Roll On: Food Trucks make an appearance at Bonnaroo

This past weekend 80,000 music lovers (me included) descended on a tiny town in the center of Tennessee for the 10th annual Bonnaroo music festival. While the focus is clearly on the music at this three-day event (everyone from Cape Cod’s folky Parkington Sisters to Widespread Panic to Eminem took the stage), I was also interested in what they offered to eat since, for the first time ever, the festival hosted a Food Truck Oasis.

Kerry Black of Superfly Presents, one of the co-founders of Bonnaroo, explained, “We try to add something different each year; we’re always looking for ways to up the culinary offerings. The trucks were a creative way to give chefs from both Tennessee and surrounding states a presence at Bonnaroo.”

Six trucks from around the southeast participated this year bringing with them hundreds of thousands of pounds of food: 18,000 meatballs dished out by Asheville, North Carolina’s Eatbox (their pork version were gems, layered with a chilli-laced yogurt sauce, cilantro, cucumbers, and carrots for their riff on a bahn mi); 8,000 tacos from Tampa, Florida’s Taco Bus; 2,000 pomegranate and hibiscus lemonades at Charleston, South Carolina’s Pot Kettle Black. As many as 12,000 ‘Rooers visited the Oasis each day, giving the Festival yet another marquee showstopper.

Behind the scenes, Blue Ribbon (unrelated to our Newton barbecue spot of the same name) spoiled the artists and guests with a fried chicken and Champagne dinner on Saturday night while out in Centeroo (the Festival’s Main Street), Sierra Nevada poured their crisp and summery “Bonnaroo Brew.” Speaking of beers, we also scoped out the Broo’ers Festival tent hoping to check in with our own Pretty Things but by Sunday afternoon, they’d blown through their product and we found nothing but an empty stall (a number of the small brewers present had bailed by that point in the festivities…perhaps it was the raging, 90+ degree heat).

Black says they will definitely add more trucks next year, saying, “the more regions represented, the better. We’d love to bring in some trucks from Boston’s growing scene. This was a new idea that took shape a few months back so now we have a whole year and a lot of success behind us to get the conversation rolling and bring in trucks from all across the country for 2012.” I’m hoping that means one of Boston’s many new trucks (like the Go Fish! truck and it’s New England seafood-focused menu) will find its way down next year. And speaking of 2012, those tickets go on pre-sale tomorrow.