TDOT And THP Prepare For 2017 Bonnaroo Festival

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will soon take place in the city of Manchester, Tenn.  Since its inception in 2002, the four-day, multi-stage event has become one of the most popular live music festivals in the country, attracting thousands of attendees. To fully enjoy the varied lineup of performers and musical styles that Bonnaroo has to offer, festivalgoers from all over the country camp out on a 700-acre Middle Tennessee farm, making it their temporary home for four days.  As in years past, tens of thousands of music lovers are expected to attend the 2017 Bonnaroo festival, which kicks off Thursday night, and winds down Sunday night. 

During the Bonnaroo Festival, the area in and around Manchester sees increased traffic volume as festivalgoers make their way into the festival site.  As Manchester prepares to welcome a multitude of visitors, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol are gearing up for the extra traffic expected in the area.  TDOT and the THP are working closely with the Manchester Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department and festival promoters to keep traffic moving on I-24 while also getting Bonnaroo attendees to their destination.

"As in the past, TDOT has again coordinated with our partners at THP and other agencies to make sure that everyone gets safely into and out of the festival site, while keeping through traffic on I-24 moving efficiently during the Bonnaroo Festival,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.  “We are confident that we can successfully minimize traffic delays during the festival period because of our advanced planning.”

This year, Bonnaroo will officially open all its gates on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CDT to allow more time for vehicles to enter the campgrounds.  State troopers will be on-the-job 24 hours a day, beginning Wednesday evening, patrolling on the ground and by air.  Also, drivers should keep in mind that if they need the assistance of a state trooper while traveling anywhere in Tennessee, they can simply dial *THP (*847) from their cell phone.  They will be automatically connected to the nearest THP dispatch office and the operator will send a state trooper to their location. 

“We welcome the visitors that will be attending the Bonnaroo Festival,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “The Tennessee Highway Patrol is committed to reducing crashes and saving lives on Tennessee roadways.  Our troopers will continue to take a zero tolerance approach as they enforce the laws during this event.  We strongly believe that the efforts of THP along with TDOT and our public safety partners are contributing to reducing traffic related incidents and fatalities.  Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, always wear your seatbelt, and do not drive distracted.” 

During Bonnaroo 2016, troopers logged nearly 6,900 man-hours, worked 13 traffic crashes (one fatal, two injury, and 10 property damage crashes), and wrote 626 citations and issued one warning.  

TDOT HELP units will assist with traffic management during the festival and will aid any motorists who require assistance.  In addition to having HELP trucks on-site, TDOT and other agencies will be taking the following steps beginning Wednesday, June 7 through Monday, June 12: 

Efforts will be concentrated on keeping I-24 traffic flowing. 

Exit 111 (SR 55) will be used as the main festival exit. Exits 97, 105, 112 (temporary exit on westbound side only), 117 and 127 are alternate exits if congestion occurs on the interstate. 

TDOT maintenance units will be posted throughout the festival region, and maintenance personnel will be on call all weekend. 

TDOT will provide variable message signs to warn drivers of delays. 

There will be no construction-related lane closures on I-24 near the Bonnaroo festival area between 6 a.m. on Wednesday through 7 p.m. on Monday. 

Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking in the crossovers and blocking emergency vehicles. 

Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and/or on the shoulder of the interstate, allowing through traffic to utilize the left travel lane unimpeded. 

Emergency vehicles will use county roads that will be kept at low volume. 

Bonnaroo promoters issued early news releases to the trucking industry and other sources to alert the traveling public to festival times, location, and alternate routes.

Temporary communication towers are in place to improve emergency communications. 

During the festival, motorists should call 511 from any mobile or land line phone for traffic updates or visit the TDOT website at where they can also find information on alternate routes.  From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest traffic information and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at  TDOT is also on Twitter.

For statewide traffic tweets follow TN511 or for regional traffic information follow Nashville511, Chattanooga511, Memphis511 and Knoxville511. 

THP Issued Citations


2016 Bonnaroo Non-Moving Violations (NMVs)
THP Citations Written


2016 Bonnaroo Hazardous Moving Violations (HMVs)
THP Citations Written

Child Passenger Restraint Violations




Safety Belt Violations


Driving Under the Influence


Driver License Law Violations


Reckless Driving


Revoked/Suspended Driver Licenses


Disregarding Signal/Sign Controls


Registration Violations


Other Moving Violations


Open Container Law


Misdemeanor Drug Violations


Felony Drug


Other Felony


Other Non-Moving Violations



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