Bonnaroo Music Festival has entered its 17th year. It may not be the oldest or the biggest music festival, but it manages to attract visitors from far and wide. Taking place every year since 2002 in southeastern Tennessee on a farm, the Great Stage Park in Manchester is transformed into a musical playground. Featuring world famous musicians, Bonnaroo tickets generate record sales every June.
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has changed the way live music is experienced and is at the pinnacle of a mass musical movement. The festival gets its name from a 1974 album titled “Desitively Bonnaroo” released by New Orleans R&B singer Dr. John. Derived from Creole slang, the word Bonnaroo means a “really good time”. A joint venture by AC Entertainment and Superfly Productions, the festival was developed to honor and celebrate Louisiana’s rich music tradition. Since then it has come a long way, inviting world musicians to its platform and catering to eclectic music preferences.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Over the Years
Four college graduates – Kerry Black, Rick Farman, Richard Goodstone and Jonathan Mayers had a passion for music and decided to form their own concert promotion company. Superfly Productions was created and it initially ventured into local club gigs, theater shows and only promoted jam bands. Inspired by European music festivals like England’s Glastonbury Festival, the quartet decided to launch Bonnaroo. Unlike traditional music festivals, they also incorporated arts and other elements into the mix, hoping to the give the audience a unique experience.
In 2002, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival officially kicked off. Even though the founders didn’t engage in any kind of advertising on media, the event sold nearly 70,000 tickets. The inaugural event featured big names like Widespread Panic, Old Crow Medicine Show and Amon Tobin.
When the festival returned next year, it sold more than 80,000 tickets. Its popularity had grown by leaps and bound – Rolling Stone even recognized the second edition in its list of “50 moments that changed rock & roll”. The 2003 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival was a 3-day event that featured a star-studded lineup including Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and Gavin DeGraw.
In 2007, the festival organizers, AC Entertainment and Superfly Productions bought the southeastern Tennessee farm, which is today known as the Great Stage Park. 17 years since its formation, the Bonnaroo Music Festival has today become a “go-to” event. Attracting a multitude of internationally known musicians, fans make sure they get to take in the Bonnaroo Experience at least once in their lifetime.
What to Expect at Bonnaroo Music Festival
For most of the year, Manchester, Tennessee, is a quiet town without much happening on the entertainment scene. But in June each year, the town comes alive as it welcomes tourists for four days who are there to attend one of the world’s largest music festivals. As soon as the dates are announced, fans start searching how much are Bonnaroo tickets for and are even willing to spend some extra bucks as long as they get to see their favorite acts.
Music – More than 150 performers take the stage at the 4-day festival. Rock, pop, R&B, country, jam bands and even comedy acts, all these elements come together to make up the event, offering the attendees a lot of diversity. At the 2017 Bonnaroo, U2 was among the main performers and the iconic band took the estimated crowd of 65,000 by storm. The 2018 Bonnaroo festival will take place from June 7-10 and while the organizers haven’t disclosed the lineup yet, it’s likely to match last year’s. The 17th edition will definitely feature an even bigger and better lineup. Main stages and tents are where all the action happens.
What Stage is the biggest stage that features performances by the headliners. The iconic “Bonnaroo” neon sign stands out on the top.
Which Stage is located on the Southern side of Centeroo (main entrance area) and is the second biggest stage at the festival. It mostly stages the late night shows.
This Tent, That Tent, and The Other Tent hold performances by various musical acts along with the yearly jam.
Silent Disco – Besides the out-of-the-world music experience that Bonnaroo offers, there are so many other fun activities to be a part of at the event. When at Bonnaroo, do try out the Silent Disco. Definitely a unique experience, it’s a tent with an unlimited supply of headphones and each plays different kind of music.
Cinema & Comedy – Covering all kinds of performing arts, the Bonnaroo Festival also provides a diverse cinematic experience. Yet to be released independent films, documentaries, cult classics and popular movies are shown over the course of the weekend. Sometimes a new film is followed by a question & answer session with the filmmaker, cast and director. All of this takes place under the Comedy & Cinema Tent.
The Electronic Hip-Hop – There is a separate tent called The Other for this genre. Dedicated to hip-hop and electronic music, the area is packed with electrifying visuals and affects, best dance beats and ear-shattering bass.
More Others – Fun at the Bonnaroo doesn’t end here. There is Snake & Jake’s Christmas Club Barn that brings the holiday season to the festival in scorching Tennessee summer. Holiday music, Santa Claus and DJ sets, all make it an amazing experience. Fans of classic rock music can head over to the Music On Tap Lounge Brewed By Miller Lite. Bonnaroo promises eclectic music and diversity in styles, and that’s what the fans get.