Manchester, Tenn. (AP) -- The gates opened a half-hour early Thursday morning to let Bonnaroo Music Festival fans onto the grounds and relieve traffic congestion on Interstate 24.
Aerial traffic helicopter views showed several hundred cars stretched out in the eastbound lanes and a lesser number westbound on Interstate 24 at the Manchester exit, about 60 miles southeast of Nashville.
The stopped traffic is in the breakdown lanes, allowing through-traffic a clear road. Still, there is a slowdown on I-24 in that area.
About 80,000 music fans will pack the 700-acre farm, making Manchester temporarily Tennessee’s sixth-largest city.
The heaviest traffic will be Thursday and on again Sunday, when fans leave after the festival.
(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)