It’s a tired adage, but you really are never too old to rock. Just ask Nashville resident Mary Niederhauser, who together with Alice Ann Barge, Laddie Neil, and Nancy Lee Pitts has attended the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in nearby Manchester for the past three years.
As Consequence of Sound reports, Mary has lived in Manchester her entire life and has been friends with the other members of her Bonnaroo crew for over 50 years. After inviting her friends to come stay with her and attend the popular festival for several years, the other ladies finally agreed.
And they’ve been making the pilgrimage every year since. Armed with canes that fold out into chairs, glow sticks, and some glitzy novelty cowboy hats, the Bonnagrannies, as they’ve come to be known, are now a staple of the event, which this year hosted the likes of Kanye West and Skrillex.
In fact, this year, the ladies, whose ages range from 86 to 88, had their best year ever thanks to handicap wristbands that allowed them to check out sets from the What Stage bleachers. They would previously settle at the back of the 90,000-person field and watch performances from afar.
This year the Bonnagrannies enjoyed watching What Stage acts Elton John, Jack White, and Lionel Richie, with Mary adding, “We don’t need earplugs: we can just take our hearing aids out!” They can’t wait till next year when, they say, they plan on checking out some of the smaller stages.
“The founders of Bonnaroo have done great things for the small town of Manchester,” Mary stated. “Throughout our lifetime, we have always supported community events in our small towns, and this is just like a county fair at a large scale.” Mary also spoke fondly of the crowd, saying that despite the youthful turnout, she saw “nothing ugly. The kids were so sweet to us, and I can’t wait to return.”
Watch: Superjam – Skrillex and Friends LIVE at Bonnaroo 2014