"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"...and the rain came down..." - Steve Earle -- DAY POINT-FIVE: Bonnaroo '09

Thursday, June 11, 2009 We set out after lunch today for the hour drive to Manchester for Bonnaroo 2009. Last year was an experiment that went better than expected. This year was a mission to go back to Bonnaroo and get even more out of it than we did in 2008. Mission: Accomplished. Following is a day by day recount of our overall wonderful experience. Accomplishment # 1: we decreased our wait to get in to the festival site off I-24 in Manchester by more than an hour from last year (under 3 hours). Accomplishment # 2: we sat up our pop-up camper by ourselves with no help from a young, strong, albeit surly, nephew (he went again this year but as an 18-year-old "adult" with a friend to tent camp on their own...gross. Good luck with that, fellas!). Accomplishment # 3: we got our research done early this year and knew exactly the bands we wanted to check out every day, and created an itinerary that would best get that accomplished. We ran into a little rain going in but it cleared nicely in the late afternoon allowing us good weather to set up our campsite and head over into "Centeroo" to catch an early evening show by Nashville resident, Erin McCarley, (photo below) whose current hit "Love, Save the Empty" is being played all over in TV shows, movie soundtracks and local independent radio. Erin's as cute as she is talented and performed a wonderful hour set at the new Budweiser Troo Music Lounge. This stage is a new addition this year and while the concept is great: small stage for rising artists with a lounge/nightclub feel to it - the set-up was pretty crappy. The stage itself was not elevated like the other two small stages of Bonnaroo (the Solar and the Sonic), so it's hard to see the artists if you are more than a few rows back over the heads of other onlookers. A second complaint is that it's a little too close to the gigantic Which Stage that can be quite a distraction between numbers or if the artist is talking. We are sure the Bonnaruvians will get this corrected next year, and we do welcome another small stage to the 'Roo. The heat and humidity that built up all afternoon started to pay sloppy dividends in the form of thunder rumbling and heavy downpours early into the set of the next band we chose to see called Chairlift. We knew very little about this band but were curious thanks to their catchy little tune used as a jingle for I-Tunes commercials called "Bruises." Unfortunately, as the rain poured down the shelter underneath This Tent where Chairlift was playing became very popular whether you liked the band or not. We were close to the front of the stage and crush of humanity (photo above) made it just not worth it in terms of comfort. We squeezed our way out and into the drizzle that turned into another downpour making us scramble for another small tent set up for some reason other than having people huddle underneath from the rain. It let up again and we decided to make a run for the camper because we were seeing some nasty weather lurking about on the radar brought up on Ashlee's Blackberry. We got about half-way in our ten-minute walk to the camper when it opened up again. Another private tent and the kindness of strangers (from Michigan - thanks, fellas!) helped somewhat. One more slight let-up and we were off again. We were soaked when we got to the trailer, but we were home at least. Day .5 was over and Bonnaroo '09 was off too a bit of a wet, muddy start, but there's always tomorrow.

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