'm telling you right now yeah he gave me five wait a minute really really well he gave he gave me ten but it was like it looked like monopoly money but you know it's good anyway right but you're right they are super nice people and that's that's what I mean it that that event's gonna be huge I hope I hope he knows what's coming yes but it's not just that there are so many other events and you know as you said we're all gonna and I've asked by the way in case people are wondering I ask when the lineup the actual schedules coming out and probably in the next I would say five or ten days if not sooner because it seems like and it's not because of us necessarily but it seems like as soon as I send an official inquiry to the people who should know it comes out about a day or two they're waiting on you yeah I don't I don't think it's that I just think the holds you know energy of the universe is thinking the same thing so they're on it so we should be getting that but yeah that'll be the next fun is to sit down with that thing and say I'm gonna go here I'm gonna go there and then we go there and then you get on site and you throw it in the trash and you never see it again but it's a lot of fun you know I'm wondering how again you know where in the woods and the stuff going on outside the schedule this year might be bigger than it's ever been just because there's gonna be so many different like there's a band that I really want to see on Thursday the main squeeze I followed those guys for years and they're not playing Bonnaroo at all except for out in the plazas yeah so I definitely want to go see them so I'm wondering how many conflicts there's gonna be this year because there's gonna be so many different things going on I think FOMO FOMO could be the real issue this year it always is as you said you know we all think we're so afraid of missing out missing that show and we all do but now and it's so big you know I can't imagine I'm gonna see the what stage and then I'm gonna go back out into the plaza and catch this thing and then back no you're not right makes good choices you're gonna have to make some choices and and some of them might be you know instead of thinking you're gonna bounce back and forth I'm just gonna go to this part of the the farm and hang out and just see what happens which is legitimate I think with all the events that they have planned you could do that and have a great time what we don't know is what Jam Trax is gonna do if it's if it's gonna be organized and big enough that you know we could sort of catch a ride and get from one place to the other but man that's that's gonna be wild card I think that is going into it that is either gonna be the greatest idea that Baderou has had in a long time or it's going to be a cluster you know what and I don't know if that word's hyphenated or two words or one word altogether but that that scares me because yeah my fear is if it runs well and they run it great then this could be a game changer especially when it comes to plazas if it doesn't run well then you could have somebody that's in pod one that's all the way over and pod seven and now they're trying to figure out how to get back and there's no transportation and they're completely lost that's the one thing that worries me yeah or standing in long lines and all that yeah absolutely it's a it's a terrific idea and long time coming but it's like everything it's got to work well all right man taco you got any other questions I got one other shameless I was gonna ask and let you go I do have one more shameless plug Tuesday night my buddy Eric he is the official DJ of the podo army he is doing a pre pre Baderou thing it will be in our a GARV he's got two fireball canopies set up and he said you'll hear music come in there and he spins and if you follow me again at podo knows best on Twitter I will give you more information once we know more and I do have one final question I've been asking everybody who's the one act that I need to see this year and I'll start with taco first I'm gonna you were talking about there's a plaza lineup I'm gonna say Paul Cawthon he did a thing with what was his name orville Peck and I loved orville Peck I saw him at shaky knees last year and yeah they do they do a song together and his solo stuff is great too and so that's actually one of the ones I'm really looking forward to seeing but he's gonna be I think it's a Thursday night plaza show so yeah all right you're on the spot now taco gave his give me your ears I know I wasn't expecting that I should have I'm gonna go with goose right I'm I'm not gonna go with any of the names that I assume you probably already have on your list and goose might be on the it is but that's okay tell people who don't know yeah goose they just they were the ones that were on the the online thing that they did a year and a half ago that you know over that weekend it would have been weekend and I just thought they were terrific briston not briston I've seen so many lineups now I'm having to relook the one I'm curious about is Robert plant and Allison Krauss anytime you get to see you know Robert plant you know it's like seeing a beetle almost he's one of the legendary figures well you know they've played there before yeah they did and I saw that same show here in a in a theater yeah briston maroney's another one that I've become a big fan of the one that I've been telling everybody I'm going with lesser no obviously I would say the main squeeze but a lot of people know who they are so I'm gonna go with one that's a little bit under the radar it's I'm gonna be on the who stage her name is Charlotte Sands she's a young woman that's coming out of the Tennessee area and and she's got a