Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has cemented itself as one of North Americas classic summer festivals. Its lineup consistently includes up and coming acts, as well as classic artists that haven’t taken the stage in a while.
It all started in 2002, and has improved every year since. One of its best aspects is the camping. With your ticket, you get 5 nights of camping right on site with every other festival goer. You also have the option to see music at almost any hour. Back in 2013 Pretty Lights went until 6am Saturday morning, and the next night music went even later (or should I say earlier?). Headliners also often see an exclusive time slot. That means you can see the top 3 acts without missing out on anyone else.
To me, however, the best thing about Bonnaroo is the people. To get to Manchester, Tennessee takes some effort. You have to drive a great distance, and bring your camping gear (it takes me 17 hours). You have to camp in 80 degree weather and thunderstorms, and forgo showering. But everyone who’s there doesn’t care about that; they want to be there. They love the music and it shows. You share food and drink with your camping neighbors, high five strangers, and dance along with fellow music lovers. It’s a utopia, and you should make every possible effort to join 80,000 new friends on the farm.
Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, Alabama Shakes, Childish Gambino, Flume, Hozier, Slayer, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Belle & Sebastian, Spoon, The War on Drugs, STS9, Ben Folds & Ymusic, SuperJam!, Atmosphere, Atomic Bomb! Who Is William Onyearbor? Tears For Fears, Brandi Carlile, Twenty One Pilots, The Bluegrass Situation Superjam Featuring Ed Helms and Special Guests, Flying Lotus, Earth Wind & Fire, Caribou, Gary Clark Jr., SBTRKT, Punch Brothers, Medseki, Scofield, Martin & Wood, Tove Lo, Run The Jewels, Awolnation, Sylvan Esso, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Guster, Jamie XX, Against Me!, ODESZA, Soja, Jerry Douglas Presents Earls Of Leicester, Bleachers, Rudimental, Mac Demarco, The Very Best, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Shakey Graves, Shabazz Places, Gramatik, MØ, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jungle, Benjamin Booker, Houndmouth, The Growlers, Glass Animals, Ana Tijoux, Sza, Courtney Barnett, Rhiannon Giddens, Royal Blood, Tanya Tagaq, Woods, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Iceage, Temples, Between The Buried & Me, Rustie, Ryn Weaver, Dopapod, Pokey Lafarge, Priory, Bahamas, Strand of Oaks, Phox, Gregory Alan Isakov, Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath, The Districts, Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear, DMA’s, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Pallbearer, Dej Loaf, Christopher Denny, Hiss Golden Messenger, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, Unlocking The Truth
Top 10 Acts That I Want To See:
1. Glass Animals - These guys were my favorite new band last year. Their debut album, Zaba, was fantastic, and I can imagine their live performance is going to be brilliant too.
2. Alabama Shakes - I unfortunately missed Alabama Shakes back in 2013, but with new music due out in the coming months, these guys are high up on my list. I can’t wait to sing along to “You Ain’t Alone”.
3. Gary Clark Jr. - Every time I listen to Gary Clark Jr. I just want to put on my leather jacket, grab a pint, and head to an awesome rock show. I’ll have to leave out the jacket this time (don’t want heat stroke), but you can bet that I’ll be rocking out front and center.
4. Flume - One of the most innovative and creative producers in the game right now. Hopefully his set goes late into the night, no one will want him to leave the stage.
5. My Morning Jacket - Jim James is phenomenal on guitar, and Bonnaroo was born thanks to jam bands like this. I’m not going to miss them in their own element.
6. Billy Joel - Last year it was Elton John, the year before that it was Paul McCartney. If you think I’m going to miss singing along to “Piano Man” and other favorites with 80,000+ people, then you are crazy my friend.
7. Jamie xx - Another brilliant producer. When he’s not working with The xx, he’s putting together other great tunes. I caught his set in London last summer and have been itching to see him again.
8. Tears For Fears - There are so many reasons to see this set: 80s new wave/synthpop, you’ll probably never have the opportunity to see them again, hits like “Shout” and “Everyone wants to rule the world”, and it’ll probably be one of the most fun crowds all weekend.
9. Flying Lotus - Bonnaroo’s electronic acts are just on point this year. Flylo never disappoints, and has one of the best light shows out there today.
10. Mumford and Sons - In 2013, Ted Dwayne had a medical emergency just 4 days before Bonnaroo, and Mumford had to drop out. Following the medical issues, the band took a brief hiatus. Now they are back, and Bonnaroo will be their first performance in a long time. Will there be new music? Will they jam out into the early hours? The possibilities seem endless.
Honorable Mention. Unlocking The Truth - The band members are in 8th grade. 8th grade! They are living my childhood dream, I’ll have to take a peek.
Get tickets here!
By Ben Lowden