Bonnaroo 2011: Happy and Sad Concert Stories

bonnaroo 2011 married autry

As we explored during a recent episode of Live Fix Radio, the live concert experience is one of the most complex emotional experiences you will ever have in your life. And this year’s Bonnaroo Music festival is an example of that very fact.

As I watched the reports of the event stream across my Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader feeds, I was amazed at what I was reading and how dynamic the experiences were as fans escaped into the live music of Arcade Fire, Eminem — two bands/artists who know a lot about dynamic emotional performances.

Married at Bonnaroo

First there was the report of Sara and Harley Autry getting married on site in the Which tent. After reading that story I decided we definitely have to dive into this topic more and see how many other live music fans have tied the knot at a concert throughout live music history.

Two Fans Die at Bonnaroo

Then as the weekend unfolded two sad stories of fans dying at the festival were reported.

First there was Billboard’s report of 32-year old woman found dead in her tent on June 9th.

Then a few days later a second report via AP said that 24-year-old Christopher William Yoder of Raleigh, N.C., died of hyperthermia early Sunday after being airlifted from the festival to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. A toxicology report is pending to determine the cause of death.

What Does This All Mean?

Thinking about the range of emotions surrounding these three events and the thousands of other concert fans experience that were had at Bonnaroo makes me remember our joy, grief and community experiment. Our Ra Ra Riot experiment also comes to mind.

And it also makes me wonder about our emotional awareness during the live music experience.

As fans, are we really that aware of our own emotions during the show?

Do we tune out the emotions of others around us when we should be tuning in?

Do the emotions of others impact us without us even knowing it?

What about the fans that found the dead woman and witnessed the wedding, how did those two very different events impact their Bonnaroo experience?

Were You There?

If you were at Bonnaroo 2011 or a past festival, we’d love to hear about your experiences. And if you’ve experienced a strange, happy or sad, concert story like the ones above drop a comment about your story below.

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