Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bonnaroo: Not Just A Music Festival

Although the popular attraction at Bonnaroo seems to be the hundred-something bands that perform over the four-day period, it remains the ultimate festival because of the many other things it has to offer. Seriously. I've been twice and still haven't managed to see everything.

Aside from music, the other biggest attraction seems to be the Comedy Tent. Each year, Bonnaroo brings in a decent amount of up-and-coming, as well as famous comedians, who perform multiple sets over the four-day period, giving fans several chances to catch their favorite comedians.

Since 2005, the festival has included comedians such as Lewis Black, Louis C.K., Jim Breuer, Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell, David Cross, Zach Galifianakis, Flight of the Conchords, Demetri Martin, Aziz Ansari, Jasper Redd, Vic Henley, Charlie Murphy, Fred Armisen, Alexandra McHale, Finesse Mitchell, Jim Norton, Brian Posehn and Mike Birbiglia.

While the music they bring in seems to get better year after year, everything else gets that much better as well.

Topping the diverse lineup of comedy acts this year, are former SNL cast member and current Late Night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (the hand puppet of Late Night with Conan O' Brien fame) Presents Bonnapoo 2009, An Evening (or Afternoon) with The Daily Show featuring cast members John Oliver and Rob Riggle along with producer Rory Albanese, Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter, Aziz Ansari of the new television show Parks and Recreation, Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker, Todd Barry, Wayne Federman, Nick Thune, Nick Kroll, Kurt Braunohler, Amy Schumer, Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes.

The Cinema Tent is probably the best place to escape the sun, where you can relax on couches in one of the few air-conditioned tents, while watching the NBA Finals, or some of your favorite classic and newer movies. The tent has been known to feature several music-related documentaries including Monterey Pop, as well as the debut of Les Claypool's Quest for Festeroo.

Then there's the Centeroo area. Located in the middle of the festival grounds, Centeroo has everything from the giant mushroom water fountain, a great place to cool off or take a quick shower (leave your clothes on please!), a microbrewery beer garden, a batting cage, the Fuse barn where you can also ride the bull, and a number of shops where you'll find everything from clothing to art.

Located just outside of the Centeroo area, you'll find things like the Art of Such 'n Such which has some pretty cool sculptures and fire demonstrations, the ferris wheel, the perfect way to catch the beautiful view of the festival grounds and the Arcade and Disco tents. In the arcade tent, you'll find everything from classic video games to Guitar Hero and Rock Band contests. For those of you who can go all night long, the Disco tent will have plenty of dancing lasting until the sun comes up the next morning.

So if you're heading to Bonnaroo this year (or any year), remember, it's not just the music that makes this the ultimate festival experience, it's every little thing they have to offer. Take it from me, I've been twice and still have a lot to see.

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