Updates from Joe and Rob at Bonnaroo

Jun 17, 2013

06/18/13: We are back home! After a long day of travel Monday, we returned safe and sound with smiles on our faces and the past weekend's adventures still in our minds.

Sunday morning we awoke to flood watches after a night of heavy rain. There was standing water all over the festival grounds and more rain on the way. We packed our belongings and walked about half a mile to the point where shuttles picked up folks to return them to their parking lot at a nearby hotel.

The drive home was slow and hazardous, especially at first. Within minutes of getting on the interstate in the pouring rain, the car in front of us made a quick move to the left lane and hydroplaned, spinning 360 degrees before flying off the right side of the road and into the trees. We stopped and two other vehicles did as well, checking on the crash before we could walk up and reporting that the occupants were fine. They had run over a small pine tree and although their sedan wasn't getting out of there on its own, it didn't look like a total loss either.

We traveled on and the interstate was stop and go for most of the way to Chattanooga, where the rain had stopped but the accidents had not. It appeared that a blown 18-wheeler tire recap had caused a rear-end collision. Thankfully after that, the highways were clear, and we finally arrived home some eight hours after we began.

There are too many wonderful memories to convey here, but we can summarize the festival by comparing it to a kind of music and arts Christmas holiday. Bonnaroo was a place where tens of thousands of people gathered in a place and time apart from the rest of the world where they realized, at least temporarily, a more cooperative and peaceful existence. That feeling remains with us still.

There are some more things to share, however. Joe got to interview Frank Turner and Weird Al Yankovic,and you can access those conversations here:

There are also more photos to share. The most recent photos are at the end of the slideshow, so if you would like to see those first, click on the left arrow to start scrolling through them.

We hope you have enjoyed our reports and thank you our members for helping to make our trip possible! Feel free to comment here and share your thoughts and observations.  Here's to a return to Bonnaroo in 2014!

06/17/13: Bonnaroo came to a happy conclusion last night with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers playing a stellar show for over two hours to a largely wet but enthusiastic audience. Overnight more rain came and we are looking at standing water across much of the grounds here in Manchester, TN. Soon Rob and Joe will slog through the radio compound for the last time this year and return home.

There are so many highlights from Sunday that we could write many pages here, but with our time having run out we will leave that to when we come back to NC. There are a few more pictures in the slide show here to see, however, and we promise to post a fuller report this week.

We hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse of Bonnaroo 2013 here. Thank you for reading our posts and thanks especially to you our members for making this trip possible! Here's to a safe and happy return to home and WNCW!

06/16/13: Happy Fathers Day from Bonnaroo! We had an awesome time yesterday, with artist interviews (which will post as soon as Joe can figure out how to convert the audio files for upload here), Rob's live show on Radio Bonnaroo, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, and of course, all.that.music!

The positive energy here is contagious. The staff at Music Allies here in the media compound is fantastic, and all of the folks working at Bonnaroo are friendly and will go out of their way to help you. Joe has discovered that camaraderie is everywhere after first being the recipient of and then quickly reciprocating the spontaneous "high five". There's also a lot of "daps" being given to friends and strangers alike. You can't help but smile.

We experienced so much music and had so many great conversations with fans and music professionals alike that it cannot be fully related here. Rob was blown away by Bjork. Joe got to see Cat Power for the first time and witness first-hand her much publicized discomfort being on stage (the show was in many ways enhanced by this, if that makes any sense). There was gratuitous sunscreen, lots of walking and no worries about what time it was. We'll let the pictures do most of the talking here.

Today the music is just about to start. Stay tuned for more updates and photos soon!

06/15/13 pt. 2: Interviews with Frank Turner and Weird Al Yankovic went well, as did Rob's show on Radio Bonnaroo. Joe will post these soon, as well as more photos from yesterday's activities. Right now Joe wound up doing another show on Radio Bonnaroo, so check in later today for the full update.

06/15/13:  Still feeling euphoric after the concert of a lifetime. There is no hyperbole in that statement. Last night we were treated to nearly three hours of Paul McCartney on the main stage. The show started with a scrolling montage of photos and videos of Paul, the Beatles, Wings and a host of music artists and icons from his childhood to today, paired with abstract art while a DJ mixed and mashed Beatles and Wings songs for the crowd of 80,000. This was most everyone at Bonnaroo, and regardless of how far away they were, they made a great choice to attend this magnificent performance. Joe was lucky enough to have Sean O'Connell from Music Allies walk him and a group of media professionals to the inside fence right in front of the stage. Joe has never won the lottery... until last night.

