Drivers wait 10+ hours in Bonnaroo traffic

MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) —Hundreds of cars sat parked on Interstate 24 for hours overnight into Thursday as fans waited for access to the campgrounds at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Using the hashtag Bonnaroo on Twitter, drivers described the delay. 

One user shared, “Been in line over 10 hours.”

Another said, “13 hours routed. No end in sight.”

Once off the interstate and in Manchester, the wait continued. Hillsboro Highway was backed up for several miles as one driver said she waited four hours to go two miles. 

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Another driver said his car ran out of gas while waiting in traffic. He walked a mile to the gas station and filled an empty gallon jug with gasoline. 

“The traffic last night was as far as the eye can see,” said Tad Merryman, who drove from outside Washington, D.C. for the festival. “I’m not sure of the name of the intersection up here,” he said pointing to Hillsboro Highway. “But as far along this road all the way to 24. 

“We passed over it, just like nobody moving, lights were off. We saw one car overheated, just like engulfed in smoke. It was pretty crazy.”

By the time Sam Presley and a friend got to the corner of Hillsboro Highway and Asbury Road, they’d been in the car 15 hours.

“Literally just sat there, talked, listened to music, we made bracelets, pretty much that’s it. And bought a pizza and ate that. We were just eating because we were bored and losing our minds,” said Presley. 

A few cars ahead of Presley in the line was Anthony Branch, who is attending Bonnaroo for the first time. 

“I was expecting it to be bad but not this bad. I’ve been told it wasn’t this bad. I guess 80,000+ people, that’s a lot of people,” said Branch.

Traffic backups are an expectation at Bonnaroo but some fans who have been in years past complained this year has been especially bad.