Hey y’all!

Kerry Black (KB), co-creator of Bonnaroo here. I work on a variety of things for the festival including programming, curating the art and activities on-site and overseeing graphic design. I brought out Kalliope last year and look forward to putting together more fun surprises this year! AMA!

I'm Jonathan Mayers (JM), one of the co-creators of Bonnaroo. I lead the booking and content teams for the festival and work alongside Kerry on visual design projects like the Arch, Clock Tower, and Christmas Barn. AMA!

We’ll be back around 7pm EST to hang for a while but you can start posting your questions now.

PROOF: https://twitter.com/Bonnaroo/status/573207496564842497

Comments: 614 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

badinnplaid197 karma

Have you all ever thought about showing a live feed of shows playing at other stage in between sets? A lot of times I will skip a show I would LOVE to see in order to get a good spot at a different stage. Instead of the messages on the screens, I've always thought that I'd love, for example, to be able to watch the show happening on Which while I'm waiting for the next show at What. Maybe this is just me, but I thought I'd bring it up!

WeAreBonnaroo131 karma

I like where your head is at, keep 'em coming! Not sure about technical issues but it's a good idea and one we will discuss. -KB

Dubsox132 karma

I'll ask the inevitable, are we getting screens in the tents this year?

WeAreBonnaroo251 karma

Hi Everyone….psyched to be doing this…thanks for joining.

Im excited to report that we WILL be getting screens at This, That & Other tents! Sorry this took too long to implement. -JM

daddynotthebelt20 karma

Where will the screens be on the tents? By the stage and/or at the end of the tents?

WeAreBonnaroo61 karma

Still finalizing exact placement of the screens, but will be outside the tents.


remeard75 karma

Hey guys, long time Bonnaroo veteran here, I think this will be my eleventh year at Bonnaroo. I talked about this in the /r/bonnaroo subreddit and they seemed to like the idea.

What do you guys think about including science based guest speakers to Bonnaroo? Guys like Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, etc. If you've never been to one of their lectures before, I feel like something like that would work out REALLY well at Bonnaroo. Heck, you can even have either Bill nye or Tyson host Star Talk Live at Bonnaroo and have a few comedians be guests on their show.

Keep up the good work guys, Bonnaroo is easily what I look forward to the most every year.

WeAreBonnaroo67 karma

I too would love to geek out at Bonnaroo! We have actually talked to most of these people in recent years and hopefully will have one of them soon. -KB

remeard30 karma

Awesome. If this ever happens, one of the deep pods could be science themed, have a scheduled time at late night where you have someone bring a telescope and show folks constellations, the moon, planets, etc. Maybe have a display on a tablet/small monitor (They're fairly cheap adapters now).

It'd be great, lots of city folks don't get to see a dark Tennessee sky.

WeAreBonnaroo11 karma

awesome idea!

soshesawildflower62 karma

When can we look forward to hearing about additions?

WeAreBonnaroo64 karma

We will have various talent updates throughout March and April from bands to comedians and other activities. -KB

FestivalSnob61 karma

Can you enlighten us to any exciting acts that you wanted to book for Bonnaroo 2015 but things eventually didn't work out?

WeAreBonnaroo183 karma

If you're listening Prince, please return my phone call.

Sincerely, Jonathan Mayers

WeAreBonnaroo53 karma

Hey guys - We're here and psyched to get started! How's everyone doing tonight? - JM / KB

Peel_Here17 karma

It's too cold out! Please do something about this ASAP

WeAreBonnaroo38 karma

are you wearing long johns? i find them indispensable during the cold months.


ignominousbastard51 karma

The question on everybody's minds: When does Jack White get to curate a Superjam?

WeAreBonnaroo50 karma

Whenever Jack is ready! We have discussed before of course and hope it will happen one day. -KB

Pepperkin51 karma

Hey, guys! Thanks for doing this. My question is significantly more general: what's your long-term vision for the festival? How do you see it evolving over the next couple of years? (i.e., do you think you'll be focusing on booking more acts from a particular genre of music? Introducing new experiences? Developing a new aesthetic for the festival?)

WeAreBonnaroo50 karma

You'll continue to see Bonnaroo evolve...expand programming ideas, make investments into the property & push creative boundaries. A big initiative is to create more experiences in the campgrounds.


Launchpad_Mcquack8845 karma

Thanks for doing this! I have been attending Roo since 2010; every year I would wait on line to get into the What Stage pit for a headliner. And every year the same guys were in charge of the pit line. I even made friends with some. I would see them every year.

