Festival Friday is back!

All right, it's been a few weeks, but I'm back with another Festival Friday. To make up for it, tomorrow I'm starting a countdown to Bonnaroo with a new post each day. But today just a quick check - have you practiced your set-up?

For those who've never been to the farm, the entire set-up process might seem a little crazy. Cars park, people stream out of their cars, shade tents immediately start popping up and tents are staked. There are a few reasons for this mad rush:

- The sooner you're up, the sooner you can sit in the shade/get out of the rain or start exploring. 

- Sometimes space needs to be claimed before the 6 people next to you get their two 8-person tents up.

- The sooner you're up, the sooner you can sit in the shade/get out of the rain or start exploring.

To make this all a smoother process, here are a few tips:

- Try to keep everything you'll need for setup in an easily accessible spot, perhaps on the floor in the backseat. That way after your car is searched, your tent won't disappear into the abyss of your trunk. (Side note: Store bread/hot dog buns in something sturdy so that the car searchers don't have to worry about flattening it)

- Know your footprint. Go out and practice your setup. How much space do you really need? With a 10x10 pop-up shade tent, we'll nestle our tents about 1/3 of the way under to help save space. By knowing how we want our space set up, we can immediately get out of the car, unroll our tents, and then set up our shade tent knowing we have enough space.

- Be kind to your neighbors. We all want space, but you're going to be living next door to these folks for several days. If someone next to you got stuck with the tiniest plot of land with barely enough room for one tent, see if you and your neighbors can help shift over some space.

- Bring duct tape.

- Guylines in the night are the scariest thing at Bonnaroo. Find something to help identify them (unfortunately glow sticks aren't allowed, because those are the easiest solution): bright string, solar powered string lights, a flag, tie something to it, etc. Protect your tent, yourself and the person walking - let them know there is a taught rope about to trip them.

- Test your ideas for posting flags or balloons at home. I'm not complaining about the flags and balloons waving in the wind, I would never find my tent without these. ("Wait, why am I buy the unicorn, I need to find the clownfish!") However, a badly posted flagpole could result in an awkward introduction to your neighbors. ("Hi, I'm the guy with the clownfish. I'm sorry to tell you but it fell and now your hood has a big dent down the middle of it...")

- Did you find your duct tape yet? Good. Grab your rubber mallet and a flashlight too.

Things you could have to be the helpful neighbor: extra stakes, extra plasticware, scissors, small tool kit, jumper cables, cold beer (either as gift or trade for a warm one) and since you're camp will be up in no time - see if anyone needs a rubber mallet too.

All right, make sure to check my other Festival Friday posts to get some tips on what to bring, how to sort out all those conflicts and some favorite bands I've seen. And check back tomorrow as I count it down to getting back to the farm.

Remember - Protect your ears, skin, and hydrate! Happy Friday!