How a Small Town Absorbs 80,000 Concertgoers

Every summer, tiny Manchester, Tennessee, becomes a metropolis of rockers and concertgoers as the Bonnaroo music festival comes to a nearby farm. This piece from Governing looks at how the town adapts to the surge.

"All that can be more than a little overwhelming for the small town of Manchester, a sleepy burg of about 10,000 people, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville. When Bonnaroo's not around, Manchester has the lazy feel of Anytown, U.S.A., with a placid little courthouse square at one end of the main drag and a string of fast-food chains out by the interstate. Hosting a large-scale event is a challenge for any city, but it's particularly daunting when a festival's arrival means a tenfold increase in the local population. Handling the onslaught of traffic, crime and health needs of that many people is an art form for local officials. The event this June marked the concert's 10th anniversary, and officials say the past decade has been an extended course in crowd control.

'Bonnaroo is a lot of work,' says Manchester Mayor Betty Superstein. 'But it's a lot of fun. And the community really has kind of embraced it.'"

The event boosts the local economy by about $20 million a year.

Full Story: A Small Town Hosts the Nation's Largest Concert

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00