Bringin’ It to Bonnaroo: Gittin’ Ready

Tennessee is definitely different than Nevada.  Cases in point:
• It’s humid.
• All y’all have an accent.
• The landscape is lush and green and flat and far.
• People make the distinction between Wal-Mart and Super Wal-Mart.
• You can get wine and other alcohol but not beer at the liquor stores, and beer but not wine or other alcohol at the grocery stores.

Playground hanging the Bring It! banner

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place in Manchester, Tennessee on a vast grassy flatland near corn crops and ranch houses.  Vendors and infrastructure are everywhere with ENORMOUS stages punctuating the site like scattered skyscrapers in a village of parks and tents.  It’s early in the week, so work crews and volunteers are wildly busy getting ready and golf carts are zipping around like blurry flashes out of the corner of your eye.  You can feel the energy building toward the opening of the gates Thursday morning.

The Bring It! squad is building a theme camp at Bonnaroo at the invitation of Russ Bennett, Artistic Director for the festival.  He and his crew have been super helpful with planning and logistics, especially since our group has assembled from far way cities like San Francisco and San Diego.

We want to make a splash with our camp, and we’re having a much easier time of it thanks to regional burners like Bash, Danielle Potheau, Serra Fels, and Troy Cobb aka Runaway!  They’re here from North Carolina, Atlanta, Knoxville, and Nashville, and they’ve brought tons of tools, supplies, and creativity.  Smoke Blower and Luscious drove all the way out from Southern California via Flipside and New Orleans in their decked out travel bus.

Raising the tent

The last two days have been spent getting settled, supplied, and set up.  We erected four shade structures this afternoon and proceeded to move them around a hundred times each as the vision for the camp emerged and sharpened.  We’re trying to create an inviting, interactive area for people to stop by and get a made-to-order hug, play a round of mini-golf, learn about solar power, fill out a census, and watch Burning Man regional events footage while we chat with them one-on-one about ways they can take action and git ‘er done.

The Bring It! camp is situated on the perimeter of the 700-acre event between a huge music stage, fire installations at the Art of Such-N-Such, and a GIANT red and white circus tent.  More than 150 musicians and performers are scheduled to go on over the course of four days.  Should be fun so stay tuned.

– Marnee

About the author: Marnee Benson

Marnee Benson

Marnee joined Black Rock Solar in 2009 as an environmental journalist and project manager who had recently organized a worldwide sailing expedition and global warming lecture series. While growing up in New Mexico, Marnee played tennis in the high-desert sun, ripped it up at local ski resorts, and rode bikes with her friends. She’s lived in Reno for more than ten years, after stops in Jackson Hole and southern California– where she played beach volleyball and studied math at San Diego State University. Marnee traded in her tennis racket and bikinis for carabiners and climbing shoes when she hit the Sierra Nevada, and she recently graduated from UNR with two master’s degrees in Environmental Science and Environmental Policy. She organized the Tour de Nez bike race for three years and sailed with Greenpeace International before turning her attention full-time to Black Rock Solar. In her spare time, Marnee counts her lucky stars for being able to work with the Holland Project and March Fourth Marching Band.