Thursday Bonnaroo Beacon: Return of the Pod People
Its 3:50 on Wednesday afternoon and Ashley Capps is making the rounds.
Capps has a beatific smile on his face as he explains, I cant take enough tours. Theres a sense of surprise and discovery whenever I walk around the site. If the festival co-founder expresses such a sentiment, one can only imagine what festival neophytes and Bonnaroo regulars will think as they arrive over the course of the weekend.
Capps is particularly excited about Somethin Else, the jazz-themed tent (see New at the Roo). However, he extends his arms and gestures broadly, indicating his enthusiasm for numerous developments in the creative palette throughout the site.
While he speaks, many of these efforts are taking place in Centeroo, perhaps most notably in the fountain area, where squares abound (if you stop by, be sure to visit with Check McGregor).
Meanwhile, out in the temporarily desolate camping areas, a series of creative endeavors are in motion as well at the Pod Centers, witnessed by only limited eyes. Capps is particularly proud of the pod program, which was initiated a few year ago to foster communication and exchange among Bonnaroo attendees. We call them pods but theyre really community centers in the campgrounds. At the center of these (quite literally) are a series of interactive art projects overseen and authorized by longtime Bonnaroo contributor, sculptor John Bisbee.
A dozen teams of art students and enthusiasts have been on site for more than a week, bringing their own creative visions to bear. The designs vary, from the Hay Pod, which offers a series of abstractions in straw to the Human Zoo, which presents a range of animals rendered in refuse, to the Lite Bite Pod, which evokes the classic childrens toy using bottles of colored water.
Yet all of the projects share a common intent, as each of the Bonnaroo Pod Centers will remain in process and flux over the course of the weekend, calling out for the participation of nearby campers. The Yarn Pod only will achieve its designers aims of becoming a true cocoon of color, if festivalgoers stop by and contribute their share of weaving (best effected by hucking yarns balls at well-placed friends). Similarly the Lite Brite installation which is located in the Green Pod area, needs assistance in the form of empty bottles (caps are a necessity) which can be filled with color water and added to the structure. As for the Poetry Pod, that one calls out for, yup, words, which can be added to variegated strips.
All of the Pods will merit multiple viewings over the course of the weekend in varied light settings, and all should provide ample, ongoing opportunities for discovery. Much like the festival that has spawned them.