Gates to the Bonnaroo farm in Coffee County will open Wednesday night in an effort to ease what has become an annual traffic jam. The music and arts festival begins Thursday night.
Law enforcement officials have learned that allowing early birds onto the 700-acre property can smooth the flow for all 80,000 festival goers. Ross Simmons is Manchester’s safety commissioner.
“There’s going to be some traffic, but it makes it a lot easier on us if they open the gates up early.”
Simmons says the long line of traffic on I-24 has shortened each year as the systems have improved. Still, his department will work round-the-clock. So will state troopers, who logged some 5,800 hours during the four-day festival last year.
More than 180 citations were issued by state troopers last year.
2011 Bonnaroo Non-Moving Violations, Citations Written:
Child Passenger Restraint Violations 2
Safety Belt Violations 24
Driver License Law Violations 19
Revoked/Suspended Driver Licenses 5
Registration Violations 21
Open Container Law 5
Misdemeanor Drug Violations 11
Other Non-Moving Violations 45
2011 Bonnaroo Hazardous Moving Violations, Citations Written:
Driving Under the Influence 7
Reckless Driving 0
Disregarding Signal/Sign Controls 4
Other Moving Violations 7