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Bonaroo: Thursday Night's Must-See Acts

Andrew Jorgensen

Bonnaroo is a four-day music festival held in Manchester, TN that has been ongoing since 2002. What started as a jam festival on a 700-acre farm in Tennessee, Bonnaroo has transformed into a beast many from that first year wouldn’t recognize. Notable acts over the past 17 years have included Paul McCartney, The Beastie Boys, U2, My Morning Jacket, Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Dead & Company, Nine Inch Nails, The White Stripes, and so much more. Boasting over 130 acts on 10+ stages, various barns throughout the campgrounds featuring anything from yoga, late-night karaoke, jam sessions, cinema, ambient chill-out zones, comedy, parades, mouth-watering food and surprises all weekend, Bonnaroo is more than a music festival--it’s a full-blown experience. Bonnaroo is one of the largest camping festivals with most attendees camping on the farm. You won’t find this level of care and curation at any other festival of this size. Due to it being on a farm far enough away from anybody to bother, music can, and does, go all night. Some sets won’t start until 2 AM and then after that, expect surprise DJ sets on the Kalliope Stage, a traveling stage that has been to Burning Man as well as Bonnaroo. I truly believe that everybody should experience Bonnaroo once in their lives. It’s not just the music, it’s not just the experiences, it’s the people. Everybody there is just as excited as you are to be there and you'll see high-fives, smiles, dancing and community from everybody you see. It’s transformative, it’s refreshing, and in today’s world, it’s essential.

Here’s what I’m most excited to see on Thursday:

Ron Gallo: Philadelphia bred art rock/garage rock musician Ron Gallo is going to SHRED in the Tennessee mid-afternoon heat and I couldn’t be more excited. There’s no better way to start a music festival than with some fierce intensity rock and roll. These catchy punk-rooted tunes are going to catch the ears of anybody walking by and make them wonder if this is where they should be. Where: That Tent When: 5:00-5:45 PM

Comedy High & Mighty Power Hour Featuring: Jon Gabrus, Shane Torres, & Kyle Ayers: Jon Gabrus is an improviser and comedian known from the Earwolf podcast network, which houses Comedy Bang! Bang!, Hello From The Magic Tavern, With Special Guest: Lauren Lapkus, and many more. Gabrus is one of the funniest people around right now and with comedy being more accessible this year, (you used to have to wait in line for a ticket and then wait in line for the show in the comedy tent, but this year that's changing) I’m not missing this. Shane Torres was the headliner for MOTRMouth’s 5th anniversary at The Woodward Theater and I’m excited to see him again. Where: Snake & Jake’s Christmas Barn When: 7:00-8:00 PM

CloZee: French producer CloZee blends world music from all over the globe with bass music for a truly unique sound. She features shamisen (Japanese guitar) on one track, pan flute on the next, and maybe classical guitar after that. CloZee is going to be an almost cinematic dance party. She says she rarely lays down only electronic sounds, her favorite sounds are organic and real, thus the featured world instrumentation. Where: The Other When: 9:00-10:00 PM

Manic Focus: A Chicago based electronic music producer, Manic Focus blends soulful blues, hip-hop, and funk with heavy hitting bass that creates a sound almost comparable to Pretty Lights. His live performances now include a full band and other elements of production. This is the kind of electronic music you can have your feet glued to the floor and groove to one second and go nuts dancing the next. Where: The Other When: 10:15-11:15 PM

Elohim: Producer, songwriter, musician, singer, Elohim is a one-woman show shrouded in mystery. She recently popped on the scene two years ago with a self-titled EP and has been blowing up ever since. With song features, a Coachella performance, and an album this year, I see her becoming a household pop name within a couple years. What started as full anonymity with her masking her face, her name, and even her voice for interviews, Elohim has since shed that and embraced showing herself to the world with her raw emotion mixed with a pop backdrop. Where: This Tent When: 12:30-1:30 AM

Little Cinema: The Labyrinth The Little Cinema, based out of NYC, fuses film, circus, dance, live music and effects into a truly unique experience for film goers. They’ll be coming to Bonnaroo to share their creative and strange experience with whoever stumbles upon this in the campgrounds. They’ll be showing Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth nightly at midnight and if not Thursday night, I will be there at some point over my weekend. Where: The Little Cinema When: 12:00-1:30 AM

Tonalism: All Night Ambient Music (With Jimmy Tamborello of The Postal Service and more) Presented by Dublab, a non-profit internet radio station based in L.A., this event will be featuring ambient musicians every single night at Bonnaroo for when you need a place to chill out from all the stimulation and just let ambient sounds wash over you. Also featured will be projections, art installations, and various multimedia events. Inspired by the happenings of the 50’s and 60’s, they encourage you to bring blankets, pillows, etc. to get as comfortable as possible. Thursday night they’ll be featuring a member of The Postal Service, also known as Dntel. Where: The Well When: 2:00 - 3:00 AM



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