Until Next Year Bonnaroo

Now that Bonnaroo has ended, I can breathe. From February to June, I spend most days writing about artists on the lineup. I wrote about 118 artists this year, spending close to four months sharing music with strangers. Since taking over the AOTD role four years ago, I’ve spent a year’s worth of time writing about music daily. I’m so grateful for the community of folks who look forward to the series each year. This year at Bonnaroo I got to connect with more readers than ever, and it was humbling to feel that I’ve been able to contribute to Roo community building. Thank you again for being you and having a passion for music.

Becoming part of the magic

This year’s Bonnaroo was easily the best Bonnaroo I’ve been to yet. One big reason is getting the opportunity to play a role with booking bands for the official Wednesday Pre-Party in Groop Camping along with Roo legends: Matt Chapman, Andrew Killough, and Daniel Shapiro AKA LSDaniel. The response was overwhelming, with thousands of Roovians coming to party with our secret headliner, Jason from Cherub. The universe put Shapiro in the camping spot next to me two years ago with his amazing Tiny Van stage and orchestrated a conversation with Chapman in Atlanta at my favorite venue, The Eastern. Killough is a Wednesday programming veteran, and I’m thankful to him, Shapiro and Chapman for the chance to support this rad event. 

A dream realized and a guest star

In the 51 festivals I’ve been to, Fridays have always been my favorite days – there’s some hidden magic within the Friday of a music festival that makes it hit differently. Friday at Roo ‘24  featured one of my favorite bands, Khruangbin. After lightning thwarted my chance to see them headline Sacred Rose Festival (RIP) in 2022, I was ecstatic to see them on the Roo lineup. To top it off, Post Malone had the literal best guitarist in the world, Billy Strings, join him onstage for “Stay.” Following the Posty set and subsequent epic fireworks display, the Tiny Van Stage had a dance party at Plaza 5 with various DJs from Groop Camping. Best Friday I’ve had in a while.

The award for favorite set goes to…

Sunday was rife with anticipation for shooting star, Chappell Roan. Now listen, my girlfriend has known about Chappell for years and put me onto her music. I love her debut album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. The album has both the Gen-Z-YMCA bop, “HOT TO GO!” and the anthem of the summer, “Pink Pony Club.” Seeing her at Bonnaroo was one of the best shows of my life. They had moved her set from a tent to the Which Stage amid social media chatter after her enormous Governor’s Ball draw. The Which Stage was perfect for the crowd size because thousands of queens created a sea of pink. The vibes were reason enough to be braving the brutal afternoon heat. This set was a Top Five for everyone I talked to.

See the magic yourself:

‘Til next year!

Bonnaroo has become a second home. The city formed in Manchester each June is my favorite destination on the planet. You never know who you will run into, what you will see, or how your day will go, and THAT’s the magic of Bonnaroo. I can’t wait to get into some shenanigans on the Farm with y’all next year! See all the photos HERE!