sound if she can get the right backing behind her with her look she has a chance to go places and plus she's easy on eyes so you know that makes it easier for guys to go see her and she she's got really good vocals and I don't know when she's gonna play on the who stage she may be up against some heavy hitters but I really expect Charlotte Sands to have a really good show there I think the herbie Hancock one's gonna surprise a lot of people yes I'm surprised how many people I know want to go see that yeah people who can't go a couple of friends of mine up in New Jersey they just had a daughter named Violet and they know who they are if they're listening and they can't go this year and I said ma'am we want to see herbie Hancock and I said well you know when she gets a little bit older I'll appreciate herbie Hancock too so yeah I think that's I think that's sort of the Lionel Richie you know obviously it's a legacy act but that was Lionel as I've said was my my blunder I thought Lionel was the worst act they'd ever signed I thought Bonnaroo had lost its mind and turns out people are still talking about it was good it was good yeah I've heard I've heard and I think herbie's gonna be like he's gonna be that for a lot of people there's a bunch of them but to your back to your point as we've said on here many times Thursday night is it is a great night for discovery just go and you know pick pick several people who actually do that each day pick one name you've never heard of just if nothing else do a walk by and give it a chance because yeah one thing we've learned is the folks who book these know what they're doing not everyone you know might be your favorite right but you know they're good at what they do correct and so give it a chance the other one just because it's you talk about shameless plug Isaiah Rashad is a Chattanooga guy right and I think we talked about I think he's highest on the lineup from Chattanooga that that I can remember he's on that third line on Friday so gonna definitely go see him and glad to see he's on there so yeah that's that's a good that's a tough question you ask cuz you know I don't I don't always know everyone else is what they know and don't know I just I mean even if it's somebody that like goose is a great answer because they are a band that play so hard yeah and they're gonna give you a performance even if you don't necessarily and take their music to your cup of tea watching them perform definitely and you need to do it you know it's yeah yeah I mean we somebody brought up one of my best friends who I've known forever out of the blue said man I can't stop listening to Courtney Barnett and I'm like yep that was a Thursday night fine for us yeah and you know who it was but I'm not much on country but I'm way big on Courtney Barnett and just just such power and her voice and her lyrics man they hit you in places that you ain't ready for if you're not prepared for it it can take you to an emotional journey for sure and obviously Warren treaty we've talked about on here Leon Bridges were both those were both acts that I knew you know the name the show that I saw fell in love and now you know top three or four acts of all time for me new acts right so you never know one other thing banded I think it's really going to deliver and a lot of people have made comments about them playing is the chicks I really think well formerly known as the Dixie chicks I really think the chicks are really going to bring a great day performance there I think their set is going to be pretty sweet I do expect a huge crowd for that and even if you don't like country I think you will like their set so I'll check that out obviously that's right yeah you you don't get very many people who just mail it in right at Bonnaroo correct very very few that I can think of there have been some but not many so all right well man thanks so much thanks for listening first of all thanks for the what podcast it keeps you in the know it you find out things that you didn't know and the banter is pretty good and tell Brad he missed out hanging out with Pondo but hey you know it's okay yeah we'll do it no tell he's unpacking if that makes you feel any better yeah he would much rather be here I wouldn't want to be doing what he's doing all right man well thank you so much what are we under now into the 50s right 50 days or so 50 yeah definitely less than three months yeah I think it's around maybe a little bit under eight weeks maybe a little bit somewhere around in there you know time to start packing I've already got up my corner in the front room I have a Bonnaroo pile and it pretty much stays there year-round it used to be in there for like three months then four months and now it just stays in the corner like people come and say what's that you move it now it's a powdery pile everything's okay yeah because if I unpack it it just turned right around and make sure that you know that the the vermin haven't got to it there aren't holes in something you need and your tent poles are still there you didn't use them for something else right right right thank you guys so much for having me one more thing I do want to plug for those of you doing the Bonnaroox dinner on Thursday I will be there as well you'll be able to spot me I'm wearing the Viking horns clock come by and say hi if I have a mouthful of food let me swallow first and then I will say hello to you and I hope to see as many of you guys as I can on the farm this year for those of you who want Pondo Army cards please do not hesitate I'm easy to talk to I promise you and the restraining order is just another way of saying I love you so trust me we'll get along thanks so much man no yeah sounds great thank you.