It’s pretty simple: Bonnaroo has turned into a monolithic beast of a festival. The pre-summer getaway has always been known for being abstract, “hippie-fied”, and pretty damn weird from every angle, yet it’s matured in the sense that it’s consistently churning out an extensive lineup that can barely fit on a poster. More isn’t always the solution but the creators make it work as they’ve somehow aligned their 13th anniversary with a Friday the 13th and a roster that bests last year’s mash-up of McCartney/Petty/Bjork/Kels/Wu-Tang. We’re exhausted just thinking about it so to help every Roo-goer out there, we’ve compiled a concise list of what to expect once you hit the dirt roads.
TY SEGALL’s THURSDAY NIGHT SESSION
What’s better than a Ty Segall set at 1:00 a.m.? Nothing. The Bay Area garage king’s jam-out at This Tent will be hard to top because a) it’s a late-night warm-up for a sweaty week ahead, b) he’s releasing a new LP this summer that’s guitar-heavy, and c) he will likely be crushing alongisde Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moothart, and Emily Rose Epstein.
KANYE WEST’S RETURN TO BONNAROO
Yeezy season approaching. Friday June 13th will forever be known as the day Kanye West returned to Bonnaroo but no one really knows what to expect. Ye’s debacle in 2008 hindered his plans to Nickelodeon up and go glow-in-the-dark so that’s bound to spark his creative side, especially when his headliner is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. Will history rewrite itself? Will the Yeezus tour hit the farm? Will Kim show up for a “Bound 2” feature? Start placing your bets.
BROAD CITY’s “DOWN N’ DIRTY” & DRUNK HISTORY LIVE
Bonnaroo’s Comedy and Cinema lineups are must-sees if you enjoy The Farrelly Brothers or quoting Pulp Fiction word-for-word, but don’t forget about Comedy Central. Not only is the network presenting “Drunk History Live”, but they’re also allowing Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer to do two “Broad City” live shows that revolve around themes (“Get Drunk With Broad City”). Here’s hoping they do an analysis of the NBA Finals and the beauty of mesh shorts.
THE HIPPIES… BECAUSE THEY’RE ACTUALLY REAL
Whether it’s a trading blanket, a free b00bs painting, or a poem attached to a port-a-potty door, Bonnaroo is a hub for random acts of hippie-inspired kindness (even if the body art bros do receive more gratification than the canvas). The peace and love never really diminish when there’s Roo hippies around and the same can be said for Centeroo’s “culture”, which can be nonsensical but extremely positive if you’re a fan of flip flops, beards, and all that’s green.
A TRIPPY EXHIBIT/VENTURE INTO THE ETHER CALLED “KALLIOPE”
New to Bonnaroo for 2014 is a stage called “Kalliope”. No one really knows what secrets lie behind it but it has been known to make an appearance at Burning Man so you’ll either step into another galaxy or have your skull rattled by 70,000 watts of bass and frickin’ laser beams. If you can’t pull it together to find Kalliope or “touch all of the lights”, then “Big Red” – a pimped-out art-deco car with what appears to be a bed in the back – just might find you.
THE RESURFACING OF FRANK OCEAN
Despite his blurred appearance on Season Three of “Loiter Squad”, Frank Ocean has kept quiet. He hasn’t really performed since the OFWGKTA Carnival in November so his Saturday night set at Bonnaroo (12:30 a.m. – The Other Tent) will likely showcase what Osheagans and OVO-ers missed out last summer. Plus, a quiet period usually equals new material and new material usually equals a quiet crowd. In short, flip on Sade’s Promise and prepare yourself.
RANDOM OCCURRENCES THAT WON’T MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL
You may find yourself taking a casual stroll through Centeroo only to have your space invaded by a marching band that’s destined to party. You won’t understand why, but just roll with it. Anything can and will happen at Bonnaroo because the people there are so fucking happy, it’s ridiculous. Seriously. There might be something in the water.
SKRILLEX’s “OH MY GLOB” SUPERJAM
All girls love Skrillex but it is going to be interesting to see how he fits Big Gigantic, Damien Marley, Robby Krieger, Zedd, Mickey Hart, Janelle Monae, Joel Cummins, Warpaint, Chance the Rapper, Ruby Amanfu, High & Mighty Horns and Thundercat all into that spaceship of his. We’re not sure if we can even handle what the “and more” entails.
BONNAROO’s AGELESS WONDERS
Yes, Bonnaroo will feature Skrillex, Zedd, and Disclosure, but it’s also retro-dipping with Lionel Richie, Elton John, Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, and Seasick Steve (who will also be accompanied by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones). The flashbacks of music all have their classics and hearing “Hello” or “Doo-Wop (That Thing)” will set the farm on fire.
THE EVERLASTING ROO TATTOO
As an annual event, Bonnaroo continues to attract the same kind of crowd every year and due to their unwavering dedication to the festival, many people are open to getting inked. Why? Because “You Don’t Only Roo Once”.