Going to Bonnaroo will likely cost you a small fortune. Once you start looking at the costs, you’re going to look for areas where you can save a few bucks.
Before you go thinking you can save some cash on lodging by camping at Bonnaroo, we’ve got a few words of wisdom — don’t do it! Let’s check out why.
What Is Bonnaroo?
Bonnaroo is a massive music festival held in Manchester, Tenn., approximately one hour southwest of Nashville. This four-day festival hosts some of the most prominent names in the music industry on a 700-acre farm. The festival started in 2002 but had to skip 2020 due to the pandemic and 2021 due to flooding.
One of the best features of Bonnaroo is how it unites music lovers from all genres. You’ll find artists from indie rock, classic rock, hip hop, country, pop, and many more genres. If you’re a fan of music festivals, you’ve got to add this one to your bucket list!
What Are the Camping Options at Bonnaroo?
Whether you enjoy camping in a tent, car, or RV, Bonnaroo has an option for you. However, it’s likely to be one of the most expensive camping options you’ve ever seen.
Car camping alone costs $60 per day, and a 50-amp RV site starts at $300 per day. Keep in mind that you’re not going to have hookups. So you’ll need to conserve your water and make wise use of the space in your wastewater tanks.
If you like camping in luxury, there are a few other options as well. They offer luxury tents with air conditioning, RV rentals, and even bus rentals. You’ll find some of these packages costing upwards of $8,700 and even $17,700. Nothing is cheap when it comes to Bonnaroo.
Why Shouldn’t You Camp at Bonnaroo?
There’s a ton of reasons why camping at Bonnaroo is a terrible idea, but we’ve narrowed it down to five. Let’s look at why we think you should think twice about making this your choice for lodging during Bonnaroo.
#1 It’s Incredibly Hot
The weather in middle Tennessee in early September is incredibly unpredictable. Weather canceled Bonnaroo 2021.
The average high temperatures are in the mid-80s. It’s not the ideal camping conditions, especially if you’re camping in a tent, car, or RV without electricity.
When you’re spending so much money to camp at Bonnaroo, you likely expect a bit more in terms of comfort. However, you’re probably going to be wiping the sweat off your brow as you try to fall asleep if you choose to camp at Bonnaroo.
#2 Camping in an RV Is Very Expensive, But the Alternative Is a Stuffy Tent
Even if you have an RV and want to bring your own, you’re going to be spending at least $300 for a primitive site. There are some RVs for rent through Bonnaroo’s partnership with RVshare, but they typically sell out.
Upgrading to a platinum package that includes power and free water and sewer dump starts at $999 but goes upwards of $17,700 for the Rockstar RV and bus rental. While these prices may sound insane, a stuffy tent doesn’t sound much better.
If you’ve ever had to stay in a tent during hot or humid weather, it’s practically impossible to get a good night’s sleep while sweating. Cram a few of your friends into a stuffy tent, and the comfort level decreases even more. You’ll likely be questioning what you were thinking by agreeing to camp at Bonnaroo.
#3 You Need to Bring Everything You Need
You better plan to bring everything you need with you because buying anything while at Bonnaroo will come at a premium price. Prices vary year to year, but some attendees share stories of seeing cigarettes costing $20 or more per pack.
They’ve also seen $5 for a bag of ice and $25 for salt and pepper. As we said, you better stock up before arriving at the farm, or you’re going to be spending a pretty penny at the festival’s general store.
#4 There are No Water Hookups and Power Is Iffy
The festival doesn’t provide water hookups for any campers. They do offer a fill-up service to keep a supply of water in your RV. But, surprise, surprise, there’s a fee unless you’re paying the big bucks for a platinum-level campsite.
You’re bound to have power hiccups when you have a large number of people crammed into one location. Compound that with the fact that you’re likely camping in warmer conditions, so people are running their RVs, and it gets even worse.
For camping costs at Bonnaroo, you’ll likely need to lower your expectations regarding the quality of any amenities.
#5 It’s Going to Get Loud
It should come as no surprise that a music festival is going to be loud. However, there are festival activities that go on well into the early morning.
It’s also important to consider that you’ll be partying with thousands of other music lovers. They may not share your affinity for getting a good night’s sleep.
If you don’t like noise when you’re sleeping, you might want to consider a hotel or other lodging arrangement.
The Perks of Camping at Bonnaroo
While camping at Bonnaroo can be brutal, it’s also great to be a part of a community. You’re literally surrounded by thousands of people who are passionate about music and the arts.
You can meet some incredible people and form friendships that could last a lifetime. You may even score some insider tips if you can buddy-up with a veteran attendee.
It’s also tremendously beneficial to stay close to the action. You won’t have to worry about traveling to and from the farm each day.
It’ll be a camping experience that you will never forget. It may even become an annual tradition for you and your music-loving friends.
Should You Camp at Bonnaroo?
If you’re comfortable with primitive camping and large groups of people, you’re more likely to enjoy camping at Bonnaroo. However, if you prefer not to sweat in your sleep or need a good night’s rest, camping at Bonnaroo is likely not for you.
It’s a personal choice that only you can make, but camping at Bonnaroo definitely can help you get the full experience. Have you ever camped at a music festival?
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