Bonnaroo Organizers Talk Kanye & Jambands On Reddit AUA

Last night Bonnaroo organizers Rick Farman and Ashley Capps took questions from the Reddit community during an Ask Us Anything session on the site. The pair talked Outkast, Kanye West, the lack of jambands and more as part of the discussion.

One of the big topics of conversation was the controversial choice of Kanye West as a headliner after a disastrous appearance at the 2008 installment of the event. "We started the discussion with Kanye well over a year ago. It was time to leave the past behind. He's one of the major artists of our time..so there wasn't any skepticism from us and he was ready as well. We initially had some conversations about him doing something last year...a surprise show...totally out of the box. But it didn't quite work out. The conversations continued however and now we're on for 2014. But it wasn't forced. It evolved pretty organically," Capps responded to a question about West's booking. A community asked if there was truth to the rumor that members of The Dead won't play the fest due to the Kanye debacle to which Capps responded, "There's no truth to this at all. They've been invited back and we've had serious discussions. It only failed to happen because of their touring schedule."

A number of questions revolved around the lack of jambands on the bill after the genre was so important to the early years of Bonnaroo. "We've always booked a diverse line up.Phish played in 2012 too. This year we have Yonder Mountain, Umphrey's McGee, Tedeschi Trucks Band...off the top of my head. When we book our festival each year, our only goal is to keep it fresh and exciting. Music is continually transforming and reinventing itself - and the jam band scene has also evolved and transformed. It's one of the many things that makes music so powerful and exciting. We strive to ride the wave," Capps wrote.

One surprise when the lineup was released was the absence of Outkast, who seem to be playing every major festival this year. Apparently organizers did try to book the hip-hop act as Capps revealed, "Unfortunately, their schedule simply didn't work out for Bonnaroo. They had some apparently irresistible offers that weekend in Europe which they chose to take instead."

Head over to Reddit to read the entire conversation.

[Published on: 2/28/14]

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