Preparations Underway for the 2023 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival that Starts Thursday

Jun 13, 2023 at 10:39 pm by WGNS Radio News

COFFEE COUNTY, TN – As the temperatures rise, so will the volume in neighboring Coffee County. The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival gets into full swing on Thursday, June 15th and runs through Sunday night, June 18th. As always, concert goers can expect a wide variety of musical giants like the Foo Fighters, Kip Moore, Sheryl Crow, Korn, Yung Gravy, Girl in Red, Paramore, the Pixes and a long-long list of others.

Manchester, Tennessee continues to host Bonnaroo, which is one of the most popular “LIVE” music events in the country. Since 2002, the event has featured a diverse assortment of performers on a 700-acre Middle Tennessee farm that becomes the temporary home for thousands of fans from across the country. This year, over 65,000 people are expected to attend the multi-concert, multi-day event.


The area in and around Manchester always sees increased traffic volumes during this time. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is gearing up for the extra vehicles heading into and around the area. TDOT works closely with the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), Manchester Police Department, Manchester Fire and Rescue, Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, Coffee County EMA, and festival promoters to keep traffic moving on I-24 while also getting Bonnaroo attendees to their destination.

In Rutherford County, hotels and motels will likely be at near capacity levels as many music lovers enjoy the concerts, but not the camping. Some guests staying at hotels in Manchester reserve rooms 6-months in advance of the annual event, to ensure they have a cold shower and a private bed – as opposed to sharing a tent or camper on the Bonnaroo grounds.

TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley stated, “TDOT has once again coordinated with our agency partners to ensure safe and efficient travel during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.” Eley went on to explain, “The main objective is to keep thru traffic moving smoothly on I-24 while getting festivalgoers safely into and out of the Bonnaroo site. Because of this advance planning, we believe we can successfully minimize traffic delays throughout the weekend.”

TDOT HELP units will assist with traffic management during the festival and aid any motorists who require assistance. In addition, TDOT will be taking the following steps:

  • Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing.

  • HELP trucks will be on-site patrolling the interstate and state routes throughout the festival region.

  • Exit 111 (SR-55) will be used as the main festival exit. Alternate exits will be used if congestion occurs on the interstate.

  • TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend.

  • Variable message signs will be in place to warn drivers ahead of delays.

  • No construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the festival between 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, through 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 19, 2023.

  • Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking in the crossovers and blocking emergency vehicles.

  • Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and/or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane unimpeded.

  • Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at low volume.

  • Temporary communication towers will be in place to improve emergency communications.

 If drivers need the assistance of a state trooper while traveling anywhere in Tennessee, they can dial *THP (*847) from their cell phone. They will be automatically connected to the nearest THP dispatch office and the operator will send a state trooper to their location.

From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and “Know Before You Go!” by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text, or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.

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