Last Tuesday was a good day. A really good day.
I know I work in a pretty terrific office when I’m allowed to clock out, hole myself up in the conference room with lunch and a laptop …
… to watch the Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon. Or BLAM.
This was no normal lineup announcement, which usually consists of a festival releasing a poster at a set time – or if you’re Coachella this year, in the middle of the night so people just wake up to it the next morning. No, this was an “event.”
“Weird Al” Yankovic was the emcee, a sentence alone that can explain the tone of this live event. And for an hour, we were at the mercy of Al, giving us artists, little bits at a time. There were skits, help from viewers over Skype, games, Jimmy Fallon and some crazy dude who acted – as much as we Bonnaroovians might not want to admit – like a typical Bonnaroovian.
I had a browser window opened to Facebook, another with Twitter, another with our little Bonnaroo family Facebook group, and of course, the streaming video. And as the names started rolling, I got more and more excited.
I only screamed twice. Once when Mumford & Sons was announced, and again when the main, heavily rumored headliner was finally confirmed.
Sir Paul McCartney will play the farm this summer.
Aaaaahhhhhh!!!! Had I been at home, I would have run much like Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone.” You know, when he realizes everyone’s gone, screaming, and waving his arms around like an idiot, set on fast-forward.
But instead I was at work, hands clapped over my mouth, hoping I hadn’t scared anyone. And it was great.
However, there was a lot of complaining about Bonnaroo making the announcement an hour-long event.
“I don’t have time for this.”
“Weird Al is stupid.”
“What a waste of time.”
But these people just don’t get it.
Bonnaroo made this an event. Those of us that love this festival start anticipating the next one from the moment we exit the farm via gravel road. Instead of announcing the lineup like everyone else – every other year – the people in charge of Bonnaroo made this a mini-session so that my Bonnaroo family and I could go back and forth with each other on social media, cheering when names such as Of Monsters and Men, ZZ Top and Billy Idol were announced.
Or post question marks and laugh when Dwight Yoakum and R. Kelly dropped.
It brought us together. Thanks to this “complete waste of time,” I knew the moment my brother in Colorado and husband at home in Gadsden yelled “Boom” when McCartney was announced – right along with me. I knew exactly when my best friends in Florida saw the talking chin.
That’s another story.
And I was there – along with other friends in Chicago and Washington, and the millions of others who made #BLAM a top Twitter trend that day – to shriek along with each name that made me happy.
Emily Hayes is a staff writer at the Fort Payne Times-Journal, where this cloumn first appeared.