Despite massive crowds of 65,000... Some knew the ultimate definition of "Chilling" among the masses.
He was asleep in the middle of the heavily occupied store front area of Bonnaroo. It was an area that was reminiscent of a third world marketplace, yet more organized and perhaps a little cleaner. But, the vendors were everywhere and many were demonstrating their goods outside of their tents.
He quietly slept as if he were passed out, his hands clinching his face. Some passerby’s stopped to stare at his chest to see if he was still breathing. I stood over him as he slowly opened one eye, “Hey man, are you okay or do you need some help?” Dazed, he slowly sat up with my son standing behind me. “No, I was uh… I’m fine – I’m okay – sleeping,” he responded.
For some, the 24 hours of parties, live music and bizarre behavior is overwhelming. For others, it’s just the alcohol and / or drugs.
Like a maze, music allows some to become lost no matter the outside distractions. Some can tune out the world around them as they simply listen.
“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” ― Keith Richards, Rolling Stones
All ages having fun in the "Silent Disco" at Bonnaroo.
For those who have never been, it is a massive dance area under a tent with no audible music from the outside. You must wear your headphones or the headphones they provide for you. If you wear their headphones you hear the DJ (he can be seen in the background).
"Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
What were they saying to one another minutes before the performance of U2 at Bonnaroo? I have no idea? I could guess based on their actions after the short discussion I froze in time... It likely went like this...
Centipede man: Hey man, I can use this stuffed centipede to get us to the very front. What I will do is, hold it above my head and make it look like it is crawling towards the front and everyone will move out of our way. Are you in bud?
Bud: Nope, you are nuts
Centipede man: Watch this
Did it work? YES!
Music, art and light – all forms of energy that give you distinct feelings of freedom in a way that just words fail to give.
When I photograph at night I don't use a flash because of a fear that it would distort the light that I see. The reds at a concert, the light strings that someone swings around, the glow sticks tied to a persons body to show that he or she is in the moment, etc.
Bono of the group U2 was performing and those in attendance were in their own worlds taking on the feel that the music was introducing into their bodies. Some people were uniting together with smiles, some were crying while others were dancing with light.
During an interview that took place over 18 years ago, Bono told a reporter, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”
Bonnaroo at 2:00 Saturday morning (June 10, 2017).
It is always interesting to watch people and their reactions more so then what they are seeing to cause the reaction. To me, that is where the attention should be as it once was in magazines like LIFE, which we no longer have.
Why? Because Life is what we want to see and peoples reactions, be it happy or sad, that is where you get an understanding of what is real or how someone or a group of people feel.
If I focused on the entertainer it would simply be someone singing on a stage by himself or herself - no real expression of the moment can be seen in the entertainers face as it is often just another show.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote a profound statement that could easily describe Woodstock in 1969, our military forces when an entertainer visits a camp in Afghanistan or Bonnaroo in 2017. Thoreau wrote, “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” At concert venues far and wide, music is what peacefully brings people of all backgrounds, colors or nationalities together.
Outside the main entrance into the concert area of Bonnaroo 2017 sit two life sized kaleidoscopes. For those who enjoyed a little too much pleasure earlier in the day, your eyes can easily become glued to the multiple colors.
At 3AM on Saturday, he became glued.