Featured photo courtesy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival + Nathan Zucker.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” -John Muir
When Muir wrote those iconic words, he wasn’t talking about the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains outside of Manchester, Tennessee, and he definitely wasn’t talking about the 90,000-person party that happens there every June. But for some reason, seeing the 2020 Bonnaroo lineup brings out the same feeling I get every time I haven’t been on a rambling hike in the mountains for awhile—I miss home.
There were plenty of rumors about this year’s Bonnaroo lineup leading up to the drop (while I’m thrilled she’s on it, I definitely wasn’t surprised to see Lizzo). However, Bonnaroo managed to outsmart me and bring some other headliners and supporting acts that it seemed like nobody saw coming. Check out my highlights, notes and general speculation on each day below:
Thursday is typically a chill/setup day at Bonnaroo, but I’m still thrilled to see the Grand Ole Opry returning, along with The Regrettes and some other acts I’m not familiar with that I now need to dive into (one of the best parts of Bonnaroo!). I’d LOVE to see Orville Peck show up as a special guest during the Opry, but that could be far-fetched (his set isn’t until Sunday).
Where to begin?! This day is insanely stacked and super eclectic. No surprise that Tool is headlining (and they’ll definitely put on a great show), but I am unreasonably excited for Miley Cyrus—my friends and I have been saying she’d be a great addition to The Farm since “We Can’t Stop,” but I wasn’t sure it’d ever actually happen. Her set will likely be right before Tool’s, but just imagine how trippy and awesome the night would be if Miley went straight into Bassnectar. I’d also love for her friends/Bonnaroo veterans The Flaming Lips to do a cameo during her set. We’ll see!
Miley aside, another one I’m super stoked for is Glass Animals. After drummer Joe Seaward sustained brain damage from a cycling accident in 2018, it seemed up in the air as to whether these guys would even be able to make music again. I’m so happy to see them back in action.
Also not to be missed on Friday: The 1975, Run The Jewels, Megan Thee Stallion, Brittany Howard (if you like Alabama Shakes, you like her), Dashboard Confessional (my inner emo teenager is screaming), Tones And I and so much more. I might as well just list the entire lineup.
And now, the reason we’re all here… Lizzo is the FIRST female headliner in Bonnaroo history. I’m obsessed, but honestly, this is such a huge moment for the festival whether or not you’re a Lizzo fan. I can’t wait to see what she does on the What Stage.
I’m really excited for Flume as well (somehow I’ve missed his past Bonnaroo sets?), and supergroup Oysterhead will undoubtedly put on a clinic.
Also on Saturday: Tenacious D (!!!!!), Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, DaBaby (can’t wait to see a sea of people attempting the “Bop” dance), Seven Lions, Sylvan Esso Superjam, Nelly performing Country Grammar (a little gimmicky, but if you think I won’t be there singing along, you’re dead wrong), Troyboi, The Growlers, and again, so much more. Will I sleep at all this weekend?
*Peers out from behind a wall* So last year, I left Bonnaroo Sunday night during Phish’s set to get a jump on traffic. I know, I know—Phish is iconic, but I just couldn’t get into it. There will be absolutely no chance of that happening this year because I’ll likely spend a good chunk of the evening crying about Lana Del Rey, then the rest of the night dancing to Tame Impala. I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited about a Sunday lineup.
Vampire Weekend will also be a good time, along with Young Thug, Flogging Molly (very excited to see what they’re like live), Grace Potter, Boombox Cartel, The Struts and on and on.
Also, as I mentioned above – Orville Peck is slotted for a Sunday (probably afternoon) spot. If you don’t know him yet, listen to his surprise hit “Dead of Night.” He’s like the male, country companion to Lana and incredibly talented. He’s also booked for both Stagecoach and Coachella, so he could be a much more well-known name by the time Bonnaroo rolls around.
Excited yet? Join me in making the pilgrimage home to The Farm June 11-14. Tickets go on sale this Thursday (January 9) at 12 p.m. EST. See you there!
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