Have you ever heard your parents reminisce adoringly about their hippy throwback days spent at the infamous Woodstock Music Festival of 1969? (Certainly your jealousy is palpable by now.) Luckily, event organizers revived that loving spirit of the musical gods, and now you can have a similar experience of your own every June at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
Taking place on a massive, 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., located about an hour’s drive southeast of Nashville, Bonnaroo has affectionately become known as the “Woodstock of the South.” The name of the festival is a slang construction spawning from the French “bon” meaning “good,” and “rue” from the French “street,” thus roughly translating into “the best on the streets.” And since its inception in 2002, ‘Roo has had a reputation of bringing countless high-profile musicians out to “the farm,” as well as acted as a proving ground for up-and-coming artists on the cusp of changing the music world.
More than anything else, the fest is four days of 80,000 happy campers soaking up all the phenomenal music, amazing community and environmental sustainability they can handle. With 10-plus stages (all bearing sarcastic names like “What Stage” and “Which Stage”) hosting 150 epic live performances, Bonnaroo features a diverse array of musical styles including indie rock, world music, hip hop, jazz, Americana, bluegrass, country music, folk, gospel, reggae, pop, electronica and other alternative music, as well as dozens of comedians and now a small film festival. Just to name a few, past headliners included Elton John, Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Tool, The Beach Boys, Kanye West, Phish, Stevie Wonder, The White Stripes, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers Band, Eminem, Wilco, Bon Iver, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Jay-Z, Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, Jack Johnson, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen and Beastie Boys. You can also click here to read every single artist that has ever played on the farm.
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