With Bonnaroo 2012 just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for what has the potential to be one of (if not THE) best musically influenced weekends of your life. This year Bonnaroo has a lot to offer and you’re not going to want to miss any of it.
From June 7th-10th, Manchester,TN is going to be exploding with musical talent and it’s all going to be at your disposal. With 5 music stages, 1 comedy stage, 1 cinema, and 1 Silent Disco, it is highly advised that you make a plan of attack giving you time to experience what each area has to offer. Headliners include Phish, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, and Bon Iver, to name just a few. Other performers include Foster the People, Skrillex, Ben Folds Five, Young the Giant, The Civil Wars, Ludacris, Childish Gambino, and Flogging Molly. To say that this years lineup is going to be one for the record books is an understatement.
In the event that you need a break from the music, Bonnaroo offers a host of other fun activities in which you can take part. The festival features everything from a cinema and comedy tent to “a big ass water slide,” the Adult Swim Carnival, and a Broo’ers festival. To make sure festival goers are prepared for a weekend like none other, there will be general stores open in both the Centeroo and on the campground for those who have forgotten or are in need of some essentials. For those hungry for things besides a good beat, food will be served throughout the park on the Food Truck Oasises. Bonnaroo will have an endless supply of fun things to do… as if you were going to be bored or something.
As you’re getting ready to enter Bonnaroo and take it by the horns, there are probably some things you should know :
- It’s probably going to be hot. Stay hydrated. Wear Sunscreen. Dress appropriately – prepare for weather changes (i.e. rain!).
- You’re going to be surrounded by a lot of people. Be polite and don’t bring obstructions such as lawn chairs, umbrellas, or anything that could block the view of others
- Cans, beverages, alcohol, bottles and basically anything that’s not a factory sealed/empty clear plastic water bottles are not allowed at the show. You can purchase such things at Centeroo.
- Laser pens aren’t allowed either.
- Don’t bring your bike.
- Don’t bring illegal substances, weapons, etc.
- Don’t ruin your wristband! Those things are important!
- Bring your camera so you can remember the magic!
Bonnaroo’s Must See Acts (In No Particular Order)
Bon Iver – If the fact that Bon Iver’s self-titled second album, “Bon Iver, Bon Iver”, won a Grammy for Best Alternative Album earlier this year isn’t enough to convince you to attend the band’s show, then I don’t know what is. Fronted by down-to-earth Wisconsinite Justin Vernon, Bon Iver entered the public eye way back in 2008, when indie label JagJaguwar released the band’s first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago”. The album contains perhaps Bon Iver’s most famous single to date: Skinny Love.
Bon Iver’s sound has evolved considerably since For Emma’s release, but you can still count on Justin for his unforgettable falsetto. Though you may not be able to make out the lyrics to the band’s songs (another characteristic Bon Iver trait), Bon Iver shows are energetic and emotional, and therefore unforgettable.
Foster the People – You’ve heard it on the radio, in the movies, on TV, and now you can hear the ever resonating “Pumped Up Kicks” live. As if this one hit single isn’t enough to draw you to the Foster the People show (they call it a hit for a reason!), than the rest of their Torches album filled with Indie beats sure to leave you dancing and the energy of group members Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink, and Mark Pontius should definitely convince you. This up and coming band has already found immense fame with their dark, but eclectic single and isn’t stopping by any means. With other songs like “Houdini” making their way to the masses, they are slowly selling out shows across the country, making their show a MUST see. Foster the People will be sure to give their audience a show they won’t forget.
Young the Giant – Formerly known as Jakes, this California band has been making a splash since they released their self-titled debut album in 2010. The first two singles off the album, “My Body” and “Cough Syrup”, both appeared in the top 5 US Alternative Singles Chart, and the band released a third single, “Apartment”, in February of this year. “Cough Syrup” was recently featured on Glee, covered by none other than Darren Criss.
Young the Giant have become a staple on the festival circuit, having played SXSW in March 2011 and the main stage of Lollapalooza in 2011. They have just embarked on their first major headlining tour. Don’t miss your chance to catch a band that seems destined for great things.
Beach Boys – Who doesn’t know and love the Beach Boys? The carefree vibe of hits such as “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “California Girls”, and “Surfin’ USA” still resonates with young people today—it hardly matters that the band was founded way back in 1961. The Beach Boys have just released their 29th studio album, their first in 16 years.
