Bonnaroo celebrates 10th anniversary, releases lineup



Ten years ago, a field in Manchester, Tn., was transformed into city of msic-crazed fans.

It’s been an annual tradition ever since.

Such is the magic of the Bonnaroo music and arts festival. With the new lineup released, veteran Bonnaroo goers are scraping their pennies together. And for those who have never been, don’t be intimidated. This is your year.

While the festival started off with strong indie and jam-band ties, the featured genres have expanded over the past decade leading to one of the most diverse lineups they’ve had to date in celebration of the festival’s 10th anniversary.

The lineup was released earlier this week, and headliners include Eminem, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys and Bonnaroo regular Widespread Panic. Also performing will be Lil Wayne, Robert Plant and Mumford and Sons, and Louisville natives My Morning Jacket.

The lineup is one of the most thorough as far as quality from top to bottom, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and Neil Young litter the lineup list, with some buried near the bottom.

For the veterans – you know how it works. But here’s some advice for the first-time goers.

Don’t let the size of the event make you nervous. It’s easy to jump right in. Everyone is friendly, whether they are on staff or tripping on acid, they’ll help you navigate to the confusingly named stages.

Use the schedule. Go through the schedule well in advance once the stages and times are cemented and highlight all of the shows you want to see. Some will overlap, and you’ll have to make some tough decisions. You might want to watch the first half of one set and rush over to catch the conclusion of another. But you’ll be glad you had your path mapped out ahead of time.

Check out bands you don’t know. You’re going to have downtime between the acts you’re dying to see. Almost everyone at Bonnaroo is good, so go explore. When you have free time, wonder around, and when a band is playing, stop in for a few songs. They just may become your new favorite.

For the bands you’re dying to see, get to the stage early. It’s not that hard to get a good spot, even at the main stage, as long as you show up an hour or so early. While you may have to miss an act to get there early, it’s well worth it to have a good spot for the headliners.

Costs vary depending on how early tickets are purchased. Currently, pricing level 2 tickets are $209. As each Pricing Level sells out, the cost increases until it reaches Pricing Level 4. Bonnaroo will take place June 9-12 in Machester, Tenn.

Matt Murray is a senior journalism major. Follow him on Twitter at @KernelMurray.