Bonnaroo 2011: Lineup, Clues, Rumors, Speculation, Wishes, Etc…

2/15/11 update: The Official Bonnaroo 2011 Lineup has been announced.

Summer Festival wanderlust is in full force this week as Wakarusa, Mountain Jam and an expected Jazz Fest lineup are released this week…

The powers-that-be just kicked the Bonnaspeculation season into overdrive by offering up their first in a series of clues that will lead up to the great big initial announcement in about a month’s time. Many of these cloos were misleading last year, and it seemed like the festival was just pulling our legs on a few. But after all, Bonnaroo has always been a great marketing force (even in the first year, when they relied almost strictly on word-of-mouth), always adding something new to keep people like myself intrigued year-in-and-year-out The first clue immediately brings to mind the great David Bowie, what are your thoughts?:

Clue #1 (courtesy of @Bonnaroo): A trip to space thwarted by a speckled lad’s demise. A watershed moment otherwise.

Not that Bonnaroo requires something like a big anniversary to pull out all the stops, but if the transformative Fifth Anniversary was any indication (2006–My personal favorite lineup, featuring Radiohead, Beck, My Morning Jacket, G.R.A.B., and Oysterhead), this year AC Entertainment and Superfly will be pulling out all the stops. So here is my completely speculatory list of artists who might be appearing on the farm in Manchester from June 9-12 (one can wish, wonder, and wander towards the Good Road):

Daft Punk (reportedly going back on tour this summer, on hiatus since 2007 until the October appearance with Phoenix at Madison Square Garden and the killer cameo on TRON: Legacy)
David Gilmour & Roger Waters (Rumored to appear together at a mystery date on Waters’ The Wall Tour, although to my knowledge that has not occurred yet. One of these guys would more than suffice)
The Rolling Stones
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Reportedly getting back together in ’11 minus retired guitarist John Frusciante)
Elton John or David Bowie or Neil Young
Foo Fighters (There seems to be at least one band from this mainstream rock radio universe, could see this one happening with new album, heavy touring in ’11. Would be a slight upgrade from KoL ’10, Jack Johnson ’08).
Gorillaz (Just released their iPad album The Fall on Christmas and just today announced a new cartoon member of the band with a fishbowl head, named The Evangelist)
Rush (Touring North America this Spring and Summer)
Dr. Dre w/ Guests (since Kanye in ’08 and Jay-Z last year, it could make sense with Detox coming out early-2011) or Eminem.
Furthur (No member of The Dead has played at Bonnaroo since 2008)
My Morning Jacket (set to release a new record in the first half of 2011, have not appeared at Bonnaroo since 2008, late night What or Which Stage would be likely. Already confirmed to be headlining Wakarusa and Mountain Jam the weekend before, so you know they will be already supporting the as-yet-named 6th LP)
Widespread Panic (also have not appeared since 2008, a long time for the band holding the record for most headlining appearances. Also, 2011 is the band’s 25th Anniversary and last run until an indefinite hiatus)
Manu Chao (please bring back)
Robbie Robertson and Friends (New album out in 2011, first in 13 years)
The String Cheese Incident (have not done a proper tour since 2007 or appeared at Bonnaroo since that summer.)
The Avalanches (New Album due in 2011)
Massive Attack
Chemical Brothers
Zach Galifianakis
(with Hangover 2 coming out weeks before, could be this year’s big comedic headliner).
Iggy Pop & The Stooges
Florence & The Machine
A Tribe Called Quest
Umphrey’s McGee
Delta Spirit
Les Claypool (in some form)
Janelle Monae
Broken Bells
Tom Tom Club
Hot Chip
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
Two Door Cinema Club
Tame Impala
Cold War Kids
M. Ward
Anders Osborne
Moon Taxi
Lance Herbstrong

No good basis, but maybe one day??

