[TOUR DIARY] The Road To Bonnaroo
Oh Bonnaroo. Where do we even begin?
Perhaps we should start this story by saying that until exactly 3 days prior to the festival, we had absolutely no idea we were going to be attending. We had every intention of staying in New York and spending the weekend at Northside Festival until we received a group Facebook message from our London landlord that said, simply, "Bonnaroo?". What happened over the next few days could only really, truly, be described as a complete and utter shit-show... in a good way.
A brief background for the newcomers... said landlord happens to be the tour manager of one of the artists playing at Bonnaroo and posted us our tickets from touring on the road. The tickets were delivered to the house where we were couchsurfing with someone we can only really describe as a Mexican Johnny Depp, but no-one was home. As we tried to track down the tickets from an undisclosed FedEx location in Queens, we were simultaneously trawling frantically through Craigslist to find a rideshare down to Tennessee. For those of you non-american readers, Craigslist is a website mostly used by stoners, hippies, sexual predators and illegal spamming companies. In addition, Tennessee is a mere 15+ hour drive away. Why not fly? That would just be too easy, right?
I think it would be best to break down our journey, which we are now affectionately calling 'The Road to Bonnaroo' in to a timeline of events:
11am: Wake up, feeling fragile, pack our bags and check out of our hostel.
11:30am: Rideshare that we had organised the night before CANCELLED. Drama.
Midday: Full-time hustle mode involving; tracking down our tickets, writing to every single person on Craigslist, researching overnight buses, calling car-hire companies, checking cheap airline websites, etc etc.
1pm: Rideshare back ON.
5:30pm: Drop off laundry at cleaners (for some reason this seemed necessary at the time).
6pm: Train and bus up to Queens to collect tickets from FedEx.
6:30pm: Rideshare girl (who is in Boston, 3 hours away) collects car, and confirms she will pick us up at 9pm in Brooklyn.
7pm: Bus and train ride back to Brooklyn.
7:30pm: Collect clean laundry. PHEW.
8pm: Sit in hostel lobby organising other ridesharers who are helping split the gas.
8:30pm: Make friends with token Aussie in the hostel. (Side note: little known fact, all Aussies have an internal GPS which helps them find other Aussies to drink with in international locations).
9pm: Boston rideshare girl (plus additional guy by this stage) stuck in bad traffic. Not going to make it to Brooklyn until much later.
9:15pm: Crack beers with new Aussie friend.
11pm: Meet crazy Irish ridesharer and invite him to join us in the hostel lobby where we are still camped out on our computers, with no intention of staying for that night.
1:30am: Rideshare girl and accompanying male companion (also found through Craigslist - our friend Alice warns us she's pretty sure this is how people get murdered on Criminal Minds) finally arrive at the hostel to collect us. Somehow cram our oversized bags into the ridiculously large, white SUV. And, we were off.
3:30am: Collect a Chilean journalist from deep within New Jersey.
4 - 7am: Nap periodically on various bags and/or against windows.
9am: Down several service station coffees and take our turns driving.
Can't remember what time: Crossed the Tennessee border.
3pm: Stop for a greasy lunch and to buy a tent and blankets from Walmart.
4pm: Stop at a fireworks factory outlet and have beers in the parking lot (No idea who initiated this).
5-6pm: Dropped off at the festival with our oversized bags and newly acquired tent/home.
6:30pm: Rainbow appears.
7pm: Celebratory gin & tonics with our SXSW crew to celebrate our successful execution of 'operation Bonnaroo'.
8pm: Finally enter the festival grounds. Much jubilation. Delicious beers. And finally - MUSIC.
This is just the beginning... stay tuned for more ridiculous stories about our music-filled weekend at Bonnaroo.