Bonnaroo’s 2019 lineup has arrived and jam fans will rejoice at the return of Phish alongside headliners Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Odesza and The Lumineers.
From June 13-16, the mega-festival will return to Manchester, Tenn.’s Great Stage Park for it’s 18th year, with Phish offering a “Late-Evening” set on Friday night and a headlining performance on Sunday with two full sets.
“It’s Phish. Who know’s what will happen?” laughs Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment who co-founded Bonnaroo with promotion company Superfly in 2002. (Capps also has a personal connection to the quartet from Vermont. In 1991, he booked Phish for a show at Arnold’s Flamingo Grill in Knoxville – their first-ever gig in Tennessee. “They had a very devoted fanbase from the very beginning,” he recalls. “You could see all of the roots of what they’d become in those early days.”)
Interestingly, this year marks the first time Bonnaroo HQ has shared full daily lineups with Childish Gambino and Phish heading up Friday, June 14, rapper Post Malone and electronic duo Odesza leading Saturday, June 15, and Phish returning on Sunday, June 16, alongside folk outlet The Lumineers.
“We thought it was important to share what the fans what the overall blueprint is,” Capps says of publishing the daily schedule. “Fortunately we’re in a place where we felt we could share it without any changes. We decided to let the cat out of the bag.”
Thursday June 13 will also feature iconic country program the Grand Ole Opry, which enjoyed its first Bonnaroo appearance last year with Del McCoury Band, Old Crow Medicine Show and more. Capps notes that 2019’s Grand Ole Opry lineup remains to be seen, but inviting the legendary show back to the Tennessee festival was a no-brainer: “We didn’t introduce the Grand Ole Opry last year with the intention of not bringing it back. It was such an extraordinarily special moment.”
Overall, it seems that Bonnaroo is opting for a slight shift back towards rock and folk music in 2019, with acts like The Avett Brothers, John Prine, Brandi Carlile, The National, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Courtney Barnett, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Trampled By Turtles and The Wood Brothers all gracing the lineup.
According to Capps, the booking process for Bonnaroo involves members of C3 Entertainment, Superfly Productions, AC Entertainment and Live Nation who all strive to create a dynamic festival showcasing all aspects of the music scene.
“The music business is an iconoclastic business, continually reinventing itself,” he says. “The artists that are emerging, making music in new and exciting ways and capturing the spirit of their generation, that’s what the scene is about. For Bonnaroo this year, our goal is to be very much a part of the here-and-now, while still being very cognizant of the culture and foundation of the festival which is really about the love of live music.”
Additionally, the 2019 lineup features a large number of female performers, from hip-hop mega-star Cardi B, to multi-Grammy nominee Carlile, to R&B maven Solange. Even further down the lineup Capps points to sitarist Anoushka Shankar (daughter of famed musician Ravi Shankar) and downtempo duo Ibeyi as acts that broaden the festival experience with not only their unique perspectives, but their undeniable talent.
“If there’s anything that really characterizes Bonnaroo and sets it apart from many festivals it’s the extraordinary diversity in the lineup,” Capps asserts. “We’ve always programmed toward that diversity. It’s intended to be a musical feast of plenty. And it’s not only the balance of male and female, but also introducing world music artists and making sure that genres like bluegrass and jazz and folk music have a place in the lineup.”
Bonnaroo’s annual Superjam, which last year featured a star-studded tribute to the late Tom Petty, will be helmed by Detroit producer-saxophonist GRiZ. Capps says the Bonnaroo team is “thrilled” to be working with the future-funk musician, and he is sure to have plenty of surprises up his sleeve.
As far as offstage antics go, Bonnaroo 2019 will continue to produce the popular campground Plazas seen in 2018, which offered surprise performances by bands like Cage The Elephant, dance parties, free public Wi-Fi, wellness resources and more. So far this year, organizers have enlisted House of Yes and Little Cinema as well as Paramore singer Hayley Williams to curate a “Sanctuary of Self-Love.”
“It’s 24/7,” Capps says of the ever-changing Bonnaroo landscape. “Everyone’s living on the farm for four or five days and having this extraordinary shared experience.”
Tickets for Bonnaroo 2019 – including General Admission and VIP passes – will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 10, at 12 Noon ET/11 a.m. CT.
Visit Bonnaroo.com for more information.
Check out the full lineup below:
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
Grand Ole Opry Featuring Special Guests
Space Jesus b2b Eprom b2b Shlump
All Them Witches
Magic City Hippies
The Nude Party
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
The Comet Is Coming
FRIDAY, JUNE 14
The Avett Brothers
Catfish And The Bottlemen
Nahko & Medicine For The People
The Teskey Brothers
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
The Lonely Island
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Jim James (Full Band)
Shovels & Rope
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The Record Company
SUNDAY, JUNE 16
Phish (2 Sets)
Walk The Moon
Trampled By Turtles
The Wood Brothers
Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers
Princess (Featuring Maya Rudolph & Gretchen Lieberum)
The Soul Rebels
The Lemon Twigs