From the coast to the stage, these boys are sure to put on a show that will be both nostalgic of the “good ol’ days” your parents are always telling you about and a new spurt of what they still have to offer the music world. It’s going to be a reunion worth witnessing.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – They say with age comes wisdom or maybe in this case talent, and this has definitely shown in the talents of the Chili Peppers, one of the must see headliners at this years festival. Formed in 1983, the band has come a long way bringing us 10 albums and they definitely aren’t stopping anytime soon. The melodies and lyrics of hits such as “Under the Bridge,” “Dani California,” and “Snow” have been engrained in our minds and with good reason. The Chili Peppers have brought their own definition to rock adding a mix of genres that have become instant classics to their dedicated listeners.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have grown throughout the years continuing to give audiences not only great music, but a great show as well. Who can deny the energy of lead singer Anthony Kiedis, who at age 49 is still walking out on stage in hand stands, or the power of the bass playing by Flea? The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be sure to deliver an unbelievable performance that you won’t want to miss.
fun. – Formed by Nate Ruess, formerly of the Format, in 2008, this New York band is best known for the single “We Are Young”, feat. Janelle Monae, off album Some Nights. “We Are Young” peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and, as a measure of its greatness, was also featured on Glee, Gossip Girl, and 90210 not long after its release.
Numerous talented bands have chosen fun. as a touring partner, among them Jack’s Mannequin, Paramore, and Panic! At the Disco (Panic! even recorded a single with fun., entitled “C’mon”, last year). It’s definitely worth your while to check out a band who has such tours and a hit single under its belt.
The Civil Wars – This Alabama alt-country duo has only been around since 2009, but has sprung into the limelight with the release of the album Barton Hollow in 2011, which soon raced to #1 on the Billboard digital albums chart. Musicians Joy Williams and John Paul White met at a songwriting session and have been penning hits ever since, as evidenced by their recent Grammy wins for best country duo and best folk album.
The Civil Wars have toured with Emmylou Harris and Adele and recently recorded a song for the Hunger Games soundtrack with Taylor Swift, “Safe and Sound”. That song alone should be enough justification to catch the Civil Wars live.
St. Vincent – a.k.a. Annie Clark, released one of the most critically-acclaimed records of 2011 in Strange Mercy. The tandem force of her seductive voice and her virtuosic, noodly, Robert Fripp-inspired guitar work has established her as one of the best live acts around and one of the most consistent artists in recent memory. Her rise has been remarkable, going from quiet opening sets for Arcade Fire in support of her debut, Marry Me, to now being a huge festival highlight at one of the biggest festivals in the United States.
Even with a recently released album, St. Vincent has kept busy recording and releasing a few singles–”Krokodil,” “Grut,” and a Brian Eno cover, all of which she has incorporated into her recent live sets. Get ready for what will surely be a captivating set, hopefully complete with a stage dive and crowd surfing from the pint-size guitar goddess.
Alabama Shakes – There may not be a bigger breakout act of 2012 than Alabama Shakes. While their debut LP, Boys & Girls, was only released in April, the band has received a hefty amount of hype since September of last year. Some stunning television performances of their single “Hold On” and countless rave reviews later, the band is now in the midst of their first international tour and have hit their stride.
Few bands can handle the level of hype that floats around this Athens, Alabama band sustains. Most falter under the limelight (think Black Kids, Lana Del Rey), but Brittany Howard and her Shakes have established their footing and have consistently impressed, especially on the festival circuit. There’s a resurgence in soulful garage rock lately, and Alabama Shakes have made their statement–they’re here to stay. Their Bonnaroo performance is sure to convince us.
Childish Gambino – Hip hop artist Childish Gambino is perhaps better known as comedian Donald Glover, for his role as Troy Barnes on Community, or for his writing contributions to 30 Rock. Glover is making a reappearance at Bonnaroo this year after performing twice at the festival in 2011 – a stand up comedy set and a separate hip hop set as his rapping-alter ego, Childish Gambino.
Gambino’s most recent album, Camp, was released in late 2011 and is popular among fans of the indie rap genre. What makes Gambino’s style distinct is his combination of deep and humorous lyrics. Gambino’s other projects include two mixtapes in which he raps over indie favorites such as songs by Sleigh Bells and Grizzly Bear. Childish Gambino’s unique style in the indie rap genre will certainly make seeing his show worthwhile.