After two years of subsequent postponements and cancellations, Bonnaroo returns June 16-19 to the 650-acre farm outside Manchester, Tennessee, for what should have been the festive 20th edition of the multi-genre music festival. Located about an hour from Nashville, Bonnaroo is far from normal! The last-minute cancellation in 2021 was particularly disappointing as many fans and artists were already on their way when Tropical Depression Ida swept through and flooded the property, making it impossible for people and equipment to safely access the site. . Many musical groups made the most of it by playing impromptu pop-up shows in Nashville, but it just wasn’t the same.
So this year, the Bonnarovians and over 150 musical artists can’t wait to get dirty in the fields for the first time since 2019. The energy will be electric with three years of pent-up festival magic ready to be unleashed on crowds of dozens thousands of music fans. Here are 10 reasons why you should want to be in this number.
Headliners have some serious star power
With four full days and nights of music, Bonnaroo has stage space for many big headlining bands, and it didn’t disappoint with star power. Thanks to the festival’s dedication to music spanning many genres, there’s bound to be a headliner you’d be delighted to see grace one of the three main ‘Who’, ‘What’ and ‘Which’ stages. .
Fans of smart rock music will be delighted to see Tool hit the stage for a late-night set on Saturday, and hip-hop fans have Friday night circled on their gig schedule when J. Cole headlines a set. which will last until Saturday morning. Sunday night offers a deliciously mixed bag of headliners with Machine Gun Kelly, Roddy Ricch and Stevie Nicks.
women make the law
Probably the worst of Bonnaroo’s two years of cancellations is the fact that Lizzo had to headline both times. Although she won’t return to touring until this fall, Bonnaroo organizers have been working hard to fill the void of female headliners. Some raised eyebrows when Stevie Nicks was named the Sunday night headliner (considering she was also the headliner of the US festival in 1983!), but she’s a music icon. industry and a significant influence on generations of singer-songwriters.
Bonnaroo marks a triumphant return for The Chicks after nearly two decades of being ignored by the country music industry for criticizing US involvement in Iraq. Other female-led artists in prominent performance positions include Japanese Breakfast, Tierra Whack and Chvrches.
You might just find a new favorite band on satellite stages and tents
Many acts have broken out during Bonnaroos’ past on some of the smaller stages, such as This Tent or That Tent, or earlier slots on the main stages. Don’t just camp out and wait for the big names or you’ll miss out on revealing performances.
Bluegrass guitar virtuoso Billy Strings is already a flatpicking fan favorite and is looking to make him a popular guest musician at performances all weekend. Nashville-based American alternative and folk band Judah & the Lion might just be this year’s Americana breakout act, a la Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers in years past. For another Music City-based treat, check out indie rockers All Them Witches.
Or rediscover a reliable old
It’s not always about what’s new and shiny at Bonnaroo. Sometimes the best performances come from industry veterans who are excited to perform in front of the next generation of music fans. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock doesn’t usually play big festivals anymore, so this will be a special opportunity to see him play through the hits of a six-decade career that has earned him more than a dozen Grammys. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss reunite to support their latest collaboration, Raise the roof, an album of deep cuts from some of their favorite artists. The duo’s harmonies can be downright angelic at times.
Take a trip to the Wayback Machine at SuperJam
Bonnaroo’s annual SuperJam has created magical moments in the past as eclectic combinations of musicians come together to perform songs that revolve around a specific theme. Otherwise, how would you see Questlove on the same stage with Ben Harper and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones as in 2007?
For SuperJam 2022, Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff rounds up the roster of music stars for a session dedicated to the year 1984. Could we see Robert Plant sing the role of David Lee Roth in “Jump”? Stranger things have happened at past SuperJams. (And, unlike past SuperJams which lasted until the early hours, this year kicked off at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, so Plant might still be awake.)
Camp with the ‘Roonies
Sometimes parties at campsites rival stage festivities at Bonnaroo. An inexpensive RV pass entitles you and your passengers to approximately 20 feet by 20 feet of space where you can set up your oasis. Campers are free to bring food and drink (including two cases of beer or two cases of wine per person, no glass!), as well as generators and grills to make your site more welcoming. Special themed sites are available for solo travelers, families, sobriety seekers, and female-identifying, gender-nonconforming Bonnarovians. Campgrounds are located around plazas that host special pop-up events and provide amenities, such as showers and medical assistance. The JamTrak tram goes around the festival to provide free transportation between venues.
Take advantage of the luxury options instead
If your idea of roughness means a hotel room without HBO, you’re in luck. There are VIP and Platinum packages which include private restrooms and showers, transport of a golf cart to the course, special viewing and seating sections on the main stages, access to private lounges and motorhomes for camping or luxury tents with air conditioning and beds already set up for you when you arrive. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll have a power strip to charge your electronics and blackout windows to charge at night.
Eat, drink and be extremely merry
While you can bring your own food and water to Bonnaroo, you’ll definitely want to visit the dozens of food tents and the craft beer tent called Broo’ers Festival. The Oktoberfest is held under a marquee near the Centeroo hub and features over 20 craft breweries from across the country selling a wide variety of beers and ciders. Food vendors range from ultra-healthy options like vegan entrees and fresh salads to Southern specialties like Nashville hot chicken, cheeseburgers, jalapeño corn dogs, and tacos — so many tacos!
Take a little break from the music with all kinds of fun complementary activities
Mornings are for recovery, which is important because Bonnaroo is a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, he actually hosts a 5K Roo Run on Saturday mornings, an easy loop around the grounds where costumes are encouraged and competition is not. If walking is more your pace, organized and spontaneous parades are known to break out at any time, so jump in line and move your body in time! Free yoga classes are scheduled throughout the festival site at various times throughout the week, and you don’t even need to bring a mat as the soft grass under your feet will work fine. To cool off in the June heat, take a dip in the famous Mushroom Fountain or slide down the giant waterslide at Splash-a-Roo.
You can help change the world
There’s an official Bonnaroovian code of basically being a decent human being instead of “that person” ruining everyone’s experience at a music festival, but it goes deeper than that. Bonnaroo seeks to make the world a better place through the Bonnaroo Works Fund, which sponsors events like the Planet Roo sustainability expo to showcase nonprofit groups. Clean Vibes, the on-site waste and recycling service, encourages festival attendees to “Roo-duce, Roo-use and Roo-cycle” in a bid to leave the farmhouse better than they found it . The Learning Garden provides educational opportunities for area farmers and volunteers, and BonnaROOTS’ annual sunset dinners revolve around communal meals prepared with ingredients sourced from some of these same farmers.
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