There is no better example of free love and free joy and free reign than Bonnaroo. Where every sort of freedom is put into play. The freedom to sweat and not shower on the regular. The freedom to walk around topless as a girl. The freedom to wear nothing but a pantless onesie as a man. The freedom to hula hoop (sans clothing). The freedom to walk barefooted with a beer in each hand hand. The freedom to head bang all day and all night long even thought your mom told you it was bad for your brain when you were a teenager. The freedom to eat pizza all day and be ensured that no one will judge you. The freedom to wear a tie dye shirt stained with grass and dirt. The freedom to high five someone for any reason old reason. The freedom to make out with anyone you like. Or don’t like. Just because. The freedom to hear vibrations and to make vibrations. The freedom to dance and dance and dance and never ever stop. The freedom to smile because there is no reason not to smile when you really think about it. The freedom to feel free, to act free, to behave instantaneously, to feel good.
But reality is . . . Bonnaroo is not reality. As soon as we step foot off that farm, this fact starts to sink in a little more and more, and all the things that kept you from feeling free before start to rush back slowly into your mind once again. Deadlines. Family issues. Friend drama. Rent. The office job. The daily commute. The daily routine. The mundane. The expected. But you know what, don’t let that shake you or break your post-festival high. There are things to take and learn from the four days of free-spirited joyfulness and camaraderie with strangers and friends, and strangers who become friends. These are things that are easy to take bits and pieces from to inject into your daily reality. High five a stranger on the street because you like their outfit or general vibe. Dance like no one is watching even though everyone is watching, but be proud and not afraid. Be confident in the things that make you insecure about your body and mind, because those things were accepted out in the open, strange and comforting world that is Bonnaroo. At Bonnaroo, we love you even if you stink. That says a lot. Sometimes a little leftover dirt goes a long way. Let the stain stay as a reminder that sometimes getting a little wacky is a good thing. It’s the freedom of acceptance.
bonnaroo, Music Festival, tennessee