Update: Bonnaroo 2021 is officially canceled.
While some schools close down for religious holidays or dangerous weather, only a select few get the honor of shutting down because of their proximity to high-profile music festivals. Earlier today, Manchester City Schools in Tennessee announced that students will no longer be expected to attend classes this week due to traffic patterns from Bonnaroo.
“Due to expected increased traffic volume because of weather related changes to Bonnaroo entry, Manchester City Schools will be closed Wednesday, September 1. Students will return on September 7. There will be no extended care,” reads a statement on the school’s Facebook page. Two elementary schools and one middle school will be directly impacted by the changes, and hopefully any kid that was contemplating skipping school to see Tyler, the Creator or Foo Fighters can now do so guilt-free.
Roo’s traffic changes came in the wake of Hurricane Ida, which left much of the festival’s campgrounds unusably saturated with standing water. As a result, organizers have decided to reduce their camping capacity. While they’re offering full refunds for those who no longer wish to attend (until 8:00 p.m. CT today, August 31st), many of those still planning on heading to The Farm will have to deal with day parking. That, it seems, is what’s causing the traffic headaches for MCS.
Arguably the most entertaining part of this whole ordeal is the fact that Manchester City Schools already planned to give kids the Friday of Bonnaroo off anyway. Their calendar reveals that this Wednesday was scheduled to be an early dismissal day, Thursday was tapped as an “Administrative Day,” and Friday was the coveted “Bonnaroo Day” where kids get the full day off. Of course, the following Monday is Labor Day, so it appears the only massive change to Manchester’s academic schedule is switching Wednesday from a half-day to a full day off.
Interestingly, the area’s Coffee County Schools had already canceled their week of classes due to COVID concerns. Manchester, TN is the country seat of Coffee, but Manchester City Schools and CCS are different systems. Whether it’s COVID or Ida, though, it seems school’s out and mud is in for ‘Roo.
Bonnaroo 2021 is set to take place this weekend, September 2nd-5th (if the grounds hold up, that is). This year’s lineup includes Foo Fighers, Phoebe Bridgers, Lizzo, Tyler, the Creator, My Morning Jacket, and Janelle Monáe, among countless others. Attendees will need to provide a COVID-19 vaccination card or negative test to attend.
Due to the expectation of significant rain on The Farm from Hurricane Ida, and the knowledge that areas of our campgrounds will be rendered unusable, Mother Nature has forced us to reduce our camping capacity. pic.twitter.com/hEr9sLJc8w
— Bonnaroo (@Bonnaroo) August 31, 2021