Today we hope to interview Frank Turner and are locked in for a chat with Weird Al Yankovic.  We will try to post or link these conversations here before the weekend is through. Also, Rob goes live on Radio Bonnaroo 2-4 p.m. Central time (3-5 p.m. Eastern), and then there's all that live music to experience. Stay tuned for more updates soon!

06/14/13 continued: What a great day! This morning Joe did another stint on Radio Bonnaroo (tune in tomorrow 2-4 CST for Rob's mix on WFTZ 101.5 FM and on iHeartRadio). Then we had to make a tough call and decide on who to see play live: Calexico, Jason Isbell or Bombino? We went with Bombino and were rewarded with a fantastic hour of music from the Nigerian artist and his band. They played many great tunes from their new album and then kicked it into high gear with a couple of driving, blistering instrumentals that displayed all of Bombino's firepower. The man can shred!

We came straight from that set to do our live show from the media compound on WNCW. It was much fun and we thank you for listening, and especially you our members for supporting listener powered radio and making this broadcast possible! Now we relax a bit before jumping into another night of music. Paul McCartney is the headliner and we are practically giddy. More updates to come soon!

06/14/13: Greetings from Bonnaroo! We're happy to report that we made it safely to Manchester, traveling westward with only a small downpour near Knoxville to slow the momentum for a bit. Luckily the powerful storms passing through east Tennessee and western North Carolina largely skirted past us as we wound through the mountains and hill country. It was a good day of travel, conversation and music in the silver Impala.

Upon arriving we found out that Radio Bonnaroo needed some help, as Justin from Lightning 100 in Nashville was largely spent after nearly six hours on air. Sean O'Connell of Music Allies asked: would you like to do a show? We jumped in right away and did our best to learn a new board (see photo) with an iTunes library of music and live sessions and interviews from previous Bonnaroos. Joe's interviews from 2007 with Richard Thompson, Gillian Welch, Xavier Rudd and Old Crow Medicine show are still there! 

It took a while to learn the controls and Joe managed to mangle a few transitions and accidentally stop the songs twice in the first half hour, but after that it was smooth sailing. Rob does a show of Radio Bonnaroo 101.5 WFTZ tomorrow from 2-4 p.m. Central Time (3-5 p.m. Eastern) and Joe does another round from 10 to noon today. You can tune in on iHeartRadio as well and tweet us requests with #radiobonnaroorequest.

Last night we saw plenty of live music, enjoying sets from Django Django, Alt-J and the Vaccines before we made it back to the cozy confines of our bunks in the motor coaches inside the media compound. This is a wonderful way to snooze, as there is air conditioning, little noise and the relieving absence of 6 a.m. sunshine beaming into your tent.

Bonnaroo has a LOT going on, and you can enjoy a lot of what is going on at the festival from anywhere in the world through Radio Bonnaroo, the Bonnaroo app, and their channel on Ustream, to name a few.

The big news so far is unfortunate, as headliners Mumford & Sons have canceled their appearance after their bassist suffered a brain clot early this week. Jack Johnson will perform in their place tomorrow night.

We're psyched to broadcast live from Bonnaroo on WNCW this afternoon from 4-6 p.m. with a play list covering artists from Del McCoury to Trombone Shorty to Futurebirds.  Stay tuned here for more updates as we continue with our weekend's mantra: money is replaceable, sleep is optional and Bonnaroo is your friend!

06/12/13: We're excited to be bringing you the first WNCW blog posts from afar when Joe Kendrick and Rob Daves trek westward to Manchester, Tennessee and the 2013 Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival.

Thursday Rob and Joe leave the familiar environs of Isothermal Community College for an all-day drive and eventual arrival at one of the largest festivals in the country where we'll broadcast live Friday from 4-6 p.m. local time. They will begin posting photos and observations from their perspective in the middle of 700 acres and some 100,000 people as soon as possible, and will continue to do so throughout the weekend.