Things You Miss When You Spend A Week At A Music Festival

Recently, I volunteered at a well known camping music festival called Bonnaroo in Manchester Tennessee.  It was my first time volunteering at a music festival.  When you sign up to volunteer, you are scheduled to come to the campground earlier than general admission.  Because of this, my friends and I camped out for seven nights straight.  

You don’t realize, but there are a fair amount of things we take for granted on a day to day basis that you really don’t understand until you spend a week roughing it on a farm in the middle of summer. Here are a few of the big ones:

  1. Air conditioning: During summer, the days are scolding hot and the nights are cool.  You never even realize it until you are right out there in the elements.  You have to bundle up during the night, but you wake up at 5:30 in the morning in a full on sweat because the sun rose and the tent became a sauna. A steady, air conditioned climate in which to reside and sleep is one of the biggest things you miss when you spend a week camping.

  2. Your own bed: You think you know how much you love your nice comfy bed until you sleep on the ground for a week. The only upside of trying to sleep with only a thin tarp and a sleeping bag between you and the earth for seven nights is the rock solid ugly sleep you have when you finally get in your own bed.

  3. A full charge on your phone:  You don’t use your phone a lot but you use it enough for the battery to waste away throughout the day and it’s a real chore to charge your phone back up.  Portable chargers don’t last long before they need to be charged as well, outlets are scarce (if any), and solar chargers get the job down at an excruciatingly slow pace. Either way you may never enjoy the freedom of a full charge after the first day.

  4. Air conditioning: You really miss air conditioning. Sweating all the time is draining and gross.

  5. Flushable, non-stinky, private bathrooms: In the middle of a farm in nowhere Tennessee there is zero plumbing. Your only option is portable bathrooms, A.K.A. portapotties. Ew. You smell the wafting scent of hot feces from a mile away. If you can make it past that, the first thing you do when you open the door is see everything that has been deposited in the toilet that day and if that doesn’t make you want to throw up I don’t even know.  I’m gagging just trying to recall the experience.

  6. Animals: I miss animals when I go to music festivals. Animals are rarely allowed on the campgrounds.  I can see why with the heat and the amount of crazies on drugs, but think about how awesome it would be if they DID allow dogs.

  7. Being fully clean: Most festivals and campgrounds have showers available to you, however, a lot of the times they cost money and even when they don’t, they are not the cleanest of showers.  A lot of people opt out of showers in lieu of baby wipes.  Even the people that do end up breaking down for a shower never feel completely clean due to the ironically uncleanliness of the shower.  A clean, private shower at your disposal at any time is one of the things you miss.

  8. Air conditioning: Have I said that already?

  9. A good meal: Junk food and snacks are super awesome but not when you are forced to live off it for close to a week.  No more pizza and funnel cakes! I need broccoli and healthy, home-cooked meal.

  10. All 4 bars/ Wifi: With everyone at the festival being on the same cell tower, there is close to no bandwidth. Thus, you get spotty service at best.

All in all, going was a great decision and I will probably be back next year. However, there are just a few things that I will have to mentally prepare to go without next time.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4