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Published: 2006/04/01

Internet Chatter Hints at Bonnaroo Gang Squabble

Tennessee authorities, on both state and local levels, have been alerted to the potential for gang conflict at the annual Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival. The two gangs in question, the Dirty Chuck Taylors and Exposed Toes, are known to be affiliated with music scenes converging in Manchester this June. The Taylors, as they often go by, are said to be rallying in support of artists like Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Sonic Youth, The Dresden Dolls, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and, most importantly, their defacto leader Stephen Malkmus. The Toes, proclaiming Bonnaroo as their yearly Mecca, are set to bow down to artists like Phil Lesh, moe., Mike Gordon, Les Claypool, MMW, Disco Biscuits and their unofficial leader, Trey Anastasio.
Authorities caught wind of the rising tensions through internet message board surveillance. Speaking on behalf of local Coffee County authorities who oversee law enforcement for the festival, Sheriff Jim Wiggins said, These kids speak freely on these message boards and think that no one with the right to shoot, kill and handcuff is going to read this stuff. We are.
While Wiggins declined to comment on the potential for profiling abuse, it was clear he knew who and what authorities are looking for. When one user named HumboldtDew told another user, MopeyGirl, that at least when I do get my hair cut, its at straight angles, it reinforces the notion that, like all gangs, they use outward symbols to convey allegiance and strengthen group identity.
Among the traits most-likely on authorities checklists for Taylors profiling: heavy mascara, vintage t-shirts with esoteric language, hairstyle that suggests product use without a comb or brush, skintight long-sleeved shirts with horizontal stripes, jelly bracelets, green flats (women only), neatly ripped denim skirts or jeans, excessive use of blush, manorexic-like body (men only), hair in eyes and, of course, dirty Chuck Taylors.
Another authority, who asked for anonymity, said, Basically, we know the Toes to be a pretty mellow, fun-loving bunch with the exception of your few naked trippers. Hopefully those self-professed heady vibes will continue, but the presence of a large about of Taylors does create a dynamic riddled with tension and squint-eyed stares.
Whether or not the two gangs will physically clash, nobody can say. However, Williamsburg, NY resident Margot Ritaman was not holding her breath. All Im saying is that if anyone with a stupid hemp necklace or glass pipe starts dancing next to me while Im trying to gaze at my Vans during the Bright Eyes set, then its on.

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