This year, more specifically this summer, will mark a lot of firsts for your boy. If all goes according to plan, this will be the first summer I make it to both nights of Phish at the Mann instead of only one, the first time I will see The String Cheese Incident, the first time I see Sleep (hopefully playing Dopesmoker), the first summer class I take while an undergraduate, and my first Bonnaroo.

Let me preface this by saying how unabashedly excited I am to make the trek out to Manchester, Tennessee. The lineup is amazing and filled with a fistful of artists I will also be seeing for the first time, not to mention the hype that has been built up in my head for the past year by my best friends who all have been to the festival before.

Usually I wouldn’t be one to attend a festival like Bonnaroo, with more DJs and – for lack of a better term –mainstream acts than I would prefer- but I digress. It’s looking like a hell of a time, and since it’s the 15th anniversary of the festival they’re bringing some acts reminiscent of the first couple of years of the fest, which started out jam-heavy with lineups that read like a fantasy festival in my mind.

But also, Bonnaroo offers a lot more than your average festival in terms of environment – there are a bunch of stages, a comedy tent, a movie tent, vendors and attractions galore. As far as mega-festivals go, they are the cream of the crop. Planning out the weekend, looking at the schedule, it has me thinking about how bittersweet a festival can actually be. With so many different things to do, artists to see, and attractions to visit it’s hard to do everything you may set out to do in one weekend.

My question to music festivals is this: Why do you hate me? 

My conclusion is that I feel that not just Bonnaroo, but all music festivals, have a personal vendetta towards me. Here’s why (and I’m just using Bonnaroo as an example)

My top acts for Bonnaroo (in no particular order)

– Dead and Company
– Pearl Jam
– Ween
– Kurt Vile 
– Father John Misty
– Lettuce
– Papadosio
– Charles Bradley 
– Lord Huron 
– Jason Isbell
– The Wood Brothers 
– Tame Impala 
– Kamasi Washington 

Solid list right? All at the same festival? That’s what I’m talking about. Here’s the problem with some of this list. MOST of these acts are all scheduled for the same day, which could be cool, but they’re all on Sunday. Historically, I have never been filled with energy on the last day of a festival.

Dead & Company headlines on Sunday, which initially I was bummed about, but have gotten over. But – Ween and Lord Huron’s sets overlaps with the beginning of the headliner. Lettuce and Father John Misty play at almost the exact same time. Kurt Vile overlaps with The Wood Brothers and Jason Isbell. Charles Bradley overlaps with the beginning of The Wood Brothers. Almost all of the acts I’m excited to see overlapping with one another makes Zach a dull boy.

Oh well, I guess!! Festival overlaps are frustrating. I know there’s usually not a way to fix that aspect of a music festival, but it still happens. I’m not really trying to bash Bonnaroo or any other music fest. I love music festivals more than I love most other things. They are the purest and most joyous occasions in my young life. I’m really just venting here.

Well, I’ve got to go run some errands and drink more coffee..

Hoping this wasn’t a total waste of your time! Here’s the song that’s currently playing from my speakers:





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