Manchester, Tenn. — 10.
It's hard to believe that June 9 will kick off the 10th Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Back in 2002, the little festival-that-could just about closed down everything between Nashville and Chattanooga. Little Manchester, Tenn., where the festival is held, was a gridlock. Yet every year the festival has gone smoother and gotten more comfortable. Bonnaroo 2011 will be June 9-12 and is sold out. Here's a guide to some of the not-to-miss acts at this year's festival:
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones original lineup reunion, 2 p.m. Friday, Which Stage
The original lineup of the Flecktones reunited in 2010 for the first time in 18 years. With all of the members doing outside projects, there's no telling how long this grouping will last.
The Del McCoury Band with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 7:30 p.m. Friday, The Other Tent
One of the greatest bluegrass bands, ever, with the masters of New Orleans jazz? You really think you'll get another chance to see this?
Buffalo Springfield, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Which Stage
Although the band lasted for only two years, Buffalo Springfield has become legendary. The Bonnaroo performance is one of only six concerts that original founding members Neil Young, Steven Stills and Richie Furay have committed to perform.
Dr. John with Allan Toussaint and the Original Meters, 2:30 a.m. Saturday (Sunday morning), That Tent
If anyone outside of Cajun country knew the term "Bonnaroo" before the festival had its name, they probably knew it from Dr. John's album "Desitively Bonnaroo." At Bonnaroo, the New Orleans legends who created it will present the entire album and more.
Florence and the Machine, 6:45 p.m. Friday, This Tent
England is buzzing over Florence and the Machine, and America is catching on fast.
Arcade Fire, 11 p.m. Friday, What Stage
Party music. Thoughtful stuff. Toast of the Grammys. This should be an amazing show.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, This Tent
Haven't heard him yet? Lewis and his high-voltage R&B are wowing audiences both in America and Europe. It's a throwback to the glory days of soul, but also sounds fresh and modern.
Eminem, 11 p.m. Saturday, What Stage
Never count Eminem out. The rapper's first appearance at Bonnaroo comes on the heels of a major comeback.
The Essential Bonnaroo Experience Acts
My Morning Jacket, 8 p.m. Friday, What Stage
My Morning Jacket's Bonnaroo performances are legendary. What these guys will cover near the end of their set is always one of the great mysteries and surprises of the festival.
Primus, 9:15 p.m. Friday, Which Stage
Bassist bandleader Les Claypool seems to always be at Bonnaroo in some musical configuration. The Primus gigs usually contain the most unpredictable moments.
Widespread Panic, 8:30 p.m. Sunday, What Stage
Widespread Panic was the first band to sign on at the very first Bonnaroo and has returned several times over the years. It's only fitting that the group close the 10th Bonnaroo.
Hanggai, 12:45 p.m., Saturday, the Other Tent
Mongolian/Chinese musicians who blend traditional folk and Chinese punk.
Forro In the Dark, 2:15 p.m. Saturday, The Other Tent
The music made by these native Brazilians is just right for a party like Bonnaroo.
Gogol Borello, 2 a.m. Saturday (Sunday morning), The Other Tent
Eastern European gypsy rock craziness. Be prepared to party.
The Bonnaroo essential checklist:
Beer is great and booze is fine, but they're not going to keep you from dehydrating. It's not a bad idea to freeze a carton of bottled water to cool off with both against your skin and in your body as it melts.
Seriously, you do not want to look like a boiled lobster by the Mardi Gras parade.
3. Rain poncho
At least one rainstorm typically rolls through for the festival (and some years have had several). If you don't bring a poncho, bring soap and take advantage of the clean water.
The music doesn't stop until the sun comes up.
Sometimes it's kind of fun being lost in the campsite, but, believe me, there are plenty of things you'll need a flashlight to avoid.
6. Toilet paper
Really, do you want to take your chances that the Porta Potties will have it on hand? And having some to share might make you a lifelong friend.
7. Another pair of shoes
Keep in mind that one pair of shoes will probably be sacrificed to the shoe-eating beast who lives at the bottom of the mud holes at some point during the weekend.
8. A sense of humor
Everything may not go perfectly, but you'll have friends there to laugh about it with - and it'll just make the stories you tell later better.
The thou-shalt-not list:
1. No glass containers of any kind
2. No open fires, but charcoal grills are OK
3. No pets
4. No kegs
© 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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