A Timeline Through The Years
2002: The inaugural festival sells out 70,000 tickets well in advance without the
use of traditional
advertising methods, relying on word-of-mouth and far exceeding the promoters'
expectations. Widespread Panic
plays one of its final
concerts with late guitarist Michael Houser. Galactic's Robert Mercurio described the first 'Roo as having
about it, because people questioned how you can get 80,000 people in the woods and no one
get hurt. It was
unprecedented to have anything like that in the U.S." moe. plays a marathon late night set featuring special guests from
The String Cheese
Incident, Umphrey's McGee, The Disco Biscuits,
and Robert Randolph.
They would later be
recognized for the show with a Jammy Award for "Concert of the Year".
2003: James Brown, Bob
Dylan and Neil Young & Crazy Horse appear at the festival. Stages and
tents renamed What,
Which, This, That, and the Other, confusing Bonnaroo attendees ever since.
2004: Two vicious electrical storms followed by an abnormally cold summer night at
The Dead's set
blow through Manchester causing several delays and turning Centeroo into a mud pit. Sets
Winwood, a late night Umphrey's McGee set, David Byrne and the
resurgence of the The
Dead were highlights of the fest.
2005: Temperate weather and amazing late night sets by Galactic and Sound Tribe Sector
9 highlighted the
'05 edition. The Cinema Tent debuts showing Mike Tyson's embarrassing 7-round TKO loss to
Kevin McBride as
chilled-out festival patrons enjoy the tent's air conditioning.
2006: Mysterious smoke rings begin appearing in the Manchester skies and a turning
of the tides begins.
At the time, the addition of the iconic Radiohead was seen as a huge transition for the previously jam-
centric festival, but
this was just the beginning of a new era. Radiohead would play the longest show of their
career and one that
Thom Yorke still considers to be perhaps the band's best. G.R.A.B. (Trey,
Mike & The Duo) are
the surprise Superjam late night act and are joined by Phil Lesh for a few songs,
including "Going Down
the Road Feelin' Bad."
2007: The polarizing psychedelic hard rockers Tool are invited to headline, perplexing/angering Bonnaroo
veterans and hippies. Many
of these same fans go to the show and most become Tool fans. The Flaming Lips'
lands his spaceship, distributes thousands of laser pointers and waxes on about the war in
Iraq to thousands of
starry-eyed fans. The String Cheese Incident play Which Stage late Friday as part
of their Farewell
2008: "FUCK KANYE" becomes a rallying cry after rapper Kanye West
lobbies to get his "Glow in
the Dark Tour" headlining set rescheduled to 2:45 a.m. and subsequently doesn't take the
stage until 4:30 a.m.
amidst twilight and boos. My Morning
Jacket plays a cover-heavy set in the driving rain and almost no one leaves until
the show's completion
at 4:00 a.m. MMJ are joined by Jeff Coffin, Kirk Hammett and Zach
others. "Best show ever" is a common sentiment amongst attendees (including yours
2009: A dream fest for many, Phish finally headlines the festival playing a late night show on
the main stage on
Friday and closing out the festival on Sunday with Bruce Springsteen joining the band for "Mustang Sally," "Bobby
Jean"and "Glory Days."
Nine Inch Nails, moe., Yeasayer,
highlight one of the
best late nights in the festival's history on Saturday.
Join JamBase next week when we'll have pictures and insights from the 'Roo!
JamBase | Manchester
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