Outkast (if it’s on the Internet it could be troo)
Black Sabbath (Ozzy has been talking about getting the old band back together and recording a new album)
Talking Heads (everyone is healthy and alive, so why not bury the hatchet?)
Some formation of Bob Dylan & Levon Helm
Rage Against the Machine (the time has come)
Radiohead (doubt they would do it again)
Neil Young solo

Further Speculations/Confirmations

The Cure
My Chemical Romance
The Roots
Paul Simon

Mumford and Sons (Confirmed return?)
Cage the Elephant (Reportedly Confirmed)
Modest Mouse
Devendra Banhart
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Lady Gaga
Toots and the Maytals

Who Do YOU Want to See in 2011?


  1. 06 was my personal favorite lineup as well…i think it would be the bees knees to have the great david bowie, that’s reason enough for me!! :)

  2. I would love to see Led Zeppelin do it. Page has said countless times taht he would love to do another reunuion, Plant has played Roo before…so we shall see

  3. in regard to the clue, i wonder if the band in question is U2? I have often read thier 360 tour reviews describe the stage set up caliing it a Space Ship. Last year’s Glastonbury appearance by u2 was cancelled because Bono’s back gave out.. hence the mention of the “lad’s” demise… the watershed moment would have been U2 first festival appearance? just a thought or guess

  4. I have to doubt U2 will be there b/c of a show at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Stadium less than three weeks later. The festival’s radius clause would likely disallow them from playing in the area for at least 3, maybe 6 months. Could be wrong there but I think it’s highly unlikely we’ll see U2 at Roo this year. Don’t really like them but would definitely check it out to see the spectacle/old tunes if they were there.

    • Yeeeeaaa, but Phish played Knoxville,TN 2 days before Bonanroo in 2009 and then played 2 shows at the festival….so, it could happen….

      • True, but those shows Phish played were also booked by AC Entertainment so they could choose not to include a radius clause, in a 23,000 capacity arena (as opposed to a closer by 40,000 person stadium) over 200 miles away and Phish fans were more likely to make the trip to Bonnaroo if they are given the kicker of an Asheville/Knoxville/Bonnaroo run. I agree, it could happen, but I would be kind of shocked if it did.

        • Listen…if Roo wants U2, and U2 wants to play Roo, the radius clause is not going to stop it from happening.

          That said, I don’t think it will happen, but for reasons that have nothing to do with the radius clause. I just doubt U2 is going to play a “non-360” show on this tour.

    • Unfortunately, that would also include Florence + The Machine, since they are opening for U2. Looks like 2 trips to Tenn this year for me.

  5. Looks like Rush is out of the question now, they have just announced a new tour that includes a stop in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in April.

  6. I would really like to see the Boxer Rebellion this year. I’m rather surprised not to see them on any rumor lists as an up and coming, really quality group.

  7. She Wants Revenge
    Dead Man’s Bones
    Iron & Wine
    Band of Skulls
    Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
    White Lies

  8. I love love love the Bonnaroo atmosphere, I just hate that they’ve gone MTV Corpaorate it sucks. I hope Rothbury comes back this year. I am not a hater but the best part of music festivals is obviously the music but second, its the people there. The more mainstream a festival gets the more casual fans show up. The real festival people and music lovers, “hippies” are the best crowd. Being able to leave your camp and not worrying about your stuff getting stolen and just having a great time and great vibes is key, I am worried MTV is going to ruin Bonnaroo……sorry for the rant. Robert Plante is headlining the Telluride fesitval this summer so maybe he comes to Bonnaroo? If I got to see some Pink Floyd AND some Led Zeppelin and then maybe even some Rolling Stones and some String Cheese or Widespread all in one weekend, well, I don’t know what to say about that, words cant express.

    • so you want to hear a bunch of washed up old musicians who can’t even play their old material and not new awesome cutting edge music? Hmm, interesting. Here’s a suggestion, pull out the old turn table and one of your most warped old records, take some s***ty acid and stay at home with the rest of the dinosaurs.

      • Just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s not great. Actually, it has MORE of a chance to be awesome. You’re just a douche. Like most. I bet if Lady gaga is there you’ll ess your knickers. Or someone equally “cutting edge”. Children, listen up: Anything that is remotely good now has been ripped from some “dinosaur” of the past. The only “washed up” people are assholes like you.

