Bonnaroo 2010 Preview

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 "something special 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 by Steve 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' Wayne Coyne 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 Tour.

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 Galifianakis, among others. "Best show ever" is a common sentiment amongst attendees (including yours truly).

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, and MGMT 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!

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[Published on: 6/7/10]

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