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Monday, June 15, 2009

Bonnaroo: Recession-proof fest


Bonnaroo’s lengthy and diverse lineup probably contributed to the surprisingly even bigger turn-out this year. According to A.C. Entertainment president Ashley Capps, the approximate head-count was 75,000 this year, as opposed to about 70,000 in 2008 (Billboard). With 125 acts on the bill, the process has turned into quite the project, and organizers are already talking about 2010 and 2011.When Langerado bit the dust, everyone wondered what fate the summer festivals would suffer. Why is it that B-roo not only happened, but was more successful than ever? Maybe tailoring to the audience- more than 10% of this year’s tickets were sold on layaway. Also, the lineup included a newly reunited Phish, which brings its own audience alone (Phish apparently wrapped up Bonnaroo with a sit-in from Bruce Springsteen). But Bonnaroo’s evolution from jam band mecca to a melting pot also probably increased ticket sales by appealing to the masses. Other acts on the roster ranged from Elvis Costello to Snoop Dogg (who might have had the best quote of the weekend: “Anybody ready for some motherf---in’ Phish?”). So if you missed out this year due to lack of funds, start saving; it appears, at least for the next few years, that Bonnaroo is here to stay.

-Julie McCollum
Listening to: “Self Esteem” by The Offspring

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