On Friday, June 17, Bonnaroo successfully celebrated the first full day of music since 2019, fully switching into high gear and back into true form with an array of once-in-a-lifetime performances, collaborations and musical climaxes.

The day saw J. Cole headline the What Stage over a sea of people. Similarly, Lord Huron performed to a packed group on the Which Stage. The War on Drugs played the event’s Which Stage during sunset and closed their show with “I Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

Early Friday (Thursday evening), Goose sat in with Andy Frasco for their official Bonnaroo debut, and the Connecticut-based jamband took the opportunity to stretch the set until 3 a.m. all in the key of E. They also lent part of their road crew to Karina Rykman who made her Bonnaroo debut on The Who Stage. Bleachers returned to Bonnaroo this year and frontman Jack Antonoff, who has played the festival five times with various bands, turned their show into an impromptu super jam of sorts with the help of Blu De Tiger and his father Rick– creating yet another collaboration the Tennessee festival is known and beloved for.

The Chicks, also first-time Bonnaroo performers, played their trademark cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide,” which had an almost tribute feel to it as a Stevie Nicks is set to headline on the same stage within the next 48 hours. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss played their set, which showcased a career’s worth of material including Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and “The Battle for Evermore.” During the show Plant likened the matinee set to watching “Mickey Mouse” as a child.

In the tents, several groups nodded to their inspirations and influences: Arlo Parks wore a Taling Heads Shirt, and  Briston Maroney covered Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today.” He also thanked his father for getting him into “this type of music” and joked that it would be funny if he was watching Phish instead of his own set.

Bonnaroo continues today.