Surviving the Farm: (Y)Our Music Guide to Bonnaroo 2017

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In less than a week, the great musical pilgrimage to the Farm will begin again. Festivalgoers travel from the furthest tips of the continental United States in order to earn the title of Bonnaroovian. Manchester, Tennessee actually becomes the seventh largest city in the state during this adventurous weekend.

Bonnaroo 2017 music lineup
Bonnaroo 2017 lineup

Bonnaroo is unlike many of its festival adolescent contemporaries because of the emphasis on community. Expect many high-fives, hugs, and conversations with people you will not meet until this dazzling four day jubilee. Even the name itself – Bonnaroo – is derived from a Creole word meaning “a really good time.” In the most basic terms, Bonnaroo is a celebration of creativity, vitality, and life.

There’s only a few rules that every attendee needs to follow, and you can find them in the Bonnaroovian Code. The Code – not the Pirate’s Code don’t worry – centers around radiating positivity, respecting the Farm and one another, and staying true Roo. Simple terms that infuse the festival with a spirit of euphoria and mutual adoration. It’s one of the reasons people come back to Bonnaroo year after year after year; well that and the music.

Festival lineups are increasingly dense and difficult to maneuver, and this year’s Bonnaroo lineup is no different. Don’t miss the big names including U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Chance the Rapper, Flume, Tove Lo, and The xx, but catch a few of these talented up and coming music makers as well.

The Fountain © Brian Hensley Photography / Bonnaroo 2016
Bonnaroo 2016 © Brian Hensley Photography


JUNE  2017

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Hippo Campus, Innanet James, Charlotte Cardin, and Kevin Abstract

On Thursday, many Bonnaroovians will relax at their campsites and prepare for the exhausting weekend ahead – but you shouldn’t. Some of the artists I’m most looking forward to seeing are performing on Thursday (Hence my inability to only mention three artists).

Twin Cities hailing indie rock group Hippo Campus has been gaining traction lately in the blogosphere – and for good reason. Kick off your weekend with their summery strums and Vampire Weekend vibes that are sweet treats for anyone’s ear.

For some of the funkiest rap around, make your way to the Other Stage for Innanet James. The young DC-born rapper breezily delivers his quick-witted anthems over electro-hip hop vibrations.

In the early evening be sure to catch the Canadian hummingbird, Charlotte Cardin. Her velvety voice and soulful snappy beats will flow you nicely into the high energy of the weekend.

Last but not least, do not miss Kevin Abstract. His eclectic arsenal of hip-hop, rap, and pop R&B hits will make you want to simultaneously cry on a windows-down drive and throw the banginest VIP party. Last fall, he released his newest album, American Boyfriend which confronts Abstract’s struggles with race, mental health, and sexual orientation. His performance will light up Thursday night

Appetite for Music Making: An Interview with Hippo Campus

by Natalie Harmsen

LÉON, NIGHTLY, and Big Gigantic

Set Friday on the right track with the opener of What Stage, Swedish contemporary pop artist LÉON. Her catchy hooks and wistful personality will have you dancing and twirling off that morning sweat.

Spend your night with NIGHTLY (pun intended), a Nashville-based electro-alt pop duo who gained a major fanbase after their single “XO” fortuitously rose to 1 million listens the night of its release. The deep blue of dusk will accent their cool synthy rock nicely.

Finally, if you can make it to 2 a.m., enjoy the musical stylings of the jazzy EDM group Big Gigantic. Their saxophone driven tracks will drop, swing, whirl, and groove you straight to sleep.

The New Classic: An Interview with NIGHTLY

by Mitch Mosk

COIN, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Bad Suns

COIN’s snappy electro-indie pop will dance the sun into the sky Saturday afternoon; get there so they can make you dance too.

After COIN, stay right where you are and welcome Rainbow Kitten Surprise to the stage. This five-piece band composes rhythmic folk-rock and harmonic indie pop that will quench your thirst like an ice cold beer.

Join pop-punkers Bad Suns Saturday night for some guitar LA indie rock reminiscent of Rooney and OK Go. They will make you go into “Cardiac Arrest” with their power to electrify the audience.

Caffeine, Small Talk: Catching Up with COIN

by Mitch Mosk


Noname, Sweet Crude, and Lorde

Boogie and sway the final day with Chicago rapper and poet Noname. Her intimate reflective raps make you think while the swoons of her pulsating R&B beats rock you into a heavenly bliss.

Sweet Crude is a bilingual six-piece New Orleans group that plucks, whistles, and serenades some seriously savory musical gumbo. By setting the declining Louisianian French to drum-heavy energetic music, this group mixes culture and music together organically and sincerely.

Do not miss Lorde; I cannot say that enough. This New Zealand pop princess is destined to put on a dazzling show and expected to preview some of her forthcoming album, Melodrama, that drops the following Friday.

The Irresistible “Green Light” of Lorde's Return

by Kaitlyn Zorilla
Bonnaroo 2016 © Andrew Jorgensen
Bonnaroo 2016 © Andrew Jorgensen

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Be Safe and Have Fun!

Now in its 16th year, Bonnaroo has been consistently rated one of the world’s top music festivals.



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