HeadCount Blog

Who Goes to Bonnaroo?

June 16, 2011 By admin | Comments

Stand anywhere at Bonnaroo, and hundreds, maybe thousands, of faces will whiz by. Ever wonder who they are, or what they’re thinking? It’s hard not to.

So this year HeadCount went to Manchester, TN with a mission: to find out who goes to Bonnaroo and what’s on their minds. Having a deeper conversation with the music community is kind of our theme right now. It started with the Fan DNA Project, a poll about music and politics that debuted at the Hangout Festival.

Then, we took it to another level with the “Signs of the Times” photo contest, where fans and artists pose for photos holding a personal sign.

So what did we find out? Well, first the photos. We found out that Bonnaroo is full of creative, conscious and funny people. Over 500 created a sign and stepped into our photo booth. The albums can be seen on our Facebook page, and whoever’s photo gets the most ‘likes’ will win a pair of VIP tix to next year’s B’roo.

If you have a few minutes to spend on Facebook (oh, no, not you!), I recommend just scrolling through one of the albums. It’s a wild ride through humanity. A Rorschach Test of the young American psyche.

Over a dozen musicians also posed with signs – Warren Haynes, G. Love, members of Mumford and Sons, My Morning Jacket, Freelance Whales and SCI, Eric Krasno, Ben Sollee, Chiddy, Bruce Hornsby, Nicole Atkins to name just a few. None was as poignant as STS9’s Dave Murphy. Just months after surviving highly invasive cancer surgery, Murph wrote “Life Inspires Me.”

So what about the Fan DNA poll? 850 B’rooers answered a series of questions about music, politics and the comingling of the two.

It seems that compared to Hangout attendees, Bonnarooers see a lot less live music and are more likely to be Democrats, but are pretty similar in almost every other regard.

Here’s what we found out (with comparisons to Hangout listed in parenthesis) …

FAN DNA POLL OF 850 BONNAROO ATTENDEES (compared to Hangout festival)

How many concerts do you see a year?
• 1-4 – 46% (27%)
• 5-10 – 31% (25%)
• 11-25 – 12% (24%)
• more than 25 – 11% (24%)
When acquiring new music, which do you do MOST often?
• Buy mp3s online – 29% (27%)
• Get live shows from friends – 6% (23%)
• Buy physical copies (CDs/Vinyl) – 21% (17%)
• Let’s just say I don’t pay for it – 44% (33%)
Do you consider yourself a:
• Republican – 14% (25%)
• Democrat – 44% (18%)
• Libertarian – 11% (15%)
• Independent – 16% (25%)
• None of those – 17% (17%)
What do you think about the state of America today?
• It’s not so bad – 9% (15%)
• We’ve got problems, but what can we do? 15%(19%)
• It’s messed up and we better do something – 69% (65%)
• I don’t really think about it – 7% (1%)
How do you feel when a musician supports a cause or speaks out?
• It inspires me to take action – 45% (53%)
• I think it’s cool, but I don’t take action – 44% (34%)
• No impact. I ignore it. – 7% (9%)
• It annoys me 4% (4%)
Which issue(s) do you care about most?
• Sustainability and climate change – 31% (22%)
• Personal liberty – 23% (39%)
• Human rights – 39% (45%)
• Food and farm policy – 14% (15%)
• Gulf coast recovery – 7% (8%)
• Education reform – 24% (21%)
How often do you “Like” or “Re-tweet” something related to politics?
• Almost every day – 14% (10%)
• Once a week – 21% (20%)
• Once a month – 15% (11%)
• A few times a year – 10% (8%)
• Rarely or never – 40% (50%)
What should be the government’s HIGHEST Priority? (New Question)
• Fighting for equality – 14%
• Investing in the future and education – 48%
• Meeting in the middle and compromising – 18%
• Cutting taxes – 8%
• Reducing the size of government – 12%
What headliner are you most excited to see?
• Arcade Fire – 30%
• Eminem – 19%
• The Strokes – 7%
• Widespread Panic – 9%
• Other – 32%

The “Signs of the Times” photo contest will be at another dozen festivals this summer, and the Fan DNA Project will be at every concert or festival we’re at. So please stop by our tables, and let us know what you’re all about.

HeadCount provides voter registration assistance on a strictly nonpartisan basis to any U.S. citizen age 18 or over without regard to political affiliation, race, religion, or age. HeadCount does not endorse, support or coordinate with any political party or candidates for elected office, or take positions on any ballot initiatives.