Well, I survived Bonnaroo Music Festival once again. Four days of camping in the humid, 90-plus degree Tennessee summer isn't easy, but that's why god made vegan Bloody Marys. A stout tomato-based cocktail at the campsite, followed by lots and lots of water (got to stay hydrated), is the perfect way to face the day at an outdoor music festival.
After enjoying our morning drinks, my friends and I headed into Centeroo — the main festival area with stages, vendors, a water slide, a ferris wheel (above) and other activities — to see NOFX, Loretta Lynn, Florence and the Machine, Arcade Fire (who I didn't like until this past weekend ... their live show is so much better than their recorded stuff), Eninem, Wiz Khalifa, Beats Antique, the Scissor Sisters, and plenty more. Oh, the very best part? Raunchy cult filmmaker John Waters in the comedy tent.
This was my second Bonnaroo. Last year, I was concerned about finding vegan festival food, but this year I knew better. Vegan food abounds at the 'Roo. I did bring some canned goods and sandwich supplies to save money, but I managed to score a few meals from vegan-friendly vendors.
On Friday night, I was craving a tasty snack to enjoy with my special edition Sierra Nevada Bonnaroo Brew. So I grabbed this Veggie Samosa from the Samosa Man cart to nosh on while watching Bassnectar:
It may not be the prettiest shot, but hey, I was shooting with a flash in total darkness at 1:30 a.m. The giant crispy samosa was stuffed with spicy potatoes, peas, and other curried veggies and served with a spicy tomato sauce.
On Saturday, I needed a quick bite in between sets by Wiz Khalifa and Loretta Lynn, so I grabbed this Crunchy Earth Burger (their name, but I like it) from TomKats Catering inside the media hospitality tent:
This hearty black bean patty was so tasty, and you could see bits of corn and other veggies with each bite. I enjoyed it with kettle-cooked Zapp's Cajun Dill Gator Taters.
On Sunday, I couldn't resist the Vegan Daiya Pizza from the Full of Life wood-fired pizza stand:
I had their vegan pizza topped with beets and carrots last year, and it was killer. Here the menu for this year:
And here's the little man who cooked my pizza:
This year's vegan pizza was a little better. Topped with lots of Daiya mozzarella, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and fresh spinach:
OMG! I stuffed my face with this while I waited an hour for John Waters tickets at the comedy tent. Unfortunately, the pizza didn't last the entire hour. I wish it lasted all day.
Later on Sunday, I was feeling pretty beat. Standing in the John Waters line with blazing sun and no shade took a lot out of me. After downing some much-needed water, I knew fresh produce would make me right again. So I stopped at the smoothie stand for this refreshing Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Smoothie:
There was plenty of vegan food I didn't get to try — BBQ tofu sandwiches, falafel with hummus, vegan burritos, salad from the organic salad cart, Greek veggie pitas, and so much more. I wish every festival was so vegan-friendly, but since Bonnaroo draws more than 60,000 people (many of them vegan hippies), I can understand why they cater to everyone ... including herbivores.