Staying Sober At Bonnaroo

by Bridget on June 1, 2012

The Bonnaroo music festival is an annual event held in the small town of Manchester, Tennessee. Every year, thousands of music fans descend upon the tiny farming town to hear their favorite bands play in front of some of the most amazing and enthusiastic crowds in the world. Unfortunately, many people use the festival as an excuse to openly abuse drugs and alcohol. Many people come for the sole purpose of using psychedelic drugs and to stumble around the campgrounds. This ruins the festival for many people, who are there because the love the music and want to experience the festival atmosphere.


Thankfully, this year at the festival, for the first time, there is a portion of the fairgrounds that are dedicated to what is being called “Soberoo”. This portion of the event is a safe haven for individuals who do not wish to be surrounded by drugs or alcohol. It is also open to people who are in recovery and need a place to watch the music without having to worry about being tempted. Inside Soberoo, there is a tent with a sign that says “For friends of Bill. W.” This is a reference to the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. There are meetings that will take place at this year’s festival anytime that someone wants to have one. This is a fantastic resource for people who are in recovery to take advantage of, as many festival goers spend multiple days camping out at the event.


In addition to the people who attend the music festival to watch the acts, there are a number of different musicians that are happy to take advantage of what Soberoo has to offer. In between their music sets, these musicians can attend a meeting or simply relax in one of the many areas inside Soberoo free from the temptations of drugs or alcohol. One musician at the festival was so glad for the service he said, “I truly believe I can do anything and go anywhere as long as I don’t drink or use. That obviously includes Bonnaroo now. Knowing there’s a meeting here gives me the freedom and confidence to do what I want.”

Going to music festivals like Bonnaroo can be a wonderful experience for music lovers. You are out in nature, the weather is beautiful, and you are surrounded by people who share your passion for music. However, many of those people might also share a passion for drugs and alcohol that you do not. That is why Bonnaroo should be commended for coming up with such an innovative solution to the problem facing concert goers who are in recovery. Also, for people who are at the concert and are abusing drugs and alcohol, they will see Soberoo and see that it is possible for people to go to a music festival and not be intoxicated. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is vital for them to get into a residential drug treatment program.

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