      • Dude you are straight ignorant for making that comment. the vast majority of today’s music sucks anyway. It’s people like you that allow the s***ty music industry that exists today to survive.

      • Where do you think any of this “new awesome cutting edge music” came from? Here’s a hint: if you listen to some Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, you’ll get a pretty good idea. Music of this day and age is largely influenced by any and ALL music that preceded it.

      • That music you hear today is the music you heard yesterday. Hard to believe, right? Since what those “washed up old musicians” created has totally been run into the ground. I’ll admit, I love some of the new music, but if you have no idea where it came from, then you don’t know anything. Don’t you dare say anything about the foundations of the music you listen to. Because that is what the “most warped old records” are, FOUNDATIONS OF MUSIC TODAY.

      • David is what bonnaroo needs to remove too many drunk assholes who just go to party and not go for what it’s meant for and that’s feeling and spreading the joy and love of REAL and in most cases old music so why don’t you go drink a s***ty batch of natty and sit at home with the rest of the edgy bros

    • Completely agree, rant away :) When MTV took over, it all started going down hill fast. It will never be as good as it was before :( Miss the days of Ziggy Marley, The Dead, String Cheese, Yonder mountain…. 1 dollar garlic grilled cheese and 100 + degrees, mist tenting, shakedown streeting, tornado tent flattening fun!! Yearn to see Xavier Rudd :)
      Although, it has changed completely…The experience will live in my heart forever. Its a damn shame the younger people these days won’t have the same amazing memories I was lucky enough to have. It was as much about the atmosphere as it was the music. I should say, the music made the atmosophere…
      Anyway, now I am ranting :) Memories flood back and I miss it so much!

  9. Also, Sublime (with Rome) is on the road this year. How bad ass would it be to see RHCP and Sublime in the same day.

  10. Kid Cudi
    Lupe Fiasco
    Daft Punk
    Modest Mouse
    and pretty much everyone else rumored mentioned above!

  11. My bet is on Paul Simon as the headliner. I correctly predicted Stevie Wonder last year, without the benefit of blogs, articles, or other hints. Superfly has to go bigger than SW, and Paul Simon certainly fits the bill AND he released a new album AND he’ll be touring. Yeah, I’m feeling the Paul Simon. Would LOVE to see the RHCP, however! Elton John=been there done that, same w/Thin White Duke (although certainly more interesting than EJ), Neil Young has some new offerings. Rush=yuk.

  12. Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Wilco, Phish, My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, The Shins,The National, Bright Eyes, Mumford & Sons, MGMT, Cake, G-Love and Special Sauce, Golgol Bordello, Dr. Dog, Slightly Stoopid, A Tribe Called Quest……

  13. BASSNECTAR!, MGMT!, the pixes, MIA, DATSIK, borgore, PASSION PIT, red hot chili peppers, excision, deadmau5, pink floyd, led zeppelin, damian marley and pretty lights.
    that would be pretty amazing.

  14. Robbie Robertson & Friends! The Stones! Wilco ! MGMT! Modest Mouse! My Morning Jacket! Mumford and Sons! Cage the elephant! MOE! and finally THE ROOTS! If Bonnaroo books 1/3 of these bands it will be an awesome 10th year anniversary!!

  15. I want to see The Dead!!! and of course Widespread………I saw The Dead in 2004..It was my first time and I love em!!! Saw Bob Weir in 05 at Harvest Fest!!!!! Come on Dead come to Bonnaroo 2011!!!!! We miss you!

  16. I dont know if anyone has mentioned this yet but Robert Plant and band of joy have self confirmed along with Gregg Alman and Black starr

    also aperantly a source VERY close to the festival has confirmed headliners of Widespread panic, Arcade fire, My morning jacket and The black keys

    along with a rap artist that is still in negotiations (that is my speculation as to why the line up took so long to be announced)

  17. Just to name a few: The Rural Alberta Advantage; The Avett Brothers; The Wood Brothers; CAKE; Amos Lee; Ben Folds; The Strokes; Levon Helm; Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros; Hey Ocean; Local Natives; Alison Krauss…

    Demetri Martin & David Cross for comedians.

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