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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2010/07/01
by Annabel Lukins

Bonnaroo Buzz

Year after year, Bonnaroo proves to be the event of the summer. It’s such a household name in music lovers lives, that no matter who is playing, they keep showing up. It’s more than a festival…it’s a life changing experience.

Yes, it’s hot. Yes, it rains, No, the smell in the air isn’t like roses. But no one seems to care…they keep coming back.

And the midst of all the glorious, I live happily in a little world called the Sonic Village.

On Wednesday night I have an annual tradition….I take a solo mission out toward where “Tent City” is coming alive, watch the sunset (and I am CRAZY about Bonnaroo sunsets), and take a moment to reflect on how grateful I am to be given the chance to come back every year. It’s a dream to work at a festival I have so much affection for while having creative freedom to book, manage & emcee the Sonic Stage.

So here’s my Bonnaroo sunset during my annual moment where space and time stand still and pure love fills my soul.

This is my ABSOLUTE favorite Thursday morning photo. I take it every year at 8:00am. Traffic into Bonnaroo is consistent for well over 24 hours. It’s not that they don’t have a good system in place, it’s that getting 80,000 people onto the grounds takes a long time.

The festival now has their own Ben & Jerry’s flavor, “Bonnaroo Buzz!” Jerry was wandering around Centeroo and I couldn’t help but tell him how much I’ve grown up eating his yummy ice cream.

The Sonic Stage runs Friday – Sunday and I booked a bunch of great bluegrass bands on Friday including the super talented Punch Brothers. I’ve known Chris Thile and Noam Pikenly for years.

Speaking of knowing a band for years, I believe that I have known the Disco Biscuits the longest…since 1997. At a bar called Crossroads in NYC, I went up to them and said that I would do anything to be one of their street teamers. Right then and there, a lifelong friendship began. They put a lot of effort into planning their set on the stage (all Sonic Stage sets are only 30 minutes). The crowd was huge and I was really proud of the boys.

Umphrey’s played right after the Biscuits and Brock came to sit in with them. Needless to say, we had a very cool backstage hang goin on.

Once we shut the stage down at dusk, I get to go run around the festival, off duty as a boss and on duty as a music fan. So obviously I ran over to catch the last hour of Franti on the Which Stage. The show was delightful, Michael and the boys are reaching new heights of success, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for them.

After their show, I went to congratulate them on their tour bus and got a serious hug from Carl Young. There’s some real love going on right here

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