The 2022 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival concludes on Sunday in Manchester, Tenn. It’s been a hot one, with temperatures soaring into the high 90s for much of the weekend. This year marks the festival’s first return since before the pandemic in 2019.
Officially, it is the festival’s 19th year at Great Stage Park, and major changes came to the grounds. The camping area is much smaller, and all attendees are being asked to enter through one gate. That’s the gate that opens below the trademark arch. While festival organizers have not confirmed a reason for the changes, The Tennessean suggest that they may be a result of low attendance.
A noted regular of the festival on Twitter, The Festive Owl, shared video from the mess over the weekend.
“Once again, Bonnaroo your strategy of consolidating attendees to a single GA entrance is not working whether day or night. You have people lined up all the way back to Plaza 3 for an hour+ in some cases. In a dozen trips to the Farm. I have never seen anything close to this,” the account posted along with video to Twitter.
The account added to the thread, “Your attendees are not happy about this change and it should be immediately addressed.”
Fans replied within the thread, speculating about the cause of the issue. Responses included everything from Live Nation’s takeover of the event to agreeing with The Tennessean’s assessment. Still, others defended the festival by adding that they had no issues entering at the times they entered. Perhaps large groups entering during prime set times is the answer.
No matter what it is, the outcry is loud, and the festival will surely be forced to address it in years to come.
Festival Suggests an Idea for Entering 2022 Bonnaroo
Organizers did offer one suggestion via social media for entering 2022 Bonnaroo.
“PRO TIP – Play as a team! To avoid longer wait times into Centeroo consider entering earlier and avoid peak surge times that happen around popular acts,” Bonnaroo posted to Instagram.
One commenter replied, “Or open up another gate.”
The official 2022 Bonnaroo account replied, “We hear you and please know that we dislike lines as much as anyone. Please understand there will always be peak entry times when lines are unavoidable. This year we have provided 15% more screening lanes per capita than any previous Bonnaroo, regardless of number of entrance points. We appreciate your input and continue to Radiate Positivity!”
“Per capita” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. It seems to suggest that the “low attendance” hypothesis is correct. Bonnaroo has spent plenty of time existing in the social media era. This particular phenomenon definitely seems to be a more vocal issue in 2022 than in previous years.