By now, if you’re attending this year’s Bonnaroo festival, you have probably perused the schedule and tried to decide which bands you would like to see. If there are more than a few acts that you are looking forward to, you may run into some scheduling conflicts. Here’s some ideas on how to decide who to see during some of this year’s biggest overlaps.
MS MR vs. Real Estate
With most of the bands on Thursday well spread out, or at the least of such differing genres they will appeal to a variety of festival attendees, the only real conflict is between Real Estate playing That Tent at 7:30 - 8:30 PM and MS MR in The Other Tent at 7:45 - 8:45 PM. While Real Estate have been getting some airplay lately, and have a solid 3 albums to boot, MS MR has some well known songs that just may have gotten you through that last breakup. This one may come down to a coin flip, or personal preference.
Umphrey’s McGee vs. Jake Bugg
English singer/songwriter Jake Bugg was up for a Grammy award this year for his “neo-rockabilly” uniqueness, while Umphrey’s McGee has longer been known for a similar progressive style. Unless your heart truly leads you to see Umphrey’s McGee on the What Stage at 3:30, instead catch the up-and-comer Jake Bugg in This Tent before he becomes the next big thing.
The Head and The Heart vs. The Naked and Famous
Friday brings us a clash of long-named bands starting with “the” - Seattle darlings The Head and The Heart play Which Stage at 6:30, with an unfortunate overlap on The Naked and Famous in The Other Tent at 5:45. Either spread yourself thin due to the slightly staggered starting times, or stake out in The Other Tent to catch The Naked and Famous, who hailing from New Zealand are less frequently touring stateside.
Vampire Weekend vs. CHVRCHES
For a lot of Bonnarooers, Vampire Weekend on What Stage at 7:30 may be one of the Friday highlights, but most of you have probably heard of CHVRCHES and may wish to see what all the hype is about over in The Other Tent at 7:30. CHVRCHES are either on fire, or more often disappointingly lackluster, so sticking with the safe bet of Vampire Weekend may be a wise idea.
Skrillex vs. Die Antwoord
Assuming you are a night owl who wants to dance, the face off between Skrillex on Which Stage at 1:30 and Die Antwoord in The Other Tent may be putting you into a frenzy. The South African duo of Die Antwoord may end up being the underrated, unexpected highlight of Friday, so hedge your bets there.
Cage the Elephant vs. Grouplove
Two groups who are known for their equal exuberance onstage produce Saturday’s biggest conflict. With Cage the Elephant starting at 5:45 on Which Stage, and Grouplove at 5 in That Tent, it might be a little too hard to catch both - in which case hanging out at Which Stage so as not to miss a minute of Cage’s stage-diving antics is the way to go.
The Flaming Lips vs. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The Flaming Lips will be on Which Stage, and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in That Tent, both at 12:30 am - providing an alternative music conundrum. While Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are a classic, The Flaming Lips are simply not to be missed.
Carolina Chocolate Drops vs. Lucero vs. Vance Joy
Early Sunday brings a folk music clash, with old-time string band Carolina Chocolate Drops the first act of the day up on the What Stage, while Memphis-based “country-punk” band Lucero opens the Which Stage. Meanwhile, in This Tent, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy plays. If you are holding out a prime spot at the What Stage for one of the day’s later acts, then Carolina Chocolate Drops are worth devoting your attention to. If you would like to see two great acts back-to-back, camp out by the Which Stage and watch Lucero, who will be followed up by the excellent Capital Cities. If you’re really hankering for a touch of singer-songwriter delight, then be sure to make your way to This Tent for Vance Joy.
Arctic Monkeys vs. Fitz & The Tantrums vs. Warpaint
If you want to catch one of the hottest bands of the moment, and haven’t already seen them on their vast US tour or at another summer festival, then head on over to the What Stage to check out Arctic Monkeys. If you’ve already seen the Sheffield band recently, and would instead like to dance, then Fitz & The Tantrums over on the Which Stage may be more your speed. Last but not least, Warpaint, the LA-based chick band of indie rockers, will be rocking the stage in This Tent. With Arctic Monkeys playing a longer set than either Warpaint or Fitz & The Tantrums, you still have time to catch either of them and head back to catch Arctic Monkey’s big finale as well.
Broken Bells vs. City and Colour
While not entirely the same genre, both these bands are made up of musicians previously hailing from other big acts. Broken Bells is made up of Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and The Shins’ frontman James Mercer. City and Colour consists of Dallas Green, formal vocalist and guitarist of Alexisonfire. If you’re a satellite radio listener, you may have been turned into a fan of Broken Bells so the choice is a no brainer and you’ll see Broken Bells on Which Stage; however, if you want to hear something a little less overplayed, trek on over to This Tent and listen to City and Colour instead.