Last year however, the old crew weren't there. Instead it was a bunch of kids, possibly volunteers handling the pit line. And it was totally unorganized! I waited to get into the pit for Kanye and it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. People jumping barricades, pushing each other. I am not exaggerating it was horrifying and you guys came very close to having folks trampled and seriously hurt.

Can you please get the old crew back that used to handle the What stage pit? Thanks again!

WeAreBonnaroo54 karma

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will discuss with our security team. -KB

UTOPiAfestCEA35 karma

Hello, I'm the founder of UTOPiAfest in Texas. Will be working security for you for the sixth time this year. My festival owes you a lot, thank you. First question, how surreal has the festival become to you? Second, will you be my guests in UTOPiA this year? We'd love to host you. September 4-6 in Utopia, TX.

WeAreBonnaroo30 karma

I feel so lucky to be part of Bonnaroo and see this dream come to life.

Not sure i can make it this year as I'm planning to be at Burning Man, but would like to check it out in the future.


aGreatWhiteShart32 karma

What was your opinion of Kanye's performance last year, and would you ever book him again?

WeAreBonnaroo95 karma

uhmmmm, how do i answer this without getting in trouble?


gibsonton32 karma

Can you shed some light on what caused higher ticket prices this year?

WeAreBonnaroo61 karma

Over the years, we've worked hard to keep ticket prices as reasonable as possible while striving to produce an amazing experience. Each year we try and raise the bar and with that comes increased expenses.

The increasing number of festivals has created more competition for talent which increases talent fees.

We believe the pricing is still a great value for a 4 day, around-the clock camping festival.


Awesomepolice31 karma

Where were the bobble heads last year!? Also, can we expect any new art installations in centeroo or the pods?

WeAreBonnaroo29 karma

We love the bobble heads, but the ol' guys were ready for retirement. You never know though, you may see them come out of retirement at some point.

A big focus is creating new art installations, so you'll definitely see new additions this year and beyond.


duck_a_roo81716 karma

I really enjoyed seeing those guys every year. Sad to see them go.

WeAreBonnaroo17 karma

we've heard this a lot…so maybe you'll see them refreshed and brought back at some point.


iamthehorn30 karma

Hey fellas, it's nice to see Bonnaroo dabbling in more pop-oriented headliners like Elton and Billy Joel, but when are ya'll finally gonna take the plunge have a lady close out the What stage?

WeAreBonnaroo20 karma

This is amazing! Thanks for posting…possible content for Main stage screens.


WeAreBonnaroo15 karma

We would love nothing more and will continue to look for the right opportunity to make it happen. -KB

daddynotthebelt30 karma

Any hints regarding the Superjam(s)?

WeAreBonnaroo24 karma

The SuperJam elf (Paul Peck) is hard work at work but it takes time. We will let you know as soon as we can! - KB

edw_robe30 karma

Hey! Thanks so much for stopping by! We always love hearing from you. I wanted to ask a few questions (aside from the obvious SCREENS?! and ADDITIONS?!!)

  • With the much earlier release of the lineup this year, how do you see the future of festivals panning out?

  • Do you think that we are experiencing a festival bubble? Will it burst soon?

  • What is the next step in festivals vying for attendees? Releasing the lineups earlier and earlier can only go so far.

And don't forget that you're always welcome at /r/bonnaroo!!

WeAreBonnaroo32 karma

There is obviously more competition then ever but I think for a while that it will continue to grow. I think as we have more festivals, people get more accustomed to going and attend more. I believe we will see a shift to more niche festivals and ones that are based more around experiences then big name artists. We are focused on continuing to make Bonnaroo better each year at the same time. I think continuing to make the experience better rather than announcing earlier will be the key. - KB

edw_robe29 karma

Can we look forward to the Kalliope stage this year?

WeAreBonnaroo24 karma

Full info about our art cars for 2015 are coming very soon. The Art Car additions were one of the most popular new attractions in recent years and we are excited to keep it moving! -KB

ZonkedPath26 karma

Will there be any bigger name additions?

WeAreBonnaroo27 karma

We're done announcing headliners for 2015….but lots of great artists, comedians and attractions to still announce.


festivus4darest22 karma

Thanks for all the work you guys do. Bonnaroo is the happiest place on earth.

Can you shed some light on when The Dead turned down your (reportedly) $3 million offer to headline? Was it recently enough that this money is still floating around waiting to be invested in Roo 2015? If not, which band/performer did you book after The Dead were off the table to take their headlining spot?

Thanks again!

WeAreBonnaroo29 karma

We did in fact invite the Dead to headline this year's festival. They decided they wanted to host their own event to mark their 50th anniversary.

Bummed it's not happening on the Farm, but excited for all who'll be in Chicago. And psyched for our friend Pete Shapiro for pulling it together.


wheninbrome21 karma

Do you guys get a chance to enjoy the festival after your work is done? If so, what's your favorite aspect of Bonnaroo as an attendee?

WeAreBonnaroo24 karma

For many years it was rare that we got to enjoy but these days we get to check out more stuff. My favorite things are the smaller special parties like the parades (especially the one which ended w Portugal The Man playing our Mr T float) and more recently the ROBE RAGE. -KB

WeAreBonnaroo20 karma

One of my favorite aspects of the Festival is the week leading up during the build. Watching projects, that we've worked on for a long time, come to life.

Love being on the farm and hanging with the team..some of my closet friends.


CBrez21 karma

Any possibility of a New Basement Tapes Superjam?

WeAreBonnaroo26 karma

Anything's possible at this point. Would you rather see new Basement Tapes or the old Basement Tapes? -KB

sekxb619 karma

First, I just wanted to say that Bonnaroo has literally changed my life. The first year I went, I was deep in a eating disorder that was life-threatening. When I got to Bonnaroo 2011, it was the first time in two years I didn't count calories, make myself throw up or even think about what I was eating.

The second time, Bonnaroo 2013, I had just moved back home due to unfortunate circumstances, and was depressed and not inspired by life. Being at Bonnaroo in a truly beautiful, happy, and giving community saved me. Thank you for putting together such an amazing experience and thank you to the Bonnaroo community for giving everyone a glimpse at what life could really be like if everyone helped, supported, and even just smiled at each other.

Now to my question: how did the theme of radiating positivity come about? Was it born organically from the attendees?

WeAreBonnaroo16 karma

Thanks for the kind words. We are glad Bonnaroo could help in some way. Radiate Positivity def came pretty organically from us trying to showcase what was great about the community of Bonnaroo. We love that it has become a mantra of the festival. -KB

Themanwithinthesky16 karma

Why did you guys decide to release the line-up earlier then usual this year? And also because of that, do you plan on adding any artists bigger then your usual additions? Do you have a rough idea when we can expect that?

WeAreBonnaroo14 karma

We announced the lineup in January because we were ready earlier than in years past….and psyched to get the information out.

No major headliners still to be announced, but lots of great artists, comedians and attractions coming soon!


osuAEKDB2114 karma

Thank you guys for creating heaven on Earth, it makes my year every year and I want to share it with everybody important to me before I die. My questions:

  1. Will Deadmau5 be allowed to play as long as he wants on the What or will he have a set 1.5/2 hours?

  2. In 2013 we had the Soul Superjam and the Hip-Hop Superjam, and in 2014 we had the electronic Superjam, so in 2016 can we please for the LOVE OF GOD get a Pretty Lights Superjam? He's got a great history with Roo and consistently puts on amazing sunrise sets every time he comes. He perfectly blends together all those genres into his unique style, with all his sampling knowledge he'd undoubtedly design a stellar setlist, and he already DJ'S live musicians when he plays with his band. You guys would make my life :)

WeAreBonnaroo20 karma

  1. Although we will have an allotted time, that has never really stopped headliners from playing longer in the past!
  2. Agreed that Pretty Lights would be a great SuperJam curator, we shall see...-KB

thomyorke1214 karma

Have you guys ever thought about throwing more than one music festival a year at the farm? I'd love a festival in the fall around Halloween!

WeAreBonnaroo28 karma

We have and are working on it. We believe the Bonnaroo site can be a great venue for other types of events.


WeAreBonnaroo11 karma

Great hanging out with you but we gotta go. Sorry we couldn’t get to all of your questions but we may drop back in to answer a few later. Please share your thoughts about the festival, it’s future, any improvements and how you think we should blow out the 15th anniversary celebration. We’ll definitely keep coming back to read whatever you post. This community is always surprising and inspiring us. See you on The Farm! - KB and JM

wheninbrome11 karma

  • When does work start on the next year's festival for each of you?
  • What is the busiest time of the year for the aspects each of you work on?

WeAreBonnaroo14 karma

Believe it or not, we've already started working on Bonnaroo 2016 - Holy shit, 15 year anniversary!!)

My busiest time is end of the year, helping to finalize the lineup and preparing for BLAM!


WeAreBonnaroo7 karma

Amazingly already working on 2016! January/February is my busiest time as we are getting the identity and website ready and dreaming up new activities.

Neader10 karma

Hey guys! Thanks for everything you've done for all of us. I've gone to Roo the past two years and loved it. So thanks.

I can't really think of a great question off the top of my head but I'm not going to waste this opportunity either.

