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Bonnaroo Preview: 10 Must-See Acts

It’s June 1st, which leaves Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival only 13 days away! As it approaches, I thought I’d take the time to write about who I’m most excited to see, and who I think you should definitely not miss.

Bonnaroo is about the new, the old, and the now. Collaborations arise spontaneously and you never know what really is in store for you when you arrive on the farm on Thursday. Who could have thought that Bruce Springsteen would join Phish in ’09? D’Angelo to join ?uestlove last year? It’s impossible to predict the legendary moments of magic that happen on the farm, but if you follow my guide, I’m sure you will have a good chance of catching those history book moments.



In no order…

1. Rock and Soul Dance Party Superjam! Set Time: Saturday Night from 12:00am- 2:00 am at This Tent It’s literally called a Dance Party. Need I say more? Jim James, frontman of My Morning Jacket, has put together an impressive band including John Oats, Zigaboo Modeliste from The Meters, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Last Year the ?uestlove and D’Angelo Superjam stole my heart and I will NEVER miss another Superjam again.

2. Paul McCartney Set Time: Friday Night from 9:00pm- 11:30 PM on the What Stage As the first (and probably only) Beatle to ever play Roo, this set is going to be LEGENDARY. As usual, there are no conflicts with this headliner’s set time, which means YOU have no excuse not to catch the set. Now I understand you might want to go back to your tent and get ready for the long night ahead, but really, don’t miss this set.

3. Pretty Lights Set Time: 1:30- 3:15 on Friday Night at the Which Stage Coming in hot for his 3rd Roo appearance in 5 years, Derek Vincent Smith is going to throw down! This is his first time playing a stage (not a tent) at Bonnaroo, which leaves me in excitement after Skrillex destroyed the Which Stage last year. His new album A Color Map of the Sun drops July 3rd, so expect to hear some new heat during his hour & 45 minute set.

4. Ed Helms Bluegrass’ Situation Superjam with Special Guests Set Time: Sunday from 7:15-8:45 PM at That Tent “Another Superjam,” you say? Yes, ANOTHER one! Ed Helms, actor from The Hangover and The Office, has a special talent… the BANJO! He has composed a SUPER bluegrass band that is perfect for a little Sunday Stomp-down. I’m a sucker for some bluegrass and I have a slight crush on Ed Helms, so I can’t wait to be there and see who shows up to play that afternoon.

5. ALO with Special Guests Set Time: Thursday night from 1:30am – 2:30am at That Tent Fun Fact: Any time “Special Guests” are involved at Bonnaroo, you pretty much should be there. Ending the first night of Bonnaroo proper is ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra). They are set to bring out special guests, and are very close with Jack Johnson, so who knows what this set will have in store.

6. Mumford and Sons Set Time: Saturday Night from 9:30pm- 11:30 pm on the What Stage In 2011, Mumford and Sons took the Which Stage, which was a performance that moved thousands of people to tears, including myself. For their encore, they brought out Old Crow Medicine Show to play “Amazing Grace” which is now permanently engraved in my heart. I can’t even begin to wonder what magic will happen this year on the What Stage.

7. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Set Time: Friday from 12:30pm- 1:30pm at the What Stage N’AWLINS BABY! It’s home to the crawfish boil, Mardi Gras, crazy voodoo folk and of course, Trombone Shorty. If you’ve never been to NOLA, but want to get a taste of what it’s like, head out the the Which Stage for this early but highly anticipated set.

8. Animal Collective Set Time: Friday Night from 2:00am- 4:00am (OR SUNRISE?) In 2009, Animal Collective played an awkward day set on the Which Stage. They are definitely a late night band and this year they are coming back full force for a redemption set. Many people have expressed that half of the psychedelic experience created by AC comes from their lighting and show production, and I’m super excited to see what they have to bring to the Late Night at Roo. It’s gonna get WEIRD!

9. Wu-Tang Clan

Set Time: Friday Night from 11:30pm-12:45am

Clan in the front, let your feet stomp. After seeing that Coachella stream, ain’t no way in hell I’d even wish it upon my worst foe to miss this set. A near-dozen of today’s most prolific rappers all on stage at one time to celebrate the best aspects of hip-hop.

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Set Time: Sunday Night from 9:00pm to 11:00pm After a long weekend on the farm, kick back and enjoy the closing set from Tom Petty. He’ll have you singing along and who knows what guests might show up to play alongside the legend. I’m really excited to hear classics like “American Girl” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” It’s guaranteed to be a feel good set that you and your friends will remember forever.

Have any recommendations for us to catch at ‘Roo? Tell us who your “Must See Act” at Bonnaroo 2013 is this year by leaving a comment! We’d love to see who you are excited for!

Ticket’s are still on sale if you still want to join in on one of the most legendary festivals this summer. Grab them HERE.


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