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Bonnaroo From Nashville: Using the Shuttle & Pros/Cons

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Article Summary

  • Bonnaroo offers a shuttle service that runs from the Nashville Fairgrounds to Bonnaroo
  • You can snag the shuttle pass on its own, with a 1-Day GA/VIP or a 4-Day GA/VIP pass
  • The shuttle ride will be a little over an hour each way, so be prepared for a long ride
  • It’s a great option if you will be in Nashville and want to check out Bonnaroo for a day or two; it’s the only way to get a single day pass to Bonnaroo

Not into the whole camping and bathing yourself with baby wipes for Bonnaroo? I can understand that. In recent years Bonnaroo has started a shuttle running from Nashville that allows you to enjoy the accommodations of a hotel while also heading off to Bonnaroo for the day. This article looks into doing Bonnaroo from the comforts of Nashville. I will first go over the shuttle that runs from Nashville to Bonnaroo, and then provide some suggestions for where to stay in Nashville. Bonnaroo can definitely be done without the camping, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The Bonnaroo Shuttle Pickup / Dropoff

Bonnaroo has recently began offering a shuttle from the Nashville Fairgrounds to Bonnaroo. The Nashville Fairgrounds are just south of the city and can be seen in the map below.

As you can see the Nashville fairgrounds are about 4 miles south of the downtown area. There isn’t a great public transportation option to get to the fairgrounds, so if you plan on drinking or doing other party favors I suggest taking an Uber or Lyft. If you aren’t and feel like you will be able to drive there is complimentary parking available so you can just drive between the fairgrounds and your hotel in Nashville.

From the fairgrounds you will board the shuttle and be whisked off to Bonnaroo. It’s definitely not a short drive, so be prepared for a bit of a hike. With no traffic to go from Nashville to Bonnaroo is about an hour. When you take into account traffic you can expect about a 75 minute ride. Due to the fact that so many people camp for Bonnaroo there is considerably less traffic getting into Bonnaroo than other festivals so this helps, but it still is a bit of a hike, especially at night when you are tired.

How Often does the Bonnaroo shuttle run?

The Bonnaroo shuttle runs twice a day in both directions. That is, it has two departing shuttles from Nashville heading to Bonnaroo, and two departing shuttles heading from Bonnaroo back to the city. You don’t want to miss your last shuttle in either direction! For Bonnaroo 2017 the shuttle schedule was as follows:

  • Shuttle 1 Nashville to Bonnaroo: Thursday – 1:30 p.m., Friday – 11:00 a.m., Saturday – 11:00 a.m., Sunday – 12:00 p.m.
  • Shuttle 2 Nashville to Bonnaroo: Thursday – 6:00 p.m., Friday – 3:00 p.m., Saturday – 3:00 p.m., Sunday – 3:00 p.m.
  • Shuttle 1 Bonnaroo to Nashville: Thursday – 12:30 a.m., Friday – 12:30 a.m., Saturday – 12:30 a.m., Sunday – 12:00 a.m.
  • Shuttle 2 Bonnaroo to Nashville: Thursday – 3:00 a.m., Friday – 3:00 a.m., Saturday – 3:00 a.m., Sunday – NO LATE SHUTTLE

Note there is no second shuttle for Sunday evening, so be sure to be on the midnight shuttle back to Nashville!

How much does the Bonnaroo shuttle cost?

The Bonnaroo shuttle can be purchased on its own, or in combination with either a single day pass or a four day pass. You can also get it with either single day VIP or GA as well as four day GA or VIP. Basically any combination of pass for Bonnaroo you can snag a shuttle pass with. This is kind of confusing to the table below summarizes all of the costs for your potential Bonnaroo shuttle options.

Bonnaroo Item

Cost

Shuttle Pass Only (4 Days)

$210 + Fees

Shuttle Pass + Single Day GA

$210.50 (Note: Thursday is only $135.50)

Shuttle Pass + Four Day GA Pass

$554.50 + Fees

Shuttle Pass + Single Day VIP

$329

Shuttle Pass + Four Day VIP Pass

$1030 + Fees

Is the Bonnaroo shuttle a good deal?

It is if you want to stay in Nashville. It’s going to take you a long time getting to Bonnaroo. Going there isn’t too bad as you are excited for the day and will be amped up. Heading back at 3:00 a.m. has you getting back to Nashville at 4:00 a.m. at best, which can be pretty rough. In my opinion, it’s great if you want to go to Nashville and check out Bonnaroo for a day or two. I see it as perfect for people who either live in Nashville or will be in Nashville doing sightseeing and want to check out Bonnaroo for the day. Four days of that shuttle ride could get pretty rough as that will be 8+ hours doing the same boring drive everyday, but if this sounds good with you then definitely stay in Nashville. I definitely don’t begrudge anyone for not wanting to camp so it’s nice Bonnaroo now offers this third party shuttle system.

Why wouldn’t you do the Nashville shuttle?

If you really just want to camp for Bonnaroo, the festival does offer closer hotel packages in Murfreesboro, TN. These will put you way closer to Bonnaroo and still give you the benefit of having a hotel room nightly. So it depends on your scenario: if you want to do the full festival but have a hotel I would say book one of these closer hotel packages. If you want to do a day at Bonnaroo and see the sights of Nashville then I think the Nashville shuttle is a fantastic option.

Where should I stay in Nashville for Bonnaroo?

As I mentioned, the Bonnaroo shuttle doesn’t pick up in downtown Nashville, and there’s really no public transportation to the shuttle, so you can really stay anywhere in Nashville that you please. Generally people like to stay near Broadway street, as this is predominantly where the action is in downtown Nashville. As I said, if you are going to be drinking I would just Uber to the fairgrounds daily for the shuttle: it will be fairly inexpensive and a quick ride.

Summary

It’s nice Bonnaroo offers packages for everyone. If you want to camp at Bonnaroo then this is what most people like to do and you will have plenty of company. If you are a bit older and want the comforts of Nashville and a bit of Bonnaroo you can use the Nashville shuttle. To each his own, either way you will have a blast at Bonnaroo!

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