With this morning’s unveiling of Bonnaroo’s 16th anniversary lineup, we couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of nostalgia for Roos past. What started out as a very jam-friendly festival has certainly spread from its roots, though the inclusion of bands like Umphrey’s McGee, Twiddle, Greensky Bluegrass and more are certainly nods to the earliest days in Manchester, TN.
The very first Bonnaroo lineup in 2002 featured Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio, Ben Harper and The String Cheese Incident as headliners. The “SuperJam” featured Michael Kang, Bela Fleck, Jeff Raines and Robert Randolph. Jammers like Phil Lesh & Friends /w Bob Weir, moe., Ween, Gov’t Mule, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Les Claypool, Keller Williams, and The Disco Biscuits all made it out for the festival. Even an up-and-coming Umphrey’s McGee made it on the billing, all the way on the bottom line…
Check out some videos from this star-studded, first-ever affair:
While there are still a handful artists that overlap between 2002 and 2017, there’s no denying that Bonnaroo has changed. The opinion of that change may vary, but the festival certainly does their damnedest to bring an enormous array of top-notch, genre-spanning talent. Come June, we’ll be ready to party.