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Bonnaroo lineup presents something old, something new, return of Kanye West

For anyone who didn’t watch the full Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival lineup via the Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon, aka BLAM!, the four-day event will, once again, blend veteran artists with up-and-coming acts amidst a myriad of styles and one-of-a-kind sets that continue the fest’s unique personality.

Elton John
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

This year’s headliners down on the Farm include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Elton John, the return of Kanye West and Jack White.

Among the 130 bands and comedians on the bill are Lionel Richie, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, Phoenix, The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack, Neutral Milk Hotel, Skrillex, Wiz Khalifa, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mastodon, Fitz and the Tantrums, Chromeo, Broken Bells, Arctic Monkeys, Frank Ocean, John Butler Trio, Ice Cube, Cake, Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers, White Denim, Cloud Nothings, Kaskade, Disclosure, Cut Copy, The Head and the Heart, Zedd, James Blake, Hannibal Burress and Taran Killam.

While there are numerous alternative rock and hip-hop acts, Bonnaroo nods to its roots with modern bluegrass artists – Yonder Mountain String Band and Greensky Bluegrass – and jambands Umphrey’s McGee and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

There will also be three SuperJam concerts featuring Skrillex & Friends, The Bluegrass Situation Superjam hosted by actor and banjo player Ed Helms and another that’s yet to be announced.

Getting the most attention is the inclusion of hip-hop superstar West, whose 2008 Bonnaroo appearance involved switching stages and showtimes, a late start and an early morning performance that didn’t work due to the rays of sunlight fighting it out with his glow-in-the-dark stage production. Festivarians were angry and so was West who let his feelings known via a public rant.

In a Relix story discussing the 2014 lineup Rick Farman, co-founder of New York-based Superfly, which promotes Bonnaroo along with Knoxville, Tennessee’s AC Entertainment, explained, “First and foremost, we think Kanye is one of the most prolific and groundbreaking artists of this generation.

“He’s hugely influential. His albums are as great and as acclaimed as they get. He’s also a great live performer. He takes a lot of chances and he’s adventurous with the live space. All those things are what Bonnaroo performers are about. That’s why we booked him [in 2008].”

As for why the promoters would bring him back after such controversy last time, he said, “Everyone has moved on—it’s in the past,” he continues. “We’re happy he wants to come back to Bonnaroo and is embracing this. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to look forward, and we think it’s a great opportunity for the Bonnaroo community to show what it’s made of. It goes back to what Bonnaroo stands for: It’s about having good time, radiating positivity and that whole message. We couldn’t be more excited about what we think has the potential to be another historic Bonnaroo moment.”

To read Farman’s full remarks about the Bonnaroo lineup, go to

The 13th annual music, art and comedy event, takes place June 12-15 on 13 stages on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee.

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