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SummerArts: MultiArts Festivals

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, TN)

Great Stage Park
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(June 7 – 10, 2012) Bonnaroo (the term, popularized by Dr. John, means “a really good time”) gives most other summer arts and music festivals a run for their money. Once primarily a jam band festival, the four-day hippie-friendly camping fest now features an extraordinarily diverse roster with more headliners than you can count. The 2010 line-up boasted Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, Weezer, Norah Jones, John Fogerty, Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, and Jeff Beck, to name just a few. Located on a big plot of Tennessee farmland in a small town situated halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga, Bonnaroo becomes a small town itself every June, offering festival attendees 24/7 fun and entertainment in addition to the music. There is a movie tent, a disco tent, a beer tent, a comedy tent (featuring headliners big enough to rival their musical counterparts), and a variety of lounges. There is even a salon, morning yoga classes, a post office, and a dizzying array of art classes and recreational activities to choose from. The camping and festival experience at Bonnaroo can get awfully hot, dirty, and sweaty, so if you go prepared to wallow in the mud, you’ll definitely have a better time.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (shuttles available from the Nashville airport; Greyhound bus stops within a mile of the event)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: This four-day multi-stage festival is held every June and features numerous performances (mostly music acts and comedians) throughout the day at different venues around the festival area
  • Admission: Ticket prices are roughly $150–$250 and around $1,000 for VIP tickets.