With all 80,000 tickets sold to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, music fans from throughout the world are gathering at a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., a community located 65 miles south of Nashville. The festival runs Thursday through Sunday (June 14-17).
The music began Thursday night with an eclectic array including rock from the Black Angels, acoustic music from Rodrigo y Gabriela and jazz from Lou Donaldson and the Dr. Lonnie Smith Quartet.
Friday’s bill includes a strong country, folk and acoustic slant with performances by Dierks Bentley, Gillian Welch, Uncle Earl and the Richard Thompson Band. Capping the Friday schedule are midnight performances by the String Cheese Incident and a jam featuring Ben Harper and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.
Saturday’s music includes Old Crow Medicine Show, Hot Tuna, Keller Williams, Fountains of Wayne and the newly-reunited Police, followed by separate stages featuring Government Mule and the Flaming Lips.
Sunday’s schedule includes Charlie Louvin, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Junior Brown, David Bromberg, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Wilco, the White Stripes, Bob Weir & Ratdog and Pete Yorn. The music ends that night with a finale by Widespread Panic.
Traffic leading into the festival grounds was backed up approximately 10 miles Thursday night. With vehicles being searched at festival entrances, law officers have issued several citations, mostly for drug offenses. In addition to the main music stages, Bonnaroo also features a wide array of exhibits, the Broo’ers Festival (where micro-brewed beers are served while a polka band plays), Arcade Discothèque (a huge, interactive dance floor) and many other attractions.