Pod drummer

In the interest of full disclosure let’s start things off by acknowledging that back in 2006 we titled our Friday Beacon story “Deja Roo.” Looking back four years later, that description feels a bit premature.

As the ninth annual Bonnaroo’s Eve kicked off on Wednesday, this description seems more suitable than ever.

There was a comfortable rhythm to the day. Familiar sights, a familiar site and plenty of friendly faces that were last seen…at Bonnaroo 2009. That palpable sense of excitement is something from years past as well (along with the moisture that also seems to manifest itself in the late afternoon).

So what’s new this year? Promoter Ashley Capps is looking forward to the Lunar Stage as well as some Slip ‘n Slide action.

The Pods are always a source of new stimulation. Over at Pod 5 a team from Knoxville has built a geodesic dome. For some that might be impressive enough but for them that’s just the starting point. They are collecting digital images during the day which they will then project onto the dome and beyond. So stop by during the morning or afternoon if you wish to share some images and then check out the results from dusk till dawn.

Meanwhile, with a nod to the recycling element so entwined with the event, the folks in Pod 6 are prepared to turn your found objects into musical instruments. They already have a few examples of their efforts available and they’re offering plenty of beads and baubles to kick start the action.

Pod 7 picks up a similar theme with its “Upcycle Your Outfit” approach. The Pod’s creators are encouraging folks to visit and have their clothes modified by screen printing or other techniques. If you won’t allow anyone to touch your vintage Disco Biscuits Uncivilized Area shirt that’s fine as well, they have some used clothing to offer. Just be sure to hit the runway after you’re done.

Lady Annabel

As for the music, that kicked in at the Sonic Stage around 3pm where Annabel Lukins Stelling pumped in some sounds and worked a groove while checking out her new speaker stack. Stelling promises that this year’s Sonic Stage will sound even louder and clearer than in years past. She’s also quite animated when it comes to the line-up of the stage she manages, as she will be bringing in a custom keyboard for John Medeski on Sunday, while promising that Clutch will be “the most unique band on the stage,” and expressing mirth at the fact that the traditional bluegrass of Hot Rize will be sandwiched between “crazy rock jambands” Umphrey’s McGee and Lotus on Friday.

Of course there are plenty of additional performers on the festival’s 13 official stages. We encourage you to make that classic Bonnaroo move and check out the band you’ve heard of before that is destined to become your next obsession.

Indeed, while Wednesday was a day that felt familiar in many respects, the days that follow will take on their own unique personalities as Bonnaroo 2010 kicks into gear. For as Ashley Capps explains, “There’s always surprises at Bonnaroo. That’s what makes it Bonnaroo.”