In just a matter of days, the small Tennessee town of Manchester (pop. 10,642) will be invaded by 80,000-plus fanny pack-wearing millennials (and a few old hippies still looking for a good time) for the 18th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
The fest, which runs from June 13-16 this year, takes place on a 700-acre farm in Manchester and tends to bleed out into the surrounding area. Just pop into the Manchester Walmart on any given day during Bonnaroo, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any shoppers not wearing a brightly-colored cloth 'Roo wristband.
this year leans more heavily toward newer, younger acts than it has in previous years — the major exception being a double set by Phish on both Friday and Sunday nights. Other headliners include the ever-present-on-the-festival-circuit, white-guy-rapper Post Malone (Saturday night) and the ever-present-on-the-festival-circuit, Latinx rapper Cardi B (Sunday night).
The Bellingham, Washington-based EDM duo Odesza will bring their haunting electropop beats to the stage on Saturday night, and Friday night will close out with a performance actor/hip-hop DJ Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover).
Other highlights on Bonnaroo’s massive lineup: saxophone-playing DJ Griz, folk rockers The Avett Brothers, The Lonely Island (the comedy trio featuring Andy Samberg), emo rapper Juice WRLD, and singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile. Oh, and the 72-year-old songwriting legend John Prine will be there (#NBD).
All of this (and performances by more than 100 other musicians) takes place on five stages spread throughout the farm. Besides the music, Bonnaroo features parades (an out-of-season Mardi Gras parade, a mermaid parade, and a gay pride parade), a Roo Run 5K, plenty of outdoor yoga classes, a mini sandy beach oasis (minus the ocean), a massive blow-up water slide, a Ferris wheel, and much more. Stay tuned for a post-festival recap on this blog, once all the dust settles.