The Trek to the Gates: Bushy Branch road and the scenic Manchester highway has its charms, but can wear a Roonie out after a while. Try these tips to ease your stop-and-go journey.
Lilian Cai says: “Fill up your gas tank before you get in line. So many cars run out of gas and it’d be a nightmare to deal with, especially in that blistering Tennessee sun. Also, bring jumper cables if your car is notorious for crapping out on you. I’ve seen tons and tons of cars getting jumped on the side of the road.
Don’t take the back way in, either. It may be an almost non-existent line compared to hours waiting on the highway, but being only a few minutes away from Centeroo all weekend will be worth the wait going in through the front entrance. Going in the back way notoriously gives people over a 30 minute walk to Centeroo. Also, get there early. Last year we were in Nashville by 7:00 p.m. just in time to have dinner during the CMAs. We were in line by 9:00 p.m. and, of course, almost eight hours later, we finally arrived at our camping spot to watch the sun rise. We managed to get a campsite rather close to Centeroo, whereas my friends who arrived Thursday night were a 20-minute walk north.”
Caitlin Meyer says: “Make your time in line fun! It’s easy to be angry about an eight-ten hour wait on the side of a highway, but last year we hopped out of our packed car and met our neighbors. They invited us into their bus and we passed the night listening to old records and swapping stories, starting the weekend off perfectly.”
Liz Lane says: “Every year I see carpools of people at the gates frantically trying to transfer their booze from glass bottles into any errant plastic Gatorade bottles they might have in their car. Bonnaroo does not allow any glass containers on its grounds. Avoid this and buy libations in plastic bottles before you hit the gates. The local winery on Bushy Branch Road near the main gate entrance makes it easy for you and sells wine in plastic wine bottles.”