This eclectic music festival celebrates its 15th year this coming weekend, June 9 through June 12, in Manchester, Tennessee, a relatively small town in middle Tennessee. Festival officials are expecting about 80,000 fans to descend on the area — which just happens to be where my hubby is from and where much of his family still lives.
The name Bonnaroo was chosen by founders AC Entertainment and Superfly Productions because it’s a Creole slang word meaning “a really good time.” By 2003, the festival was named by Rolling Stone magazine as “one of the top 50 moments in rock and roll” and one of the 10 Best Festivals by GQ Magazine.
You can get the scoop on everything that’s happening by checking out the official site for festival information. But if you’re going, don’t look for me there! We just visited family over Memorial Day and made sure to be gone before the major crowds arrive. Some family members did mention they saw people with dreadlocks and “those men in skirts”(?) in town at the end of May, but I can’t personally vouch for that…
Here’s the line up for this year:
One of the bands performing this year is Lamb of God and my new blog buddy Patti and her family are friends with the lead singer, D. Randall Blythe. You can see her post about him here on her Scarlett 79 blog.
I remember when the festival first began in 2002 on a 700-acre farm and hubby’s family and a lot of other Manchester residents were none too happy with the hordes of alternative music fans invading their town that summer.
We were regaled with tales of people running through Wal-Mart in nothing but body paint and bathing in the fountain in front of the funeral home. Don’t know if all that is true or not, but the funeral home fountain was filled in and is now a planter!
By 2007, though, festival promoters had purchased much of the farm acreage for a permanent location. Not only does the festival bring huge crowds to the area, it also brings large amounts of personal and business revenue to Coffee County. The festival also makes annual contributions to support several worldwide charitable organizations.
And if you’re not able to go to Bonnaroo this year, you can stream the festival live at Red Bull TV here starting June 9 at 8 p.m. CDT.
Personally, even though Bonnaroo crowds and music aren’t really my cup of tea, we’re thrilled with all the new hotels and restaurants that have been built in and around Manchester to serve people who don’t want to necessarily camp out on the festival grounds. More jobs for local residents and more choices for us when we visit!
Photos courtesy of Bing.com or Pixabay, sources include Wikipedia, the official Bonnaroo website and Red Bull TV.