By: Sean Varicalli
In about a week or so, I will be heading down to Manchester Tennessee with a friend of mine to the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival. I will be covering the festival on behalf of WXOU and The Oakland Post. I had to be honest, before doing some research, I had to ask myself, what is a Bonnaroo?
The Bonaroo Music and Art festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. It takes place every year on a 700 acre farm in Manchester Tennessee, where some of the biggest acts in the music industry come to perform for upwards of 90,000 people. Bonnaroo also separates itself from music festival normality because of their great relationship with the state of Tennessee, thus making the festival nearly corporate sponsor free.
For artists, it is one of the most exciting events in music to be a part of. Bonnaroo is a festival that continues to be successful and builds its popularity year after year. Therefore, improving the lineups of musical talent after every year. This year, the festival has a huge bill of headliners, including: The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, Phish, FUN., Alice Cooper and way too many more to name.
I had a chance to speak with Jack Antonoff form the band, FUN. He will be making his fourth appearance at Bonnaroo, but his first time playing with the band, FUN. “and it was like completely such a real-world-type situation. And still that was in 2005, probably my favorite (life) experience of all time. I played that Thursday night 5:00 to midnight. And to this day I’ve never had a show like that.” FUN.’s set is highly anticipated by music fans and critics everywhere, not only because of their fairly new commercial success, but because of the unique, and down right difficult challenge of playing the 6:30 p.m. set on Sunday.
The festival continues to grow, especially musically. Bonnaroo has hosted the likes of Eminem, The Foo Fighters, Buffalo Springfield and Metallica to just name a few. This year, the festival added a rock superstar, who may not be as well recognized as FUN. or Foster The People, to the very young and hip audiences of Bonnaroo. But a band that will continue to expand the musical diversity of the festival. “It’s going to be the full-out Alice show, and in fact that’s kind of what I’m really looking forward to. I always sort of like to put Alice where he doesn’t belong.” said Alice Cooper when I asked him about playing in a setting he may have never been before.
Locally even, Bonnaroo will feature the likes of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Who will be making their festival debut, and along with Mr. Cooper, will be representing not only Michigan, but the Detroit rock scene. People travel from around the country and all over the world to see what this thing called Bonnaroo is, and no one leaves disappointed. For four great days in what hopefully is Tennessee sun, people are brought together by music and tent by tent you know the only worry on peoples mind is when the next show starts. I really can’t help but picture a modern day Woodstock vibe when thinking about my upcoming trip to the campgrounds. Maybe with less LSD, well actually, probably the same amount of LSD, but still, totally about the music.
For me, and well for you I guess, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Of all of the press and media outlets in the entire world, for some reason they chose Oakland Univeristy media. So with a little under a week ago until I take off, I ask that you read, watch and listen to this site and these blog posts. I’ll be working as hard as I possibly can to bring all of you the stories from Manchester. We already have some interviews lined up on site and some visuals for you as well. If you’d like, follow my thoughts, reviews and feelings on Twitter during the festival @thesvshow. This thing they call Bonnaroo, will help impact the music industry forever, and this year, you’ll have a front row seat.