MANCHESTER, Tennessee – Temperatures nearly touched triple digits at Bonnaroo on Friday (June 10), scorching the grounds of the 700-acre farm the fest calls home and forcing the 80,000 in attendance to get creative when it came to beating the heat.
Concertgoers hung portable fans around their necks, clutched squirt-guns and paper fans, hid beneath umbrellas and guzzled water from tubes in their CamelBaks. And when all else failed, they stripped down and showered in Bonnaroo’s famed Centeroo fountain. Anything to keep cool.
“Pretty much we’ve been going back and forth to the fountain all day, trying to cool off that way,” concertgoer Ryan Smith told MTV News. “Everyone’s pretty chill and really nice about sharing space in there.”
By midday, the water flowing from the fountain had started to turn brown (an annual occurrence at the fest, regardless of the temperature), but that didn’t stop fans from frolicking in it. And as the crowd in and around the fountain continued to swell, some were forced to abandon hope of a quick bath in favor of other cooling methods.
“It’s like a-hundred-and-something degrees at Bonnaroo right now. It’s epically hot,” said Stephanie Hammel, who came down from Long Island for Bonnaroo 2011. “We’re staying cool by drinking lots and lots of water. Using a lot of sunscreen. Putting ice cubes down our shirts.”
“We keep a couple bottles of misters on us, so that helps. But the
secret is the comedy tent,” Aaron Devens revealed. “It’s
air-conditioned, so you can go in there and just stay there. I think I
saw, like, a dozen comedians already.”
Then again, brutal temperatures are nothing new at Bonnaroo, and with a Friday night schedule that included high-profile sets by Arcade Fire and Lil Wayne (to name just a few), most had no other choice but to take off their shirts, slather on the sunscreen and just deal with the sweltering heat.
“I mean, it’s really hot. It’s hot as — excuse my French — balls.
There’s not a lot of shade,” Anna Vega laughed. “But, I mean, that’s how it is. Someone’s going to have to drag me to go see Lil Wayne tonight.”
What are your keeping-cool tips at summer festivals? Let us know in the comments below!