Safety is top of mind for authorities watching over Bonnaroo


MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tens of thousands of music fans are descending on the 700-acre farm known as Bonnaroo.

Music fans here are looking for a good time, and police are hoping to keep them safe.

It’s an experience like no other with the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival regularly drawing upwards of 90,000 people to Manchester, Tennessee.

“It’s something you look forward to a year in advance. People come here for the experience of being together in a big, happy group,” said festival goer Brian Geddes, who’s returning for his fourth year.

“Good music. Good times with my friends. We just graduated, so it’s going to be nice to spend some time with them before we go to college,” said Liya Hizkias, who’s going for the first time.

People come from all over the country by way of cars, on foot, and the occasional party bus, armed with water, snacks, camping equipment, and ice that will melt in less than 24 hours.

They also come with enough beer to float a battleship, but it’s not the beer authorities are worried about.

“The most important thing is we are checking vehicles as they go in for illegal contraband,” Lucky Knott with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department said.

The focus is finding illegal drugs before they’re brought in and to stop dealers from bringing products to sell.

Last year, a search revealed one car loaded with cocaine, marijuana, pills, acid, mushrooms, and more.

“We’ve found many, many different varieties, anywhere from molly, to marijuana, to cocaine. You name it, we’ve probably found it,” Knott told News 2.

Bonnaroo also brings an annual traffic jam on Interstate 24 as local and state police work to get the festival goers safely into the farm.

Organizers are once again reminding people coming out this weekend to be prepared for the heat. Drink lots of water and bring sunscreen.

Keep an eye on this weekend’s weather forecast at

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