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Bonaroo: Sunday'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.

Check out our Friday and Saturday previews:

Here's what I'm most excited to see Sunday:

Amadou & Mariam:

They are possibly the only completely blind married musical duo out there, at least the only one that has played Bonnaroo. Amadou & Mariam met in 1975 in Mali at the Institute for Young Blind and hit it off with their love of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix as well as African music. They both incorporate a lot of world music styles and this combination has been coined Afro-Blues. They’ve played with U2, Coldplay, they’ve jammed with David Gilmour and Johnny Marr, Damon Albarn has lent his hand to the production of some of their work, and their being blind has not stopped them in the slightest. This will be one of the best dance parties of Bonnaroo. Where: That Tent When: 3:45-4:45 PM

Broken Social Scene: Broken Social Scene isn’t just a band, they’re a collective from Toronto. They were formed by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning and includes members of Metric, Leslie Feist, and more Toronto acts. This group can span from 6 to 19 members depending on what they’re all doing at the time. A defining group of the indie-rock rise of the early 2000’s, they’re also considered baroque pop with their use of unusual song structures, experimentation, grand orchestration, and chaotic production. Hey, it’s Bonnaroo, maybe we’ll see Feist make a special appearance. Where: That Tent When: 5:15-6:15

St. Paul & The Broken Bones: With a blend of 60’s soul and grooves inspired by the likes of Sly Stone, David Bowie and Prince, St Paul & The Broken Bones have solidified themselves as a must-see act. Led by dynamic frontman Paul Janeway, supported by an eclectic live band consisting of horns, drums, keys and guitar, St. Paul is going to bring the early evening grooves that will be perfect for the near setting sun. Where: That Tent When: 6:45-7:45 PM

Thundercat: A legendary bassist who has never taken himself too seriously, Thundercat brings the funk with a comedic element tied in with songs ranging from wanting to be a cat to being put in the friend zone. Artists he’s worked with include Flying Lotus, Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington and more. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to cool down and groove to the music besides Thundercat on a Sunday night. Where: This Tent When: 9:00-10:00 PM

Alt-J: Alt-J was one of my most memorable sets from my first year of Bonnaroo in 2013. It was my first night in Centeroo and I still didn’t have the lay of the land. The number of people that were at this Thursday night set really warped my sense of space, there were so many people I felt like I was at one of the main stages, not one of the smaller tents. It’s only fitting they’ll be one of the last acts I’ll see at Bonnaroo this year. With their layered folk-infected dub-pop and soaring indie rock, and one of the most unique vocalists in indie, Alt-J is going to bring their A game and more. Where: Which Stage When: 9:15-10:15 PM

The Killers: I just want to belt Mr. Brightside with 80,000 other Bonnaroovians, do I need to say anything else? Where: What Stage When: 10:15-11:35 PM



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