Bonnaroo kicks off today
More than 90,000 people will flock to "The Farm" in Manchester, Tenn., for the 13th Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, kicking off Thursday. Tickets are not yet sold out for the euphonious four-day excursion, but for those of us stuck at home, here are seven reasons why we wish we were there:
1. Elton John is headlining. Every good festival needs at least one rock legend on the lineup, and Bonnaroo managed to nab the Rocket Man himself. After making a splash at last fall's iHeartRadio fest in Vegas, expect the icon to win over another crowd of new and old fans with his catalog spanning nearly 50 years.
2. Kanye West will be there, too. This will be interesting: The newlywed rapper is returning to Bonnaroo after a disastrous set in 2008 that started hours after his scheduled time, prompting fans to throw bottles and glow sticks onto the stage, breaking lights. Will Farm-ers still hold a grudge, or can they put the past behind them? An even better question: Will Kanye go on one of his infamous rants about the incident? The curious few will have to wait until Friday night's show to see what goes down.
3. The silent disco is awesome. Take it from personal experience: This small tent packs some big fun. Walking by, it may look a little bizarre — a bunch of people wildly grooving in a dead-quiet tent — but once you go inside and pop on some headphones, you'll be jiving to whatever the DJ is spinning into the wee hours of the morning.
4. Not all these guys play a ton of fests. As one of the nation's largest destination festivals, Bonnaroo is able to attract top-tier acts that are playing few to no other fests this summer, such as Lionel Richie, Lauryn Hill, Ice Cube and Frank Ocean. It's also one last chance to catch up-and-comers such as Sam Smith, Banks, James Blake and Rudimental before they head to Europe to play scores of international festivals.
5. The comedy lineup is pretty fantastic. Sure, most of us go to festivals for the music, but how could you pass up some of these stellar comedy offerings? Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson and Hannibal Buress (all of Broad City), T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley) and Craig Robinson (The Office) will be performing in the comedy tent, as are a slew of Saturday Night Live cast members such as Taran Killam, Sasheer Zamataand Brooks Wheelan.
6. The movies are great. Before you say, "Why would I come all the way to a music festival to see movies?" consider this: The 'Roo is known for its scorching temperatures, and you'll want to find some way to escape the heat, even if just for a couple hours. Consider seeing Sundance darling Dear White People or Amy Poehlervehicle They Came Together, neither of which have made their way to theaters yet. For fans of the classics, there's a "quote-along" screening of Pulp Fiction and a showing of Dumb and Dumber, for which the movie's creators, the Farrelly brothers, will be present.
7. Believe it or not, you can actually get in shape. If you're looking for a way to sweat out all the beer and greasy grub you'll be consuming (aside from, you know, standing in the heat), you can work it out in the Roo Run, a 3-mile race around festival grounds, or Yoga Roo classes held throughout the day. If you're just looking for a way to cool off, then take a ride down the towering Tropical and Big Ass water slides.