Bonnaroo and Glyndebourne. Both are music festivals. Both take place in the countryside on farms. Both of them have nothing else in common. And, I believe I am the only person to have gone to both1. If you are unfamiliar with either one of these festivals, let me tell you a little bit about them. Bonnaroo2 is a four day popular music festival nestled in rural Tennessee on a 700 acre farm, where 80,000 people from around the world gather to dance, get wasted, hookup, get a tan, and listen to some of their favorite musicians. Glyndebourne is a four month long opera festival that presents six productions every year in a house that seats 1,200 people that have traveled from all over the world to attend, drink champagne, and wear fancy clothes. It is in the beautiful countryside of Lewes, UK.
codes are apparent at both but only explicit at one. From the Glyndebourne website, “The tradition of wearing evening dress during the Glyndebourne Festival originated with founder John Christie, who felt that it was one of the ways the audience could show its respect for the performers. Formal evening dress is customary for the summer Festival.” Bonnaroo, though it does not advertise a dress code, most certainly has one, which I did not, to my own embarrassment at times, follow. Everyone is expected to wear as little clothing as possible. If you have ever spent three days in Tennessee during June, you will realize that wearing little clothing is more of a defense than an excuse to flaunt your body7 or try out nudism.
I wonder if this is the ultimate flaw of rock music. The music created by the performers, once made famous and recognizable can never transcend the person who made it famous.