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5 Things I Learned Within the First 24 Hours of Bonnaroo 2012, as Told Through Instagram [BONNAROO DIARY, DAY 1] [PICTURES]

Late on Wednesday night, June 6, my friends and I set out from Nashville to Manchester, Tenn. Very, very late (or very early, depending on how you look at it) the next morning, we arrived at what will be our home until Sunday evening — a small spot of grass somewhere on the giant plot of farmland that, ever year, turns into the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.

Now in its 11th year, Bonnaroo has established itself as one of the country’s (many) premiere summer festivals, attracting guests from all over and plenty of awesome acts. Case in point: The guy sleeping in the tent next to us is from somewhere in Europe, and the acts at this year’s festival range from the Beach Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish to Alabama Shakes, City & Colour and Ludacris.

Given that I’ve only experienced Day 1 and all the action is just ramping up, I can’t yet offer any major opinions on a lot of the festival’s events. However, this is my first trip to ‘Roo, and in the time since my friends and I parked and (semi-successfully) set up camp in the wee hours of the morning, I’ve learned a few things about “life on the farm,” as the Bonnaroovians say. Here are five of the big lessons, and the Instagram photos to illustrate.

Lesson #1. When arriving at ‘Roo, no matter when you get there, you will wait in line. For a long time. So you may as well get cozy and put on some good tunes.

Lesson #2. Get to know (and like/tolerate) your neighbors. You’ll be quite cozy in your tent homes.

Lesson #3. Hydration (of every sort) is important. You’re going to wake up early after a short — and uncomfortable — night of sleep You’re going to be sitting out in the sun, heat and humidity. You’re going to be tired from your late nights of watching bands until 2 a.m. Caffeine, alcohol and especially water are your friends.

Lesson #4. On that “sitting out in the sun, heat and humidity” note…The sun has no mercy. Don’t tempt it and end up ruining the rest of your weekend (and your skin).

Lesson #5. That Tent. This Tent. The Other Tent. Which Stage. What Stage — Determining which act is playing where can sound like a bad Abbott & Costello routine.

NEXT: Bonnaroo Day 2 Coverage

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