The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd


Bonnaroo Livin': Day 3

Staff writer Kylie Piper is volunteering at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this weekend. As a part of her experience, she is posting daily blog posts while she is there. This is the fourth post of the series. Read the first, second and third posts.

Unlike every other day so far, I was awoken this morning at 7 a.m. by the opening to Jack Johnson’s song “You And Your Heart.” Johnson was asked to fill in as a festival headliner in the place of Mumford & Sons, who were forced to cancel due to their bassist having a blood clot in his brain. This morning, Johnson’s soothing voice was carrying all the way from the main stage, where he was doing his sound check for the night’s performance. I wish Jack Johnson could be my alarm clock every morning.

After sitting in my car to charge my phone for a little while, I left for my third and final volunteer shift. We picked up some trash, washed off a few golf carts, and then just sat under a tent until it was time to leave. After hearing other volunteers talk about the mundane work they had to do, I definitely think I got a great C’roo placement.

After waiting in a ridiculously long line for Centeroo, where the main stages are, I walked around a bit to kill time before seeing Portugal. The Man. It was incredibly hot outside, but their singer was sporting a coat onstage. They jammed out for over an hour, playing songs from their newest album, which was released just last week, as well as older songs. But even though they put on a great show, the crowd didn’t seem to be too excited about it.

After Portugal. The Man, I made my way to The Other Tent to see Matt & Kim. I was ready for an energetic performance, and they didn’t disappoint. They’re the type of band that gives everything they have when performing.

Cat Power followed, mostly because I was tired of being in crowds and found a nice shady spot near the stage where she was playing. She gave a soulful, passionate performance that was the perfect soundtrack for sitting in the grass, eating dinner, and watching the sun go down.

I had planned on watching The Lumineers, but apparently everyone else at Bonnaroo also had that plan because the entire area surrounding the stage was full of people. I was forced to choose between trying to get closer to watch The Lumineers but missing the beginning of Jack Johnson’s set or skipping The Lumineers and being near the front for Jack Johnson.

I decided to go ahead to the What Stage where Johnson would be playing. I thought it was a long shot, but I got in the line for the pit. I somehow ended up being in the second row on the far right of the stage, and I had a perfect view of Jack Johnson. I still can’t believe that out of the 80,000 people who watched that show, I was able to be on the second row. It was a really special moment for me.

It turns out that this show was Johnson’s first in two years, and he only had two days to prepare for it. He messed up several times, but it only gave the performance a sense of humility and authenticity.

Johnson dedicated his set to Mumford & Sons and Ted Dwayne, the bassist. Johnson and his band even performed a cover of “The Cave,” one of Mumford & Sons’ most popular songs. It was a huge hit with the crowd, and a really classy act on Johnson’s part.

After Jack Johnson’s performance, I made it to the Which Stage just in time to catch R. Kelly perform “Ignition (Remix)” and to That Tent just in time to see the beginning of Billy Idol’s show, which began with his hit “Dancing With Myself.”

So far, I have seen more artists than I could have ever hoped to see in just three days. I can’t wait to find out what tomorrow, the fourth and final day of Bonnaroo, has in store for me.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


Welcome Back Edition 2021

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive