February 3, 2009 / 8:55 AM / 9 years ago

Springsteen, Phish, Beasties set for Bonnaroo

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Phish, the Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Wilco, Al Green, Snoop Dogg and Elvis Costello lead the lineup for the 2009 Bonnaroo festival, scheduled for June 11-14 in Manchester, Tenn.

Bonnaroo will be Springsteen’s only North American festival of the year, as well as the only festival on the 2009 itinerary of reunited jam band Phish. According to Jonathan Mayers, president of festival co-producer Superfly, Phish will play on the Bonnaroo main stage on two separate nights: a two-set performance and a late-evening set.

Costello is billed as playing solo, but may collaborate with artists like Allen Toussaint and Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, with whom he has recorded. Other acts confirmed for the festival include Erykah Badu, Paul Oakenfold, Ben Harper and his new band Relentless7, the Mars Volta, TV on the Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gov’t Mule, Andrew Bird, Merle Haggard and MGMT.

Tickets go on sale Saturday (February 7) via Bonnaroo.com. This year, fans can opt for a payment plan with five $50 installments. Fuse will provide live TV coverage from the scene, while AT&T Music will once again offer live Webcasts.

“It seems more relevant than ever to offer it,” Mayers said of the layaway ticket plan. “We want to make Bonnaroo as accessible as possible. We really believe in super-serving our audience. If you say, ‘I want to do a music festival,’ there’s nothing really proprietary about that. The details are what make it interesting. These are like never-ending art projects for us.”

Mayers said he’s particularly excited for bands such as Animal Collective, Bon Iver, TV On The Radio and Andrew Bird, as well as a crop of African artists including the legendary King Sunny Ade and Toumani Diabate, the latter of whom is performing with Bela Fleck.

“It’s about going out there and checking out different things and hopefully discovering some new stuff,” Mayers said of the Bonnaroo experience.

The Beastie Boys will be playing their only confirmed date of the year so far at Bonnaroo. “We are looking forward to bringing heat and fire inside of your festival grounds,” the pioneering rap trio said in a statement released to Billboard. “We (the band known as Beastie Boys) are like a three-headed dragon with hot molten metal spewing forth from every head. Ready yourselves. Stand fast. Saturn’s second moon is on the rise. We approach you now from the Northeast at the speed of lightning. There will be no respite from our wrath.”

Headlined by Pearl Jam, Metallica and Jack Johnson, the 2008 edition of Bonnaroo grossed about $17 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.


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