One of the more talked about aspects of Bonnaroo 2016 has been the implementation of the car pass fee. Because fans who bought the early bird pre-sale tickets in November didn’t know about the not yet instituted fee, Bonnaroo organizers included one free car pass with each pre-sale order. But fans who bought pre-sale tickets better check their inboxes soon as, according to an e-mail sent to pre-sale buyers on Jan. 18th and shared on the Inforoo fan message board, pre-sale buyers must redeem their free car passes before Thurs. Jan. 21st.
The car fee, which ranges from $39.75 per car for parking passes to $59.75 per car for camping passes, was implemented to fund infrastructure improvements to Great Stage Park, such as city water lines and permanent toilet and showering facilities. It was also implemented, according to organizers, also as a way to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint by encouraging carpooling since the passes are per car and so cost less per person the more people you ride with. The fee only applies to fans who buy General Admission tickets. Those who partake in Bonnaroo’s VIP, Groop, or Le Bon camping options will not have to buy the extra ticket.
The fee has proven to be divisive with fans of the festival. Some point out that Bonnaroo already instituted a hefty price hike for 2016 and camping has always been included as part of a Bonnaroo ticket. Critics also point out that, despite the intentions to encourage carpooling, fans can’t buy an extra camping pass or two to get a bigger camping space, as it is per car. So if five people arrive in one car, they get the same amount of camping space as one person. Fans on the other side of the issue counter that Bonnaroo is one of the last camping festivals that offered free camping, so this change brings them in line with most current festival practices and is still cheaper per car than many festivals. Whatever side of the car pass debate they come down on, Bonnaroo fans with pre-sale tickets will want to be sure to make the claim on their free passes by Jan. 21st or risk losing $60 in free money.
For those who are waiting to see the lineup before buying passes, they won’t have to wait long. The Bonnaroo 2016 lineup will be announced by comedian and Bonnaroo veteran Conan O’Brien on his nightly TBS talk show on Tuesday, Jan. 19th at 10 p.m. Central time. Tickets will go on sale Jan. 22nd at 1:00 p.m. Central time and start at $324. Bonnaroo 2016 will take place June 9-12th at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tn.