By: Chip Ramsey
For the Gundy County Herald
This year, event planners say they are ready for an expected 90,000 people and hope the parking lot that was Manchester last year is avoided. “We were a parking lot by the time the gates opened last year and we just played catch-up the whole weekend,” said Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation will be setting out flashing signs throughout the Interstate 24 route into Manchester warning travelers not ready to party to take alternative routes. Motorists and truckers unconnected to the musical fest were stuck in their cars for as long as 12 hours. Highways 41 and 55 were in a four-way soul train of concert-goers. Spokesman Jeff Cuellar with Bonaroo promoter A.C. Entertainment said planners have “taken everything into account” this year to try to prevent the amazing crawl that swallowed Manchester.
Manchester residents and their 100,000 guests got along well. There were fewer than 40 incident reports filed with the jail, and once the show started, everything flowed out smoothly until Monday morning.
An eclectic line-up that Cuellar said caters somewhat to a Southern flavor will play including the Allman Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
James Brown, Neil Young, moe, and the Dead also top the event