The 2023 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival kicked off on Thursday morning, welcoming thousands of excited show-goers to the four-night summer camp experience in Manchester, Tennessee. With a promise of diverse musical performances and an immersive atmosphere, Bonnaroo aims to deliver a weekend of unforgettable live entertainment.
The festival, situated approximately 60 miles southeast of Nashville at Great Stage Park, guarantees a lineup that covers a wide range of genres, including marathon jam sessions, ground-shaking EDM, hip-hop heavyweights, and old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a celebration of music, food, and good vibes, all set against the backdrop of the Bonnaroo “Farm.”
As the evening unfolded on Thursday, the party atmosphere began to take hold. Cuban artist Cimafunk took the stage at the This Tent around 10:30 p.m., infusing the air with vibrant Cuban rhythms. Not long after, Dehd brought their garage surf rock sound to That Tent, captivating the crowd with their indie hit “Bad Love.”
Meanwhile, at This Tent, 070 Shake commanded the stage, channeling the energy of DMX as she engaged with the audience. Backed by her track “The Pines,” she shouted directions, creating an electric atmosphere. Following some technical issues during soundcheck, Diarrhea Planet made a triumphant entrance, rocking the stage with their high-energy performance. Guitarist Jordan Smith shouted out to the Bonnaroo crowd, proudly proclaiming their local roots before launching into a raucous cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Bulls on Parade.”
Over at another stage, Big Freedia took the audience on a wild ride with her high-energy dance performance. The New Orleans Queen of Bounce pumped up the crowd with her brand new track “Bigfoot,” bringing a captivating blend of Latin funk, rock, and dance to the stage.
Molly Tuttle and her band the Golden Highway delighted festivalgoers with their foot-stomping bluegrass tunes. Tuttle, a renowned Nashville flatpicking guitarist and singer-songwriter, treated the crowd to a collection of songs that showcased her exceptional talent. From foot-stomping anthems to Music City honky-tonk tunes and jam-ready tracks, Tuttle’s performance was met with wild admiration and enthusiastic responses from the crowd.
Before Tuttle took the stage, soul-stirring singer-songwriter Abraham Alexander graced the This Tent stage, dressed in a sleeveless denim jacket and wide-brimmed hat. He performed songs from his debut album “Sea/Sons,” including a tent-rousing cover of Chris Isaak’s classic “Wicked Game.”
Due to a storm delay earlier in the day, the festival organizers had to adjust the schedule, resulting in performances starting later than originally planned. Despite the changes, show-goers embraced the atmosphere and enjoyed the music without significant scheduling conflicts.
As the storm approached, the organizers made the necessary safety precautions. Centeroo, the central hub of the festival, was closed temporarily, and festivalgoers were advised to return to the campgrounds ahead of the rainfall. The Bonnaroo community came together, offering help and shelter to those without vehicles or seeking refuge from the weather.
However, the storm passed, and the festivities resumed. The Pride parade, a colorful and vibrant celebration of diversity, marked the opening of Centeroo. Hundreds of participants marched from the “Outeroo” campgrounds to Centeroo, with onlookers shouting messages of support and love.
Additionally, the festival featured an artist scavenger hunt organized by Propeller, encouraging fans to do good deeds around The Farm for a chance to win prizes and interact with their favorite artists. Various musicians, including Sofi Tkker, Sylvan Esso, Hippo Campus, and Andrew McMahon, participated in the scavenger hunt, adding an exciting element to the festival experience.
With all four-night music and camping tickets sold out, Bonnaroo has once again brought together a tight-knit community of music lovers. The festival offers a unique blend of musical performances, positive energy, and a diverse array of experiences. For those unable to attend, a multi-channel live stream on Hulu provides a chance to enjoy selected main-stage performances from the comfort of their homes.
As the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival continues, there are still three more nights filled with anticipation, excitement, and unforgettable moments waiting to unfold on The Farm.
The second day of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival dawned with anticipation and excitement. The previous night had set the stage for a weekend of incredible music and unforgettable experiences. As festival-goers emerged from their tents and made their way to the stages, the air was filled with a sense of adventure and camaraderie.
On Friday, the lineup promised an eclectic mix of musical genres, ensuring there was something for everyone. From headliners to up-and-coming artists, the stages were set to come alive with a diverse array of sounds.
As the sun reached its peak, the main stage welcomed a powerhouse performance from Paramore. The energetic rock band electrified the crowd with their signature blend of infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Lead vocalist Hayley Williams commanded the stage, captivating the audience with her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. Hits like “Misery Business” and “Ain’t It Fun” had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs.
Over at the EDM-focused stage, DJ duo Sofi Tukker took festival-goers on a sonic journey with their infectious beats and vibrant energy. The duo’s unique fusion of electronic and world music had the crowd dancing and grooving throughout their set. Songs like “Best Friend” and “Drinkee” became instant anthems, creating an atmosphere of pure euphoria.
Meanwhile, on the smaller stages, emerging artists were making their mark. Indie darlings Sylvan Esso delivered a mesmerizing performance, blending electronic beats with haunting vocals. Their set was a captivating exploration of sound and emotion, leaving the audience spellbound.
Hippo Campus brought their indie-pop sensibilities to the stage, delivering a set filled with catchy hooks and infectious rhythms. Their laid-back yet energetic performance had the crowd swaying and singing along to their hits like “Way It Goes” and “Buttercup.”
Throughout the day, festival-goers were treated to a diverse range of performances, from the soulful sounds of Leon Bridges to the high-octane energy of Cage the Elephant. The Bonnaroo experience was in full swing, with people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate the power of music.
Beyond the music, Bonnaroo offered a myriad of experiences for attendees to explore. Art installations dotted the festival grounds, providing immersive and interactive displays that sparked the imagination. Food vendors served up a delectable array of culinary delights, satisfying every palate with a wide range of flavors from around the world. The Bonnaroo community was alive with creativity, with workshops, yoga sessions, and spontaneous jam sessions happening throughout the campgrounds.
As the night sky enveloped the festival grounds, the atmosphere took on a magical quality. The main stage illuminated with a breathtaking light show as headliners like Foo Fighters took the stage, delivering an unforgettable performance that rocked the crowd to its core. The energy was electric, and the collective spirit of the Bonnaroo community was palpable.
With two more nights of music, adventure, and connection ahead, Bonnaroo continued to deliver on its promise of a weekend unlike any other. The festival had created a space where people could come together, celebrate the power of music, and forge lifelong memories. As the sounds of laughter and music filled the air, the spirit of Bonnaroo lived on, reminding everyone that the magic of live entertainment was alive and well on The Farm.