published Friday, June 11th, 2010

A latecomer's guide to Bonnaroo

So you got up this morning thinking you might head to Bonnaroo.

From a logistical standpoint, the festival doesn't exactly lend itself to such spontaneity. You'll need camping gear, for starters, or some other place to crash for the next couple of nights.

But there's no denying that Bonnaroo is for free spirits. And a free spirit would dig this gathering of world-class musicians and hard-core fans sweltering in the heat and humidity of a Southeast Tennessee summer.

If your mind's made up, here's what you need to know before you hit the road for Manchester.

* Who's coming: As always, the lineup is a who's who of artists from multiple genres. The bigger names include Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Tenacious D, Norah Jones and Weezer. Throw in The Avett Brothers, Trombone Shorty, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Steve Martin. That still leaves 166 acts, including a dozen comedians. They'll be spread among 13 stages playing nearly around the clock for the next three days.

* Admission: You have a couple of options for buying tickets: print at home from www.bonnaroo.com or buy at the box office at the Fantasy 101.5 FM radio station at 1025 Hillsboro Ave. in Manchester. The box office will be open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. today and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (all times are Central). Tickets are $275.

You must have a ticket when you reach the gate. Checkpoints will be set up the line of traffic, and vehicles will be turned back if any occupant can't produce a ticket.

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