Monday, June 24, 2024

BonnaROOTS Returns To Bonnaroo 2024

The four-day Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee will be kicking off soon for the year, beginning on Thursday, June 13th through Sunday, June 16th. For the many years that I have covered Bonnaroo, I always passed by the communal table where I watched festival goers enjoying some amazing looking meals. I never looked into joining the table until 2022 and it became some of my favorite moments and images at Bonnaroo. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

BonnaROOTS are annual and locally-sourced evening feasts that support some great causes like Oxfam America and Eat for Equity. With multiple days available for a chance to have dinner for a cause, you may even find yourself sharing a table with Bonnaroo producers, artists, and activists. As a group, everyone will enjoy a wonderful meal together that helps raise thousands of dollars for the benefit of others. All proceeds from the meals will go toward 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

I was able to fully experience the dinner on Thursday and Friday evenings of Bonnaroo 2023 and enjoy the delicious farm-to-table meal prepared by the volunteer team. The volunteers are artists, nurses, writers, and brand strategists, not seasoned kitchen professionals.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On Thursday diners enjoyed the longest salad on the table for the unique dining experience with the freshest farm to table produce available. I always love this experience because every year you can meet new people at the festival as you enjoy a meal together making these special Bonnaroo memories.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On Friday, in the pop-up kitchen I was able to see the volunteers grilling meat, stirring large roasters of grits, kneading bread dough, chopping hundreds of pounds of vegetables, making sauces and slaws, and making lots of pies.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

During the dinner at the long communal table, I met people from all over the country who had come together to enjoy the food picks and recipes from some of their favorite musical artists. Participants could enjoy a DIY soda bar or a cold beer with their meal as they checked in for the experience.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In 2023, the four-course meal included the following dishes. For hors d’oeuvre we all were served pickled vegetables, aged ham, cheddar pimento cheese, superjam, and a grilled baguette. As an appetizer we were given greens with herbs and flowers with a golden dressing and golden dukkah. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket curated the main course, brown butter blue grits, hibiscus guajillo pulled pork, purple super garnish, and grilled vegetables with citrus and herbs. Patrick loves to cook and these recipes were absolutely delicious. Finally, we had dessert which was a berry tiramisu or the vegan hibiscus coconut panna cotta. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

This year, BonnaROOTS will return once more to offer up good food for a charitable cause. On opening night, the first BonnaROOTS dinner will be The World’s Longest Salad, beautiful and locally sourced. Tickets for this dinner are $30 and you can join the waitlist. I loved this huge salad bar last year, and I was amazed at the magnificent line of fresh greens and chopped veggies. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On Saturday and Sunday, guests are invited to purchase a $75 ticket that gains them access to a community dinner with more than just salad. It is a four-course feast that is an add-on package that can be purchased with your Bonnaroo pass. It is a great value for the multi-course meal and drinks that were included. Considering how delicious the 4-course meal was last year, we can guarantee that this year’s meals will be just as amazing.

UPDATE: Even though tickets for this year’s BonnaROOTS events are sold out, keep an eye out for next year’s meals so you can grab your seat at the table and help a charitable cause. 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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