A Field Guide to Bros at Bonnaroo

This weekend marked the ninth edition of Bonnaroo, a festival that’s as good for people-watching as it is for band-watching. Roughly 150,000 glow stick-wielding folks descended on a sleepy farm in Manchester to, like, totally get stoked for Dave Matthews and wander around in rain boots and bikinis. And oh, the sights! We saw a balding dreadlocked man. We saw a guy with a loincloth made of an empty case of Natty Light. We saw a group of people watching They Might Be Giants while wearing Viking costumes. We saw people longing for the relative cleanliness of a gas station bathroom. And, of course, we saw bros.

While Bonnaroo is traditionally known for hippies — and there were plenty of them there too — this year’s headliners read like every frat dude’s ultimate panty-dropping party playlist: Jay-Z, Weezer, Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Kid Cudi, and, obviously, that King of All Bros, Dave Matthews (“If you don’t like ‘Crash,’ you have no heart, man,” as one bro said to me). Your intrepid Flavorwire correspondent set out to compile a taxonomy of bros in their native environment. Below the jump: Browatch 2010.


These are not yet full-on bros, but do show burgeoning hints of brodom: Note the purple crocs and cut-off khaki shorts, as well as the CamelBak backpack. This particular example was watching Umphrey’s McGee, a hint of brodom to come, but perhaps also just a healthy ironic appreciation for jam bands. Only time will tell whether those with brotential will blossom into full-on bros. Signs include: more camouflage than necessary, questionable footwear, tendency to wear cheap sunglasses given out by sororities.