The initial lineup for Bonnaroo 2014 is set and it's a mix of Bonnaroo veterans and newcomers that should please fans of all genres of music. Announced today, Feb. 19, at the Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon, or BLAM, Bonnaroo 2014 will feature headlining performances by superstar rapper Kanye West, classic rock superstar Elton John, and Nashville's most famous record store owner Jack White.
Elton John needs no introduction. He's one of the most prolific classic rock superstars in the world and one of the most successful. With over 300 million records sold and a suitcase full of hits that include “Crocodile Rock”, “Rocket Man”, and “Levon”, John ably fills the classic rock megastar headliner role held down in recent years by the likes of Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Bruce Springsteen. It will be Elton John's first American festival show.
For a local connection, guitar wizard and Third Man Records owner Jack White will head up one night of Bonnaroo 2014. White has played Bonnaroo with every one of his other bands, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and Dead Weather, but has never performed as a solo act and has never headlined a Bonnaroo. White's star has risen in recent years and he's headlined other major festivals so that and the Nashville connection should make him a popular addition.
The most controversial headliner, and arguably biggest draw, is rapper Kanye West. This will be Kanye's second appearance at Bonnaroo. His first, at Bonnaroo 2008, ended in a very late performance that angered many fans and led to some terse exchanges between West and the Bonnaroo promoters via social media. It will be interesting to see both the fan reaction to West and whether he comes armed to prove his detractors wrong with the kind of epic show he has proven himself able to put on or comes with a Bonnaroo rant prepared.
But the headliners are hardly the only performers announced for Bonnaroo 2014. As expected, BLAM personalities Taran Killam and Hannibal Burress were announced as two of the comedy performers. BLAM performers The Flaming Lips were also announced as performing.
There are two announced Superjams at this time. One is billed as a Skrillex and Friends Superjam. The second will see Ed Helms bring his Bluegrass Situation Superjam back to Bonnaroo. A third Superjam is listed, but just has a ? beside it.
For heavy metal fans, rising stars Deafheaven will join Swedish extreme metal act Meshuggah, and Mastodon.
For fans of electronic music, there's plenty to see too with the likes of Skrillex, James Blake, Robert DeLong, Disclosure, and Kaskade.
Jam fans need not worry that Bonnaroo has completely moved away from its roots. Long time Bonnaroo favorites Umphrey's McGee will be there along with Big Sam's Funky Nation, and Yonder Mountain String Band.
For fans of country, bluegrass, and Americana music, Bonnaroo welcomes The Avett Brothers, Sarah Jarosz, The Wood Brothers, Shovels & Rope, and The Lone Bellow.
Other intriguing names on the lineup include Vampire Weekend, Wiz Khalifa, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Cake, Arctic Monkeys, Phoenix, and The Naked & the Famous. You can see the full lineup here.