Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Alejandro Cerón

Second Advisor

Bonnie J. Clark

Third Advisor

Brian Kiteley


Bonnaroo, Community, Escapism, Identity formation, Music festival, Online communities


Music festivals offer individuals an escape from their daily routines to experience a temporary sense of freedom and develop a community. Since the 1950’s, the music festival industry has become more common in American culture from inaugural festivals such as Newport Folk Festival and Woodstock to the festivals today such as Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza. Using Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival as a single case study, I seek to explore the lived experiences of the community developed on the festival site that has identified themselves as Bonnaroovians. I used a collection of ethnographic research methods such as participant observation, interviews, and an online survey to gather data for this research. I aim to investigate the development of a community at Bonnaroo and how the experiences and values that are produced at there have the ability to transcend the boundaries of the weekend and shape the lifestyles of the individuals involved. The experience of Bonnaroovians is marked by the inclusion and development of a sense of community and the opportunity and desire to escape their daily lives. The lived experiences of the Bonnaroovians are evaluated through the storytelling of significant memories and understanding what the festival means to them.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Madeline E. Rahme


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

94 p.


Cultural anthropology