Day parking vs. camping

Tammy asks:
My husband and I are in our late 40s, fairly laid back, tolerant, nondrinkers, and nonsmokers who are considering attending Bonnaroo. We live very close by.. 10 miles away and have a large camper. We are considering two options: take our camper or get a day pass and sleep at home. What are the details of the day pass and parking and how does it work? Do we end up waiting hours to get into Roo if we have day passes? Do we end up parking in BFE and spending lots of time walking stead of listening? Is it easy to exit in the pm? We are considering hauling our camper but we are concerned about getting stuck if it rains heavily (as it seems prone to do). Not to mention the 150 camping fee when we are practically at our home. Also, we have 2 little guys at home so we would hire a sitter. Any chance that we could predict times getting in and out Bonnaroo if we drive?
We think the VIP tickets are a tad pricey but are concerned that we will be unhappy with the "crush" of people and long hikes/waits to events. Should we VIP instead of buy regular tickets?
Day parking hasn't been the most convenient in years past, on this map regular day parking is not really close to Centeroo, upper right hand corner (no guarantee that's how it'll be this year, they've been pretty consistent lately though). So that's a negative (unless you have a handicap tag, accessible day parking is MUCH closer). If you go into Centeroo in the morning and stay until late you won't have a lot of walking, but forget popping off to your camp for a short breather.

Getting into Bonnaroo on Thursday will be a pain, the line on the interstate is long; Fri, Sat and Sun may be better, you will probably still wait. Getting out will probably not be that bad until Sunday night when it turns into a clusterfark.

If you have a camper, I'd bring it and pay the $150. Staying at Bonnaroo is part of the whole experience, shows can run until 3 am, it's nice to be able to just crawl to your camp and crash afterward. I've seen very few campers get stuck, I'd not really worry about that. As far as getting a sitter for the little ones, that all depends on how comfortable you are leaving them with a sitter and the cost involved. I have 2 little guys as well (5 & 4) and I wouldn't bring them to Bonnaroo (I realize many people bring their kids to 'roo, I'm not saying you shouldn't, I just wouldn't, maybe a topic for a future post).

Finally, VIP. I would not particularly recommend it unless you really hate crowds and lines. There are some advantages to VIP.
  1. You get to camp close. This is nice, but not crucial. If you really want to be close, join us in Tent Only.
  2. You get a special (i.e. short) security line into Centeroo. Again, this is nice, but honestly, the line into Centeroo is rarely more than 15 min or so.
  3. You get special seats for the 2 main stages. Not a bad perk, but the seats aren't that close, but they're your's for the taking. There isn't a VIP section at the 3 smaller stages. There is never really a "wait" for shows unless you need to be front row. You just show up and enjoy.
  4. You get free amenities not available to others. VIP has free showers, but showers are available for ~$7 to the (literally) unwashed masses. VIP has free food, but from what I've heard, it is not anything amazing. There is very good food available in Centeroo and the Tent City.
Hope this helps.


  1. I wasn't aware of there being a day-pass option for Roo. I'm pretty sure that you have to buy the a ticket for the whole weekend.

    In addition, I'm fairly certain that they don't let anybody leave until Friday afternoon. (Traffic flow concerns.) This means that you either skip the Thursday night shows or you stay overnight Thursday.

    If you're so close, your best bet might be to travel separately. You can use the RV as your home base and then leave the car in day parking once you can get it out there. Just a thought.

  2. There isn't a day pass, there is (or at has been in past years) a day parking area. I think this is what Tammy was interested in. Looking at the 'roo website, they only mention Accessible Day Parking. I'll try to get in touch w/ them to get more info.

  3. Would it be possible to park in the Day Parking, and set up a tent in the Tent Only area, thus having the option of sleeping there, or commuting home for some R & R? (I live in Nashville)