Recently two of the biggest festivals on the summer calendar—Coachella and Governors Ball—posted their lineups. Both have some similarities (Drake in a top spot) and plenty of differences (Coachella catering to the dad-rock set with Steely Dan, Gov Ball nabbing a rare Björk booking).
Four-day Manchester, TN, music festival Bonnaroo, which goes down June 11–14, has also joined the party, releasing its lineup in piece-meal fashion to fans last night. The full list of acts has since been revealed. How does it stack up? Let's take a look.
As far as big names go, Billy Joel grabbed the prestigious top spot. The piano man has proven himself as one of the most dependable names in the business—his Madison Square Garden run is going on its second year of sold-out monthly gigs. We don't doubt he'll put on a show, but for New Yorkers, or anyone within a stone's throw of the Garden, is he worth the trip?
Notably, the Roo managed to land two big acts those other fests couldn't: Kendrick Lamar, whose Good Kid, M.A.A.D City follow-up is one of the year's most anticipated releases, and neofolkie juggernaut Mumford & Sons. For the latter, it'll be their first gig (as of now) since Marcus & Co. went on hiatus in 2013. Add to those electrohouse dude Deadmau5, pop belter Florence + The Machine and plenty of other worthy other acts (Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, Sylvan Esso), and there's no doubt it'll be a good time.
Is it enough to compete with the celeb-spotting hype-fest of Coachella or Gov Ball's subway-ride-away convenience factor? Probably, yes. Usually when you mention Bonnaroo, the first response includes something to do with campsite port-a-potties and wariness about standing in a sweltering Tennessee dustbowl for a long weekend. Re: the first concern, you can always get a hotel. Re: the second, fair point, but that also means fewer distractions (plus, Bonnaroo is widely cited as one of the best sounding outdoor fests).
If that has you convinced (you should also scope the full currently announced lineup below), tickets go on sale at bonnaroo.com this Saturday, January 17, at noon.