Next month, the 13th installment of Bonnaroo will take place on the farm in Manchester, TN featuring an
extremely diverse lineup with bands from nearly every segment of the live music world. Now
that Bonnaroo has become one of the most prestigious festivals in the country, one that's
just as likely to garner coverage from Pitchfork as it is from JamBase, we want to look
back at one of the key performances from the very first 'Roo in 2002.
When the lineup for the first Bonnaroo was announced, there was no doubt that organizers
were aiming to attract jam fans. Bonnaroo 2002 brought together nearly every major act in
the jam scene including Trey Anastasio (Phish was on hiatus at that point), Phil Lesh &
Friends with Bob Weir, moe., The String Cheese Incident, Galactic, Gov't Mule and
Widespread Panic. The event drew approximately 70,000 attendees to Manchester with little
promotion after selling out in only 11 days. Even Rolling Stone had to take notice and
dubbed the first Bonnaroo "the most ambitious event of the summer."
Widespread Panic was given the honors of headlining two nights of Bonnaroo '02 with two
full sets each night. The band made the most of the opportunity by welcoming a bevy of
guests for memorable sit-ins. Sadly, Bonnaroo '02 would be among guitarist Michael
Houser's last performances with the band before he succumbed to cancer. Our favorite
moment of Widespread Panic's sets on The Farm at the inaugural 'Roo was when the Georgia
rockers were joined by musical legend Steve Winwood and saxophonist Randall Bramblett for
takes on Traffic's "Glad" and "Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys."
Screenshot video of the entire Widespread Panic set from June 22, 2002 featuring the
Winwood/Bramblett sit-ins ("Glad" starts at 28-minute mark and "Low Spark" kicks in at
37:45) can be viewed here:
Widespread Panic will perform with Steve Winwood for the first time since the inaugural
Bonnaroo in September at the Lockn' Festival in Arrington, VA.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the "Tall Boy" > "Testify" > "Tall Boy" from earlier
in the day on June 22, 2002 featuring Dottie Peoples and the People's Choice Choir.
Thankfully, there's pro-shot footage available of that collaboration: