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Music festival season hits its stride as 2014 Bonnaroo opens

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Music fans converged upon Great Stage Park on Thursday, June 12, for the 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The four-day festival marks the beginning of summer for many as they prepare for their annual pilgrimage to Manchester, Tenn.

Thursday's music commenced at 3 p.m. with The Preatures, though access to both the What Stage and Which Stage will not occur until tomorrow. Robert DeLong, Caveman, Real Estate, Cherub, Banks and Poliça had their chance to shine on a day that typically offers an additional push for rising artists.

Roughly 100,000 people are expected to make their way through the festival gates this weekend. Kanye West returns to 'Roo tomorrow night and many are hoping the recently-wedded rapper will make amends for his disastrous performance in 2008--when he arrived on-stage more than two hours late. Regardless of Kanye's headline slot, attendees can look forward to a solid lineup that includes Vampire Weekend (playing opposite Chvrches), Phoenix, The Head and The Heart and Janelle Monae.

Tomorrow's late night revelers will have to choose between Derek Truck's Superjam and performances by Ice Cube, Mastodon and Disclosure. Skrillex is certain to keep the party going with a dance-fest that should continue well into the morning.

Click through for a photo recap of Thursday's action at 2014 Bonnaroo.

Real Estate
Real Estate © Daniel DeSlover /

Real Estate

Real Estate are an indie rock band that hail from New Jersey, though their music incites a warmer California vibe reminiscent of The Grateful Dead. Lengthy jams demonstrated their tight on-stage chemistry, highlighted by songs from their third studio release, "Atlas."

Banks © Daniel DeSlover /


Vocalist Jillian Banks has tremendous momentum, despite having yet to release her first full-length album. With a pair of EPs under her belt, Banks has parlayed her creativity into appearances at Coachella and now Bonnaroo. She performed first single "Before I Met You" and "Brain," while also solidifying that the sky's the limit for this rising star.

Poliça © Daniel DeSlover /


Synth-rockers Poliça performed opposite Omar Souleyman and upstart Banks, as the evening kicked into high gear. Channy Leaneagh's floating vocals drifted upon a medley of percussion and electronic expressions that combined into an intoxicating wave of sound.

Caveman © Daniel DeSlover /


Caveman took Bonnaroo back to it's indie roots, dolling out an hour-long set in The Other Tent. Steeped in expansive guitar, chill harmonies and thick atmosphere, the NYC outfit impressed with music from their ethereal self-titled album.

Cherub © Daniel DeSlover /


Not the first--and certainly not the last--Nashville outfit to perform at Bonnaroo this year. Cherub crushed That Tent with their funky take on electronic pop. They'll be starting an extensive club tour in support of their debut album, "Year of the Caprese," later this fall.

The Wild Feathers
The Wild Feathers © Daniel DeSlover /

The Wild Feathers

Talented musicians always make their mark on larger festivals and The Wild Feathers drew a strong local crowd just after the festival gates opened on Thursday. Their clean, Southern-influenced rock from their debut album offered the perfect start to kick-off a long weekend of musical discovery.

Robert DeLong
Robert DeLong © Daniel DeSlover /

Robert DeLong

Electronic dance musician Robert DeLong brings festivity to any gathering.  He combined deep grooves with his energetic drumming to lead The Other Tent into an early afternoon dance party. Check out his latest album, "Just Movement."


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