Help Save Roochute – the Iconic Rainbow Parachute of Bonnaroo!

If you’ve been to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival the last few years, you’ve more than likely experienced Roochute, a giant rainbow parachute floating above heads unexpectedly throughout the weekend. You know, the kind from your childhood gym-class days (if you were lucky enough to have one at your school.)

Photo by Brian Hensley

Imagine laying on the ground at Roo, taking an afternoon nap waiting for your next favorite band to play, and suddenly a giant parachute flies above your head. You catch a cool breeze, a brief moment of hard-to-find Roo shade.

Photo by Tony Graziano

And laughter with strangers. Lots and lots of laughter, thinking back to simpler times.

This is Roochute, a simple concept to bring happiness to anyone willing to participate. Despite popular belief that Roochute is facilitated by Bonnaroo, it is a fan-driven initiative. It was first brought to Bonnaroo in 2014 by Ron Holgado and has become a staple in just three short years.

That first summer Rolling Stone Magazine called Roochute one of its “Favorite Moments of Bonnaroo.” Roochute quickly became synonymous with Roo marketing. Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Pitchfork, and every music outlet you can imagine used Roochute in their promotional materials about Roo, along with thousands of fans on social media.

And just last week the team over at Bonnaroo featured a write-up about Roochute to launch their new “For Roo By Yoo” program, encouraging Bonnaroovians to pitch their ideas for community involvement while on The Farm.

What initially began as an outlet to help “Radiate Positivity” (Bonnaroo’s catch phrase), Roochute has become a much larger and important initiative. Ron, the man behind the ‘chute, is a full-time Patient Care Associate at The James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, working with patients during the day and, in his free time, helping to spread happiness and hope with the ‘chute at hospitals, schools, and community events in Ohio.

Roochute at The James Cancer Hospital to celebrate Survivor Month with the Columbus community.

Ron, with help of his friend Patrick Fromuth, has turned Roochute’s fast-growing social media presence into a platform to help raise awareness about Mental Health after the death of Robin Williams. #EndTheStigma and #WearYourLabel are social media campaigns to encourage people with mental health issues to share their stories in order to help normalize the topic for other individuals who are suffering and might feel alone. According to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental health problems. That’s 43 million Americans!

Another aspect of Roochute is the side project RooFitness, where Bonnaroovians from around the nation encourage each other to #CommitToBeFit throughout the year, to keep the body, mind, and soul in balance, promoting preventative mental health (and of course, so Bonnaroovians can wear outlandish outfits at Roo!).

Bonnaroovians use the international symbol of “R” to symbolize Roochute & Roofitness to “commit to be fit”, year round.

Unfortunately, the main Roochute with the “Choose Kindness” insignia was torn to pieces by rowdy fans at another festival recently. A GoFundMe donation page was created by Bonnaroovians to help raise funds to ensure Roochute will make its triumphant return to The Farm this summer.

So far 120 people have raised over $4,000, with only $3,500 more to go to reach their goal of $7,500! Over the years, Ron has spent at least $6,000 out of pocket to acquire eight new parachutes. He has also donated several parachutes to teachers at elementary schools in lower-income neighborhoods. $300+ for the large chutes and an additional $300+ to have local artists handwrite inspirational slogans on the chutes, like “Choose Kindness,” “Be Happy,” and “Hope.”

Over at the Bonnaroo Reddit and Roochute Instagram, a lot of fans had an outpouring of love and support for their favorite memories of Roochute.

There are many reasons why the whole team at MusicFestNews loves Roochute, and we encourage fans to donate, even a small amount. It’s important work, and we fully support the mission and look forward to dancing under the ‘chute in just four short weeks.



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