published Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Being a good neighbor is part of Bonnaroo experience

Camping is a big component of the Bonnaroo experience, and it comes with its own set of challenges and rewards.

A well-organized camp and getting the right neighbors can mean the difference between enjoying the festival -- or not.

No one gets to choose their spot, or their neighbors other than the people they travel with, so a good attitude and luck are important, festival goers say. Having, and being, a good neighbor is part of the experience.

"It's a labyrinth of friends," said Zach DeSutter. 19.

"We have good neighbors. We've been lending and borrowing with them."

Fellow Notre Dame High School graduate Ryne Chambers, 18, said a couple next to their camp brought an extra camp shower and offered it to he and his 10 camp mates.

"That shower has been awesome," he said.

Mr. Chambers is not in the same camp site with Mr. DeSutter's site, which is closer to the main Centeroo area. Mr. Chambers said his site is so far away, he has to pay for a cab ride there and back, and the cost is adding up.

"The good news is we are on the edge, so there are trees and we don't have to walk to the portable bathrooms."

Getting to know the people who are inches away from you for four days is part of the fun for many people. Attending a festival such as Bonnaroo is a chance to leave the real world behind.

But for Jay Stallworth and Tim and Lee Ann Camp, of Mobile, Ala., the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is too important to forget about completely.

On Saturday morning, he was sharing the breeze from a 36-inch fan that he brought along with a nephew from Jackson, Tenn., Tim and Lee Anne Camp from Mobile and Tawny Kendall and Claire Langtry from San Francisco.

Thanks to smart phone technology, Mr. Stallworth was able to learn that two large oil slicks were within miles of his family's home off Point Clear, Ala., near Mobile.

"People don't realize how devastating this is to us," he said. "That salt water (the gulf) means more than the seafood industry. It is in every part of our lives.

"Don't tell me any more about it. I'm here to have a good time."

Continue reading more Bonnaroo 2010 coverage.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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