So...what's going on with Roo and Prince? Surprised this hasn't happened yet and would like to see it become a reality.

WeAreBonnaroo19 karma

dude, I'm with you…he's one of my personal favorite artists of all time. All good things take time…


TheBonnarooster10 karma

There has been some unique bookings over the years have attended Bonnaroo and this year is no different. What went behind the decision to book throat singer, Tanya Tagaq this year?

WeAreBonnaroo11 karma

We like to present artists that we find interesting…this may be a major headliner or an undiscovered artist. It's especially fun to turn people on to a great artist they may not have heard of.


edw_robe10 karma


Working with booking, how have your methods been affected by the increase in festivals lately?

Is it harder to get who you want?


WeAreBonnaroo33 karma

We get started way earlier than in years past. Already discussions happening for 2016 (15th Anniversary!!)


BuzzLightCadet10 karma

The 15th anniversary should have the Rolling Stones play. I would cry my eyes out

WeAreBonnaroo12 karma

That would be a great one for sure.


Phumos8 karma

What was your favorite Bonnaroo set of all time? Also, I love you guys! You're always welcome at /r/bonnaroo !

WeAreBonnaroo18 karma

tough to say all time favorite…but top 11 are: - Radiohead- 2006 - The White Stripes - 2007 - Paul McCartney - 2013 - My Morning Jacket "Thunderdome show!" - 2004 - Neil Young & Crazy Horse - 2003 - Stevie Wonder into Jay-Z - 2010 - Jack White - 2014 - Lionel Richie - 2014 - Metallica - 2008 - William Hung singing "She Bangs") - 2004 - Carrie "the dancing merengue dog" - 2012

Curious to hear about some of your Top Tens...


WeAreBonnaroo14 karma

So many...but The White Stripes comeback show in 2007 jumps to mind. -KB

brittanyjax8 karma

Given the recent increase in smaller, more genre-specific festivals that may be less expensive or less difficult to travel to, how do you see Bonnaroo competing for attendees in the future? Do you plan to transition to a more genre-specific event, or do you think the gestalt of Bonnaroo will continue to draw attendance despite arguments that your focus is too diverse?

WeAreBonnaroo11 karma

We're going to continue to invest and raise the bar each year. Lots of focus is being put into the overall experience….from on-site accommodations to art installations to immersive theatre.

Bonnaroo will continue to be a diverse offering. It gives people a chance to discover something new they may not have been initially drawn to. We think that's fun and interesting and hope you do too.


philipbowling7 karma

Can you shed any light on RL Grime being confirmed then taken off and also 50 artists being missing from the lineup??

WeAreBonnaroo10 karma

To my knowledge we never announced RL Grime. Where did you see that listed? We still have a lot of artists to announce! -KB

meeshvk7 karma

First, thanks for creating the greatest music festival ever!!!! Second, does Bonnaroo offer internships? (college student here)

WeAreBonnaroo10 karma

We have volunteer opportunities at Bonnaroo. For actual internships, check out Superfly and AC Entertainment websites and the Well Dunn Foundation http://www.welldunn.org/ -KB

Volcom2016 karma

Which act has the most difficult tour riders? Who got paid the most?

WeAreBonnaroo19 karma

Carrie the dancing dog. She eats a very specific type of dog food. Pretty much a diva. Everyone else has been pretty easy.


rigill6 karma

What's something that most people don't realize about Bonnaroo but something everyone should know?

This year I'm going to Roo as my first ever festival! Super excited thanks for answering.

WeAreBonnaroo12 karma

You can stay in a hotel if you want...we have showers...and you should not miss the Bonnaroo Burger at Jiffy Burger down the road! -KB

CBrez5 karma

Do either of you have a favorite act that would be considered part of the undercard?

WeAreBonnaroo20 karma

Here's a few artists I'm very excited to see: Mac Demarco Flying Lotus Caribou Rhiannon Giddens Christoper Denny Shakey Graves Freddie Gibbs & Madib


Dankyness5 karma

Random, but since you said I can ask anything: Johnathon Mayers, do you go by John, and while working there, have you ever met John Mayer?

WeAreBonnaroo17 karma

This is an excellent question. I go by both Jon & Jonathan….and i have in fact met John Mayer.

And not going to lie, I have dropped the "s" on occasion to get dinner reservations. Thanks John.

audiolive3 karma

2002 Lineup - Trey Anastasio, Ween, Phil Lesh and Friends, Widespread Panic, Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Gov't Mule, Les Claypool.... What happened?

WeAreBonnaroo5 karma

As in a good setlist, it wouldn't be in the spirt of those bands to book the same lineup year after year. -KB