Superfly Productions and AC Entertainment will widen Bonnaroo's stylistic borders this spring when the multi-band festival returns to Manchester, TN for its fifth year. Radiohead, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Phil Lesh and Friends and Beck are among the marquee names scheduled to perform at three-day festival, following in the footsteps of past headliners Widespread Panic, The Dead, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and Trey Anastasio. At press time, Radiohead's Bonnaroo performance marks the group's only confirmed date, though the British icons are expected to announce a full summer tour in the near future. Radiohead has been largely off the road since 2004 while working on its next studio album, the follow- up to 2003's Hail to the Thief. Lesh helped inaugurate Bonnaroo in 2002 with his own band, returning in 2003 and 2004 with various incarnations of The Dead. While this marks Petty's first Bonnaroo appearance, the guitarist was scheduled to perform at the ill-fated Bonnaroo NE in 2003. Similarly, first-time performer Beck is a veteran of the promoters' inaugural Vegoose festival last October.
Mirroring the stylistic range of its inspiration, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Bonnaroo will feature performances from a wide range of bands including Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Folds, the Neville Brothers, Steve Earle, Blues Traveler, Amadou & Mariam, Bill Frisell, moe. and Damian Marley. While several of Bonnaroo's signature acts, including Galactic, Warren Haynes and Bob Weir, are conspicuously absent from the festival's current lineup, a number of artists will return to Manchester, TN for the second, third or fourth time. Veteran performers scheduled to return include Mike Gordon, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Soulive, Mike Doughty, Dr. John, Matisyahu, G. Love & Special Sauce, My Morning Jacket, Ricky Skaggs, Medeski Martin & Wood, Nickel Creek and Gomez.
Continuing a trend dating back to the festival's second year, a number of sought after indie-rock bands will highlight Bonnaroo's lineup, including Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Bright Eyes, Cat Power, Devendra Banhart Band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Magic Numbers, among others. For years, Bonnaroo has been a platform for emerging artists to reach an international audience and this year looks to be no exception. Among this year's potential breakout acts are Steel Train, Seu Jorge, Grace Potter and Toubab Krewe, who performed on one of Bonnaroo's cafe stages last summer. A handful of artists will be added to Bonnaroo's lineup in the coming weeks, along with a village worth of non-musical activities. For more information please visit www.bonnaroo.com.