More to Bon­na­roo than camp­ing, mu­sic

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - VOICES - Con­tact Barry Courter at bcourter@times­freep­ress.com or 423-757-6354.

Six­teen weeks ago, Hits 96 ra­dio per­son­al­ity Brad Steiner and I re­al­ized it might be fun to do a pod­cast fo­cus­ing on the acts com­ing to this year’s Bon­na­roo Mu­sic & Arts Fes­ti­val in Manch­ester, Ten­nessee. The idea emerged for two rea­sons: We both have at­tended the fes­ti­val for at least 12 years, and there were quite a few bands we were not fa­mil­iar with on this year’s sched­ule.

We thought we’d take a look at some of those acts, talk about some of our past ex­pe­ri­ences, and of­fer some tips and ad­vice on sur­viv­ing the four-day camp­ing ex­cur­sion on a for­mer farm in the mid­dle of Ten­nessee.

Within a week of first con­ceiv­ing the idea, we had a name (The What Pod­cast), a web­site (the­what­pod­cast.com, you can also find it on Pod­bean and iTunes) and the bless­ing of the folks at Bon­na­roo. In fact, they of­fered to help us line up guests and gave us a pair of tick­ets to give away.

We thought it’d be fun, and might get a few lis­ten­ers. Turns out, no one else was do­ing a Bon­na­roo-based pod­cast, and lots of peo­ple wanted to talk Roo.

We posted our 15th edi­tion on Sun­day, and we will likely do a roundup, or maybe two of them, some­time af­ter the fes­ti­val is over, and we hope to talk to fans, artists and or­ga­niz­ers while on the farm. As I write this, the pod­casts have been down­loaded more than 13,000 times in 71 coun­tries, if the an­a­lyt­ics are ac­cu­rate. We are big in Aus­tralia, Canada and the Philip­pines.

The episodes in­clude ev­ery­thing I said above, but we also were lucky enough to Barry Courter get some re­ally cool guests to talk to us. Bon­na­roo co-founder and AC En­ter­tain­ment founder Ash­ley Capps was our first guest, but we fea­tured in­ter­views with David Shaw and Rob In­gra­ham from the Re­vival­ists, Trevor Tern­drup, new artist Bazzi and a sur­prise (to us) in­ter­view with Klara and Jo­hanna Söder­berg of First Aid Kit. The sis­ters called from their na­tive Swe­den to talk about their mu­sic.

We also talked with Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent of Pro­mo­tion/ Op­er­a­tions of Columbia Records Jim Bur­russ and Mike Green­haus, edi­tor -in-chief of Relix Mag­a­zine.

Paul Janeway from St. Paul and the Bro­ken Bones spent so much time laugh­ing and telling sto­ries about his past Bon­na­roo ex­pe­ri­ences, we made two episodes from it.

We also had a cou­ple of reg­u­lar camp­mates join us, as well as sev­eral lis­ten­ers to the pod­cast call in to of­fer their best sto­ries and tips on at­tend­ing Bon­na­roo, and also to give us their tips on bands not to miss.

If you are look­ing for new mu­sic, or think it’s just about camp­ing in the heat, give it a lis­ten.

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