The Festival Beat: Know Your Lineup
Last year was unofficially the year of the DJ at Bonnaroo. It might have been cause they wanted to flex their new Other Stage, or compensate for the missing kalliope stage (thank GOD it's back!). Regardless, we're very excited to see some balance return with an increase in hip hop and americana. The real beauty in the diversity however is the distinction between artists within genres, such as jam bands that are more soul and indie that's more world music. It really creates some dimension in this lineup.
We wrote a whole article about having Eminem headline a music festival, so we won't get into that here. We were also praying for Fleetwood Mac or Foo Fighers, but that aside, these headliners seem all together uninspired. Perhaps Bonnaroo has spoiled us on pop legends, electronic innovators, and rock and roll icons, but that is what we have come to expect. No one of that caliber appears on the top lines this year and it's wholey disappointing.
We have never had a bad Bonnaroo, and suspect that we never will. The farm is a magical place where people and artists surprise you by showing just how great they can be. Last year, it felt a little like the festival was going through an awkward stage between what it has been and what it will become. It doesn't seem like it's quite come out of it yet. But the overwhelming strength of the midcard, the increase diversity, and the impressively large number of artists we've never heard of give us hope that it will come out on the other side better and stronger than ever. See y'all on the farm!