The organizers of the sixth annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival have figured out a way to quell any Widespread Panic. Get the Police to stop by.
A newly reunited Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers have been tapped to headline the four-day fest, which kicks off in the usual spot—a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, 60 miles southeast of Nashville—on June 14.
The Police, scheduled to take the main stage June 16, join a genre-spanning, yet largely indie, lineup that also includes the White Stripes, Tool, Franz Ferdinand, Wilco, the Flaming Lips, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Regina Spektor and, yes, Widespread Panic.
This year's fest will play host to more than 100 musical acts and 20 comedians, including Arrested Development alum David Cross, on 13 stages, a multi-sensory experience that Rolling Stone surmises is shaping up to be "the best festival event ever." In 2004 the music magazine deemed the advent of Bonnaroo as one of the 50 moments "to change the history of rock and roll."
Last month, Bonnaroo organizers Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment bought up 530 acres of the Manchester site, with the idea of turning the bucolic locale into a multi-big-bash destination.
"It's an incredible property that can lend itself to many different kinds of events and gatherings," Superfly president Jonathan Mayers said. The portion he and his partners purchased includes all of the performance spaces and most of the camping and parking area. Their companies will continue to lease the rest of the territory.
"One reason we decided to make this purchase is because we love Coffee County. Now that we are even more a part of the community, we are looking forward to identifying long-term programs and projects that could benefit from Bonnaroo support," Mayers said.
The name "Bonnaroo" comes from a Cajun slang word meaning "a real good time," something that the hundreds of thousands of music lovers who have trooped to rural Tennessee over the past five years can definitely get behind.
And in case they tire of the jam bands, electronica deejays, alt-radio faves and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in the midst of their first North American tour since the 1980s, concertgoers can check out the comedy tents, arcade, Wi-Fi hotspots, vendors and restaurants or unwind at a yoga class.
Tickets go on sale Feb. 23 at noon through www.bonnaroo.com.
Other confirmed acts include Lily Allen, Manu Chao, the String Cheese Incident, Damien Rice, Ween, Ziggy Marley, the Decemberists, Kings of Leon, Wolfmother, Fountains of Wayne, DJ Shadow, Gillian Welch, Spoon, the Hold Steady, North Mississippi Allstars, Feist, Dierks Bentley, T-Bone Burnett and Cold War Kids, as well as funnymen Dave Attell and Lewis Black & Friends.
A complete lineup can be found at the Bonnaroo Website.