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17 Top Bonnaroo Packing List Items for 2023 + What NOT to Bring

17 Top Bonnaroo Packing List Items for 2023 + What NOT to Bring
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Bonnaroo is a world-renowned four-day music festival that happens every June on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. It’s four days filled with music, of all types, including everything from indie rock, classic rock, and world music to hip hop, jazz, Americana, and bluegrass. Be prepared for this year’s festival by checking out this go-to packing list.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Bonnaroo – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes will make it a breeze to pack for your trip and once you arrive you will know exactly where you stashed away all of your items. Spend more time enjoying the festival, less time searching for your belongings.

    Hero packing cubes

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  • 2. Wallet

    This is a no-brainer. Make sure to bring a travel wallet with all the important stuff, including your ID, money, festival ticket, credit and debit cards, etc. This one is perfect for slipping in your back pocket or side satchel during the festival.


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  • 3. Sunscreen

    Those Tennessee afternoons really heat up in June. Usually, any music festival requires loads of time out in the hot sun. This is definitely true for Bonnaroo. Bring some sunscreen with a good amount of SPF, and apply it every couple hours while you’re outside. Don’t let a gnarly sunburn ruin your festival experience!


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  • 4. Water

    Make sure to bring lots of drinking water. It’s extremely easy to accidentally get dehydrated during the hot festival days. A good rule of thumb is one gallon per day per person. Stock up on a few big tanks before you go. These gallons of spring water will do the trick.


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  • 5. Tent

    You are going to need somewhere to sleep during Bonnaroo. Most festival-goers use tents, which are ideal, although hammocks could work too. This tent is inexpensive, can fit up to two people, and has a wide entrance for easy entry and exit.


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  • 6. Tarp or Carpet

    You will need to lay something on the ground at your campground to chill on outside. A simple blue tarp from the hardware store will do. Your other option is to invest in a solid waterproof tarp specifically for camping. This one is super durable and camper-approved.

    Tarp or Carpet

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  • 7. Air Mattress

    An air mattress will make your sleep at the festival infinitely more comfortable. Imagine sleeping on the hard ground as opposed to sleeping on a comfy mattress! Make sure you bring the air pump with you, and buy an air mattress that comes with a pump that can use your car as a power source!

    Air Mattress

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  • 8. Charging Phone Case

    A phone case that charges your phone will come in handy if you need to charge your phone on the go at any point during the festival. Don’t let a dead phone stop you from making it to the next music set! This case can fully charge your phone up to two times, and I personally use it almost every day.

    Charging Phone Case

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  • 9. Medicines (advil, etc)

    Anything can happen at a festival, and a first aid kit filled with bandaids, Advil and neosporin will come in handy at some point, no doubt. I’ve had blisters, splinters, scrapes, cuts and burns happen at festivals, and have had to use my first aid kit on myself, friends and strangers more times than I can count!

    Medicines (advil, etc)

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  • 10. Toilet Paper

    Bonnaroo Festival veterans will tell you: absolutely bring toilet paper. The porta-potties inevitably run out of toilet paper really quickly. Compostable, biodegradable is best.

    Toilet Paper

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  • 11. Bug Spray

    Lots of bugs are regulars at summer music festivals like Bonnaroo. Load up on high-grade bug spray and spray down yourself in the morning, and your tent and sleeping bag at nighttime. Nothing will ruin your time like itchy bug bites!

    Insect Repellent

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  • 12. Camping Chairs

    When you’re not out roaming the festival grounds and listening to cool bands, you’ll most likely be with your friends at your group camp site. Before you leave for the festival make sure to pack some folding chairs to relax in. These ones are ultralight and foldable.

    Camping Chairs

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  • 13. Lanterns

    Decorating your group space is a
    fun way to help everybody in your group distinguish your site from everybody else’s. Lanterns are a vibrant and practical way to decorate. They’ll help you find your way in the dark and then totally set the festival mood at your site. These ones are inexpensive and cute.


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  • 14. Solar Shower

    You might want to shower at some point during your time at Bonnaroo. A solar shower will come in very handy, and feel great after spending the day in the hot sun. This one packs down small and is easy to use. Make sure to read the instructions and do a test run at home before you go

    Solar Shower

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  • 15. Custom Flag

    There are going to be so many campsites set up throughout the festival. Create or buy a custom flag so that you and your friends can find your campsite easily. This one is a classic.

    Custom Flag

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  • 16. Large Cooler

    Definitely bring a large cooler to keep all your food and beverages nice and cold. Pack it with water bottles, easy snacks like fruit, and maybe a bottle of aloe vera in case you get sunburned. This one comes on wheels so you can easily roll it from the parking lot to your campsite with minimal effort.

    Large Cooler

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  • 17. Bandana

    A bandana is a festival must-have. Bandanas serve double or triple duty by moonlighting as headbands, face masks, camp flags, and more. This one comes in many different colors, so you and your friends can all match.


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What to wear at Bonnaroo

Less is more at Bonnaroo. As always, be prepared by dressing in layers. Bring a light jacket for nighttime. During the day, casual festival clothes like jean shorts and tee shirts are a good fit. For the car or plane trip there, wear comfortable clothes that you can re-wear throughout the weekend so that you don’t overpack.

What NOT to bring at Bonnaroo

  • 1. Weapons

    The festival is a time for peace and love (Bonnaroo was heavily influenced by Woodstock and other “peace and love” gatherings of the 1960s and 1970s, after all)!

  • 2.Generator

    Don’t bring a generator. If you need energy at your campsite, bring portable chargers or battery-powered devices only.

  • 3.Drone

    No drones allowed! They are dangerous and annoying to other concert-goers. Bring your selfie-stick instead if you want to get high-up pictures.

  • 4.Valuables

    Don’t bring any valuables! If you absolutely must, keep them locked and out of view in your vehicle.

  • 5.Glass

    Bring any alcohol in cans instead of glass bottles.

  • 6.Fireworks or flares

    Save the fire for Burning Man! No need to risk a forest fire.

  • 7.Animals or Pets

    Leave your furry friends at home.

FAQs about packing for Bonnaroo

  • 1. If I forgot something crucial would I be able to buy it?

    It totally depends on what it is that you forgot, but usually, there will be a “general store” tent that has “groceries” and essentials like sunscreen, glow sticks, pens, notepads, tampons, and other things. Prices are very high for most things, so try to prepare ahead of time and pack everything you’ll need.

  • 2. How much money should I bring with me?

    You should plan on bringing around $100-300 in cash. Bring closer to $300 if you want to purchase any souvenirs.

  • 3. How do I stay cool in my tent?

    Bring some ice packs and keep them in your cooler. When you’re getting ready for bed, cool down by setting one on your forehead. You can also bring portable fans to use in your tent.

  • 4. What are you supposed to do with your trash?

    The Festival staff will give you a trash bag when you go in, and they collect it later. Last year they gave festival-goers a raffle ticket for every bag of trash they turn in. If you can, try and spend a little time picking up trash and help keep Bonnaroo clean!

  • 5. How can I meet other festival-goers?

    Pods are the “community centers” of Bonnaroo. Pods are placed throughout the Bonnaroo campground and include community services such as information booths, medical stations, showers (sometimes), and drinking water. Pods are your space to meet and get to know your camping neighbors! Think of your Pod as your Bonnaroo community center.

  • 6. Will There Be ATMs Available?

    Yes. If you need cash, ATMs can be found throughout Centeroo, at the General Stores, and most Pods