Bruce Springsteen and Phish will be the headliners at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, June 11-14, in Manchester, Tenn.
It will mark the first time that Springsteen has performed at a festival in the United States and the first time Phish has performed at a festival that wasn't created by the band.
In a year when the economy is challenging entrepreneurs around the world, Bonnaroo organizers appear to have upped the ante. The festival, now in its eighth year, has become one of the most successful music festivals in the world, drawing 70,000 fans to a 700-acre site in Coffee County.
In addition to Springsteen and Phish, the 75 artists now booked at the festival include rock acts Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, David Byrne, TV on the Radio, the Mars Volta, MGMT, Girl Talk; rap greats Snoop Dogg and the Beastie Boys; R&B legend Al Green, Erykah Badu; bluegrass/acoustic music acts Cherryholmes and the David Grisman Quartet; African artists King Sunny Ade and Vieux Farka Toure; electronic artist Paul Oakenfold; country great Merle Haggard; and pop rock duo the Ting Tings.
The festival also will include artists performing shows that they don't normally present, including Elvis Costello performing a solo show; Drive-By Truckers with Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the MGs; Robyn Hitchcock with members of R.E.M.; and banjo wizard Bela Fleck with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate.
"We never set out to top the (previous) year," said Capps. "If we tried to do that we'd drive ourselves insane."
He did add, however, that he thought the 2009 lineup is, for the variety and quality of musical offerings, the best lineup since the festival's inception.
Phish will perform at Knoxville's Thompson-Boling Arena on June 10, the night before Bonnaroo opens. That show sold out its 20,000 tickets in approximately an hour.
Capps said booking the band for Bonnaroo almost felt like the festival had gone "full circle." Phish's festivals provided some of the inspiration for Bonnaroo, and many of the initial Bonnaroo team had worked on the Phish festivals as well.
More artists are expected to be announced soon, including performers in the festival's comedy tent.
Tickets for the festival are $267.60 and $282.60, plus shipping charges.
Wayne Bledsoe may be reached at 865-342-6444.
© 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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