Back in 2008 I was a pimply-faced high school kid in a small town in Massachusetts, looking onward to Philadelphia and another chapter in my short life. The summer of my senior year, I remember watching Fuse and seeing my favorite band at the time Death Cab For Cutie playing a massive stage for a bunch of filthy concert goers. It was the first time I ever saw one of my small indie bands play for a crowd of that size. All I could think was shit!! Where were all those people from and why do I feel like I am the only one who likes this music. The concert was actually not a concert at all, it was much more than that. This scene of shear euphoric chaotic joy was none other than Bonnaroo.
From the moment I knew how to pronounce the word Bonnaroo, I was sure that I had to make my way to this festival. I never in my life wanted to go to Tennessee more than that moment. So right before I left to go to college, I embarked on a plane to Tennessee, then after a short bus ride and hitch hiking my way in the back of a fish filled pick up truck, I found my way to the music holy land. I just remember setting up my tent and being greeted by a complete stranger with a hug and asking if I ever heard of MGMT.
It was a weekend that I will remember for the rest of my life, I went there alone and never felt more loved by a group of complete strangers. For all intensive purposes that one weekend changed my entire life trajectory. I went from a civil engineering major to a world traveling music photographer.
So 8 years later and 2 more Bonnaroos under my belt, I will be making the Pilgrimage to this magical land once again. This Time with a little more significance and a little more maturity (not that much more though). This year I will be going with my girlfriend of 7 years (for her 2nd Roo), her 2 brothers and my brother Max. Max just so happens to be graduating high school and will be leaving his small in Florida for bigger things. I am a sucker for nostalgic meaning to shit and this for me is something special. Just like 18 year old me, my brother will see Pearl Jam destroy on the main stage, he will see death cab make every pimply faced geek smile and he will see James Murphy prove that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still be a rock star.
Bonnaroo, you will forever be the place where I truly fell in love with music
See you soon