Top Ten Summer Music Festivals

Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tennessee
Bonnaroo, Manchester, Tennessee
The Motet play for an excited crowd at Bonnaroo (courtesy, Bonnaroo)

4. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Mid-June)
Manchester, Tennessee
If Coachella is a major festival for hipsters, then Bonnaroo, founded in 2002, is one for the hippies. Taking place 65 miles from Nashville, you're as likely to find tie-dyes as bolo ties at this four-day venerable destination music festival, taking place on a 700-acre farm. But just because it got its start as a weekend-long jam-band showcase, that doesn't mean Bonnaroo is all patchouli and guitar noodling. Headliners have also included Metallica and Pearl Jam. And yes, there's plenty of hip-hop and indie rock as well. Beyond music, Bonnaroo delves heavily into cinema, offering an onsite movie theater, which shows movies 24 hours a day, as well as a comedy tent. True to its Woodstock-like roots, it can be muddy with early-summer rains, but that does not dampen fans' enthusiasm for the some 150 acts that play the ever-evolving lineup. For those who don't care to camp, Bonnaroo offers a limited number of four-night hotel packages with airport shuttle service.

Hot Tip: The Manchester Greyhound station is a mere mile from the festival farm, and there's an organized shuttle service from the Nashville airport.

Tennessee Travel Guide


Published: 23 May 2009 | Last Updated: 15 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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