Before my life revolved around music, booze, women, and business I was quite the amateur baseball player.  Playing baseball came first in my life from age 6 to 16, and there wasn’t a close second. One of my fondest memories was opening day. The feeling among us players was electric, it was palpable. The smell of the freshly cut grass was a huge shot in the arm. The whole experience was a picnic of feelings and emotions.

Upon entering the Bonnaroo Music Festival, I started to have similar feelings. I can taste the excitement surrounding  the event. Being one among the thousands of people descending upon the tiny Tennessee town of Manchester can’t help but send adrenaline through my veins. And I have a feeling many others feel the same. Perhaps it reminds them of a childhood pastime that brought joy to their lives.

Then I think of how my interest in playing baseball waned as other interests in my life came to the forefront.  Are there veteran Bonnaroo’ers who still travel to the festival out of a sense of routine?  Is the excitement still there?  I’m sure it is for many but possibly not for others. I hope if I ever plan on going to Bonnaroo in years to come that I can capture the excitement I experienced in first arriving into the festival grounds.  Of course, there are still 4 full days of music to come that could either add or subtract from my initial wonder and curiosity. But so far, so good.  However, if that initial feeling of what I experienced today cannot come close to being recaptured in potential future visits, I know it will be time to move on.

So far the festival is exactly what I expected it to be, and that is a good thing. I expected to see a community of music fans willing to lend a friendly hand and share in many different experiences.  This is what I see as I walk through the parking lot. This is what I hear when I talk to fans about their favorite artists. I don’t sense anyone going through the motions. And that’s a wonderful feeling. It’s like the sound of the crack of the bat. The ball hitting the leather mitt.

Now it’s time for the festival. Let’s play ball.

–Chris Dino