Let me say this first before the viral attack on my post begins, I'm sure the roo this years was the best one yet if you went, not all people who listens to jambands makes the cool, or sweet, or just cause your a frat guy and listen to DMB that Does NOT make you a duchbag. I judge people how they treat me and how they treat other people, it sounds like there were plenty of good to great people at roo, and it only takes a couple of leno heads to ruin somebodies roo. the fact of the matter is your just more likely to get into fights and violence where the music condones that type of behavior, nor am i saying that jamband fans never get into fights. I listen bluegrass my favorite to metal and electronic such as gwar and crystal method and have seen many a fight break out at a gwar concert but never at and jamband concert, Phish, the Dead, SCI,ect. There seem to me an ever growing number of people who have there festival ruined, i in no way blame Bonnaroo, but the number of people 75,000 your just bound to get at least 10,000 leno head just on the math alone.
So here is the thing man, I have been going to Jam Band shows since I started with the Grateful Dead back in '94. I saw Phish multiple times -1999, and did most of Summer tour twice. So when I say you have no idea what you are talking about I want it to be well qualified. I have seen beat downs, a stabbing, and the infamous gatecrashing at Deer Creek in 95. I have seen people get crapped on, and folks lose teeth to an elbow from harmless looking balloon vendors. Hell there was a stabbing at the Phish festival at Coachella last year.
This is not to say there are not cool great people on the scene, I have met tons of good people and made some life long friends. However if you think the whole scene is like that you are living in a dream world. Go to AllGood and watch people get puddled, or literally crapped on when passed out on shakedown, then tell me how great the jam band crowd is. It is a great time, but roo is a freakin country club in comparison. If you just drop your preconceived notions about people and just go to have a good time and make friends, I have a feeling you will be able to, it has never failed me.
My first and only Bonnaroo so far was last years. My boyfriend went this year though and he said that the vibe was a little different but we chalked it up to the extreme heat. We're in the Nashville area and I decided to walk to the gas station to get cigarettes midday Monday. It was a half an hour round trip and I was not feeling very friendly after coming back from that walk so I can't imagine what hanging out in that sun all weekend did to people's moods.
You mentioned Deer Creek. My home state is IN so I've been there for several shows. My first concert was Ozzfest at Deer Creek. I was fourteen and looked even younger than I was. For some reason though, being a girl standing to watch a show in a crowd apparently meant that every man standing around me was allowed to play grabass with me. Every concert I went to at Deer Creek after that, I made sure to have one of my guy friends stand next to me if I was going to be in the crowd. It still happened, but not as often and not without consequences.
I also saw a ton of fights, people ripping the sod out of the ground and throwing it, several fires started in the lawn seating and a 40 year old man smoking crack next to his teenage son. I remember watching Buckcherry years ago at a radio station fest and I had to be pulled out of the crowd by security because people were going that buckwild over freaking Buckcherry. I was pushed down and kicked--for Buckcherry.
My point is that I don't know what the vibe was like at Bonnaroo years ago but I do know that the vibe I felt last year was infinitely better than any other concert I've ever been to. That is including the Peter, Paul and Mary one in my hometown my mom took to a long time ago. I walked around with a perma-grin on and rarely had an unfriendly encounter except for at Phish Friday night when I stepped on a dude's blanket while trying to get out of the crowd (he was sitting on a blanket in the middle of crowd of standing people. I don't know why he didn't sit further back so he wouldn't be in the way and might actually be able to see the show.)
This was my first roo and I had a blast. I didn't go for Jay Z, DMB, or KOL either. What I saw the most in the crowd were rednecks and I was a little put off at first because reading inforoo I was expecting wooks but the more rednecks I met the more I liked them. Every single redneck I met was really friendly and none of them came for the big acts. They came for Kristofferson, Clutch, the Flips, Crystal Method, and Kid Cudi to name a few. And they all knew their Leno about the bands they liked.
I met a lot of great people at Roo this year, including all of my neighbors. Like someone said earlier, we combined with our neighbors on both sides to make a giant canopy to have enough shade for everyone to sit under and we had some great times in between Centeroo trips. It was funny because going in I was apart of a caravan of three cars with 10 other people, but we got separated from our friends because our van got searched (it was my buddy's dad's huge white work van with no windows - so i dont blame them for searching it because it was super sketchy). Anyway, we got separated from our friends and so had to camp next to all strangers, but it ended up being great. It's funny the way things work out sometimes, but it just affirms with me that there's no place like Bonnaroo, and if you go to enjoy yourself and some great music, good people tend to find good people.