The annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee will, as always, boast an impressive a lineup of some of today’s hottest artists, including Kanye West, Jack White, Skrillex, Frank Ocean and Arctic Monkeys.  But sharing the top line on the festival’s promotional poster this year are two legendary artists: Elton John and Lionel Richie.

This year’s festival is set for June 12th-15th and tickets go on sale Saturday, February 22nd at noon.

Bonnaroo started in 2002 as a jam-band festival (Grateful Dead alumni Phil Lesh and Bob Weir were on the bill that year), but has developed over the years to feature all genres of music, and it often puts legendary artists in headline slots.  Last year, Paul McCartney and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers co-headlined, and in recent years, the Beach Boys, the reunited Buffalo Springfield, Robert Plant, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Elvis Costello have all performed.

This will be John’s first time playing a major U.S. festival; this follows his performance at England’s Bestival last year. John, of course, is still an arena-headlining act. However, playing to this sort of festival puts him in front of a different – and younger – audience than his usual concerts do (which is surely a factor in major stars like McCartney and Springsteen performing at festivals). Richie, meanwhile, dipped his toes in the festival waters later year at the Austin City Limits festival.

For more on Bonnaroo, go to

– Ray Boyd,


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