In 2013 I went to Bonnaroo with my dad. I was 15 at the time and had never been to a music festival before. I had always loved music and going to concerts, but I had no idea what I was actually getting myself into. I had no idea that I would fall so deeply in love with the festival environment; from from that weekend on, I was hooked. I became a new person after experiencing the community of positivity and love on The Farm that’s truly like none other. Bonnaroo will always feel like home to me.
I’ve returned to Bonnaroo every year since, and can’t imagine where my life would be if I hadn’t convinced my parents (who are total badasses by the way) to let me leap into an environment that has ultimately become one of the biggest aspects of my life.
So every year around this time, rumors about acts for the coming year start floating around. Being that I’m maybe a little too devoted of a Bonnaroovian, I get really excited about them and analyze these unproven rumors even though I know good and well the actual lineup is months away. But now I have a theoretical audience for my analysis!
The first rumored headliner is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Yes, they’re iconic. Yes, they’ve had so many hits. But does that really mean I have to care? I would’ve killed to see RHCP 4 or 5 years ago, but to me, this seems like a waste. I wish I was more excited about them, but if I had a vote as to whether or not they’re at the top of the bill, I’d hope we could find a better option.
Another rumor is U2. But I feel like we hear that every year, and I have seen no concrete evidence as to why they would be on the bill. So I’m not saying I think they will or won’t be there, but I really have no opinion either way about this theory.
Chance the Rapper is also rumored. I truly hope this one comes true. Lil Chano loves Bonnaroo and we love him back! His most recent album, Coloring Book, is hands down my pick for the best album of 2016. Chance the Rapper has performed in some capacity at Bonnaroo the past 3 years even though he hasn’t officially been on their lineup. In 2016, he was being referred to as “The Mayor of Bonnaroo” after having showed up during not 1, not 2, but 4 different sets throughout the weekend in addition to playing Coloring Book in full in the Silent Disco, which is a tent where music plays through headphones that they give you when you come in rather than through speakers. (The Silent Disco is one of my favorite things about Bonnaroo! It sounds weird, but it’s so much fun!) So I’m praying that Mr. Mayor shows up on this lineup for 2017.
Kings of Leon seem likely for the lineup this year. They’ve recently released a new album, which is bomb for the record. They’re Tennessee natives, and haven’t played Bonnaroo since 2010. I think this is a very realistic prediction that I would love to see happen!
Lastly, The Head and The Heart are rumored to be on the 2017 lineup. THATH is one of my favorite bands, and I really hope to see them return to The Farm this year. I saw them play at Bonnaroo in 2014, and that was the beginning of my love for this band. Their joyful, warm sound mixes so well with the atmosphere of Bonnaroo. It was such a beautiful musical experience. Supposedly a band member told a fan at a recent concert that they would be returning this year. With them touring with their new album “Signs of Light,” I am very hopeful that this rumor will come true!
Keep in mind that these are nothing more than rumors, and that nothing will be proven until the actual lineup comes out. But being that these are the first major rumors to float around, I’m optimistic that Bonnaroo 2017 will no disappoint!