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Ask Bonnaroo

Published: 2005/05/21

Site Evolution and The Rites Of Pan Festival?

Richard Goodstone of Superfly Productions has stepped up to answer the latest two questions in our current installment of Ask Bonnaroo…

You mentioned in the last Ask Bonnaroo that you’re down there for a month prior to the festival. What do you do for fun during that time?- Kenny L

During this time frame, the many months of planning come to fruition through the building of the site. The first people on site are our project managers who are there to survey the land, meet with contractors and make sure the timeline for setting up everything from trailers and water systems, to tents and fences are on schedule. Once the trailers are in place and the phone lines situated, more staffing comes on site and begins working. We start staff catering about 3 weeks before the event where we start with 60 people eating, and ramp up to feed over 3000 staff per day. Everyone works on their respective areas and with an operation this big, there are always certain meetings and details that can only be dealt with while onsite. While it gets a bit easier each year, there are always new challenges that seem to pop up as well. Last year it was all about the weather. This year, we hope that won't be a problem. One of my favorite things to do is get in my golf cart the week before the event, when most of our infrastructure is in place, and cruise the site during dusk with no one really on the site. It amazes me every year what this land which is a 700 acre farm for eleven months out of the year turns into during the week of Bonnaroo. It's almost as much fun as the event itself.

What was the best impractical idea that someone on your staff has had relative to music or other events at Bonnaroo?- Steve R

We encourage everyone to give ideas with reckless abandon in our organization so needless to say, we've had some ridiculous ones over the years. Certainly one of our favorite stories was when choosing a name for the festival. Not the easiest thing to come up with something that is catchy and a name that when you hear, you know exactly what it means. Someone internally wanted to call it the Rites Of Pan Festival. Not sure if everyone knows what a Pan is, but it's a Greek god of woods, fields and flock and has a human torso and head with a goat's legs, horns and ears. Could you see yourself going to that festival? Sounds like a medieval jousting event. Fortunately the name Bonnaroo soon followed which worked out very well.

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