My first experience camping with my Ti Lite, Efix , electric, wheelchair was at Bonnaroo 2022. We camped in the Accessible car camping section.
It was awesome! You & your companion can have a semi-VIP experience.
Accessibility camping was located close to the Tower. There was free electricity available at the access center to charge your batteries, and was near the food vendors, general store, shuttles, bathrooms, showers, and accessibility center.
Bonnaroo has a great accessibility program with lots of information and the staff are wonderful.
The terrain is a mix of grass, gravel, and dirt. It was challenging at times for an electric wheel chair. The grass was easy to traverse but you have to be aware of any potholes or trash in the way. The gravel and dirt was so much harder because you have to alter your center of gravity onto your bigger wheels, due to the small castor wheels in the front. A lot of the times small pieces of gravel and small lips from the curb can easily throw you out of your chair.
For this reason we ventured into the “Where in the Woods” stage a few times. It seemed a lot of the paths to the stages for the camp were gravel. It would have been easier to use the shuttle service to access them, or have bigger castor wheels for your wheelchair.
Inside the venue it was mostly grass, dirt, and a little bit of pavement. It is very important to keep an eye on the weather. There was lots of concern for mud, but we only experienced a faint remanence of a storm. There was always standing water near the filling and washing stations. I was able to walk short distances to avoid the water/mud, but if you needed to wheel all the way to the sinks, you would risk getting muddy.
The accessible bathrooms are mostly porta potties (most were locked) and some flush toilets are located inside the venue. Be sure to carry toilet paper on you!
There were accessible porta potties in or near the accessible viewing platforms. The accessible showers also had flush toilets and a basic stall shower. They charged $10 per person for a 20min shower.
Be sure to bring 2 batteries for your electric wheelchair, to alternate. My batteries hold a 10 mile charge and it was easily drained, within one day. We mostly stayed closed to the main venue and accessible camping area.
For 2022 we experienced 90+ degree heat so staying cool was very important. We camped in a Model Y, Tesla. We got to stay out of the elements and sleep into the afternoon, for the night shows.
I have no idea how everyone powered through during the day….. it was SOOO hot & humid.
Setting up camp is easy. We parked, plugged in the car, put up a canopy for the wheelchair, put up shades inside the car, and then pressed the “camp mode” button. We packed some healthy foods in the trunk and placed our clothes and shower bags in the frunk. A twin mattress perfectly fits in the back, with the seats down, and you can either sleep or watch Netflix.
It is very quiet inside of the car, you could hear faint thumping from the stages, even though we were so close to the venue. It was an awesome, safe, quiet space; as everyone seemed open and exposed in their tents.
Some things I may do differently next time, is to get a small tent for my wheelchair, It may be wiser to keep my device more dry and protected than using the canopy. Some other items we saw were portable showers, and solar charging devices. Something to look into as we look venture into camping and adaptive sports more.
Even though 2022 was the smallest attendance for Bonnaroo, I would definitely go again. Each festival experience is a challenge for me to get out of my comfort zone.