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When Bonnaroo announced their lineup for their 15 year anniversary in January 2016, many viewed it as underwhelming and lackluster. As a result, the festival suffered. They had their worst ticket sales in the festival’s history, with a little over 45,000 tickets sold. Its worst by about 28,000.
People began to think the festival was losing its prominence after their abysmal income last year. Boy, were those people wrong. As someone who attended Bonnaroo for the first time this past year, I consider it to be one of the best weekends of my life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to discover new music and meet new people from not only across the country, but the world. Bonnaroo offers one of the most unique environments of any place, and can be truly life-changing.
The festival released its 2017 lineup this morning, and they made quite the bounce back, silencing the doubters. Let’s take a look at whose set to perform on The Farm this June.
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The headliners this year consist of a few big names. Earlier in the week, U2 announced they would be playing the festival for the first time to celebrate their 30 year anniversary of their beloved album ‘The Joshua Tree.’ Rumors of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, and Chance the Rapper came to be true after months of speculation. People figured this out due to conspicuous gaps in the artists tours this upcoming summer.
Chance is an avid ‘Rooer. The Chicago native goes yearly and camps out just for fun, but is now set to perform his highest anticipated set to date. He appeared at a number of artist’s sets during last years festival, including J. Cole, and Macklemore.
The second tier of performers come from a number of different genres, including EDM, rap, and indie. Artists Major Lazer, Flume, Marshmello, and Big Gigantic are the festivals biggest DJs this year. The EDM scene at Bonnaroo is unusually large this year. The festival was founded on more of a jam-band basis, but has begun to diversify itself by making pop and electronic music more prevalent in recent years, attracting a new generation of fans.
After a three year hiatus, 20 year old indie artist Lorde added Bonnaroo to her list of festivals she is performing at this summer. She is reportedly set to release her highly anticipated sophomore album in 2017 as well. Groups like the xx, Cage the Elephant, and Glass Animals will be making highly anticipated returns to ‘Roo this summer as well.
To round out the top tier artists, rapper and producer Travis Scott will make his ‘Roo debut. He is notorious for his liveliness during his performances, including his Lollapalooza set two years ago which resulted in people in the crowd rushing the stage, and Scott being arrested for disorderly conduct. His set at Lollapalooza lasted about 5 minutes.
Like most festivals, there are always the lower tier of artists that aren’t as highly recognized. However, they deserve it. One of the bigger groups that doesn’t generally get the necessary recognition is Umphrey’s Mcgee. Umphrey’s is labeled today as one of the top jam bands around. They are an Indiana native band that has played at the festival many times in the past. Twiddle is yet another band to look out for this year as well.
Indie Rock band Car Seat Headrest released one of highest rated albums of 2016 titled ‘Teens of Denial.’ Car Seat Headrest has a grand total of 12 studio albums since starting back in 2010. They had a busy 2016 touring the United States and Canada, and continue to add performances in 2017.
One of my personal favorite rap groups right now, Flatbush Zombies will be making their Bonnaroo debut as well. Flatbush is a 3 piece group with a psychedelic style to their music. They released their first studio album in March 2016 titled ‘3001: A Laced Odyssey.’ The group toured most of 2016, and performed at Lollapalooza this past year. Their set is sure to be one of the festival’s most riveting.
Bonnaroo 2017 is set to take place on June 8-11. You can buy tickets for ‘Roo here, and see past lineups of the festival here. Hope to see you on The Farm!
Sophomore journalism student at Ball State University. Lover of music, travel, and photography.