Scene and Heard

Bonnaroo 2011

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on June 18, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011

Bonnaroo celebrated it’s tenth anniversary with an all out assault of the senses adding the “Big Ass Water slide”, a giant cuckoo clock, parachutists dropping thousands of blinking lights over the entire festival as Arcade Fire wrapped up its Friday  evening set and fireworks after Eminem’s show on Saturday. The cell phone service is much improved from past years.

The festival attendees estimated at nearly 100,000 fought through searing heat,  extreme dusty fields and crowded tents the entire weekend. Restroom lines where long and free water was at a premium. Fans waited as long as nine hours for a prime spot in front of the stage for their favorite bands. The daytime crowd outside the main stage was estimated at 50,000 for Mumford and Sons at the Which Stage.

Celebrities were in force backstage and in the pit area of shows. Ron Jeremy took in Grace Potter and Mumford and Son’s.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar, John, Waters and Faith Hill along with members of SNL and visited with musicians and attend many shows.

The Festival is a well organized machine that takes everything into consideration outside the music to insure the safest and most convenient surroundings possible considering the site is held on what was once acres of farmland.

The festival began on Thursday, I watched parts of shows by Futurebirds, Freelance Whales,The Walkmen, The Sleigh Bells and Deerhunter.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday was a non stop race from stage to stage trying to catch all the music possible, its quite exhausting fighting the heat, crowds and walking miles  through the site.

Sometimes you just stop and take in the happenings around you. Watching people lined up at the mushroom fountain to get their best version of a shower and cool off for the day. You have to notice the attire of the diverse crowd, from bikinis to tie dye and everything you can imagine in between.

Although the fan base is getting younger in the seven years I have attended, there are all ages of people and everyone seems to get along and its a peaceful event, everyone is there to enjoy the music and the sites of the festival.

It’s impossible to take in even half of the music, comedy and other events of the festival. You are forced to plan your activities during this event and always leave with regrets over what you didn’t get to before leaving.

Bonnaroo is a marathon not a sprint, I didn’t see everything but here is my lists of the best events of the weekend.

As the event has progressed more bands are limiting the amount of photographers, so don’t look for Eminem, Buffalo Springfield or Arcade Fire photos. It’s a sad trend that I don’t expect to change.

  Best Performances

        My Morning Jacket – Louisville’s finest has become one of the finest live bands you will ever see.

Arcade Fire

Buffalo Springfield – “Keep on Rocking in the Free World” was the standout song of the festival

Robert Plant -mixing Zeppelin songs with his latest music made for a classic set

Eminem even us non hip hop fans liked this show

The Super Jam with Dr John and Dan Auerbach and guests

The Warren Haynes Band- a rock soul filled sho

Gregg Allman Band- still the best blues voice in rock

Dr John and The Meters

The Black Keys

Allison Krauss

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

The Decemberists

Loretta Lynn still a legend



Shows I wish I had seen.


  1. Deer Tick
  2. String Cheese Incident – Human Moth held over stage by helium balloons and a 30 ft dinosaur.
  3. Explosions in the Sky
  4. The League Comedy Show
  5. Primus



Most Impressive bands I haven’t listened to.

  1. Florence and The Machine- Largest audience ever in the This Tent history
  2. GraveYard- Swedish band sounds like early Black Sabbath
  3. Deer Hunter
  4. The Sheepdogs
  5. Gary Clarke Jr – serious blues
  6. Smith and Westerns
  7. Mavis Staples-  incredible voice

Bonnaroo 2011 The crowd from Strokes point of view

Bonnaroo 2011 Super Jam with Dan Auerbach and Dr John

Florence and The MachineAllison Krauss

My Morning Jacket

Neil Young

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