Manchester, Tenn. was host to some 80,000 attendees at this year's Bonnaroo music festival, where headliners included Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Mumford & Sons, the latter who who had to cancel their June 15 appearance while bassist Ted Dwane recovers from brain surgery.
Also on the diverse bill for the three-day gathering were Bjork, Wilco, Pretty Lights, R. Kelly, Wu-Tang Clan, the Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar, ZZ Top and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, among dozens more.
Much of the action was on the stage, but there was plenty to take in behind the scenes as well, like...
- John Stamos and his entourage were spotted backstage in the artist catering area on Sunday afternoon. The actor was onsite for a surprise appearance during a comedy set from his Full House castmate Bob Saget later that evening. Stamos snapped photos with fans backstage and later tweeted “at bonnaroo saving @bobsaget’s set once again!”
- Red Light Management and its guests gathered for an invite-only BBQ in the management company’s backstage compound on Saturday evening. The company, who has a part stake in the festival, invited artists like Martina McBride as well as executives from Porsche and Logitech.
- With Mumford & Sons forced to cancel a headlining appearance on Saturday night, Jack Johnson stepped in to fill the band's shoes. The SoCal singer dedicated a cover of Mumford’s “The Cave” to the absent headliners, noting, “We want to dedicate this whole set to Ted Dwane and all of Mumford & Sons.” Johnson reportedly pulled his set together in only a few days and rehearsed with his band in Nashville up until the set.
- Friday’s musicians may have had a secret pact before writing their setlists: Both Paul McCartney and ZZ Top offered a rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” During his headlining set on the festival’s main stage, McCartney recounted a story of watching Hendrix perform Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at a show shortly after its release in 1967 and asking for Eric Clapton to come onstage and tune his guitar. Clapton apparently refused and McCartney added, “Anyway, a great memory for me.”
- Saturday night’s annual Bonnaroo Superjam featured a few surprise appearances, including from Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Billy Idol and R. Kelly. The set, heralded by Jim James and John Oates, boasted covers of T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” A second Superjam took place earlier in the weekend, featuring Solange, RZA, Chad Hugo, Schoolboy Q and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
- Warren Haynes was seen near the press area telling Portugal. The Man's John Gourley that he's planning to release a new album with Gov't Mule this fall. Haynes later joined Gourley and several other performers, including Scott Aukerman, for a press conference to discuss the influence of Bonnaroo.
- Various celebrities milled around the expansive artist area backstage. Everyone from Alexa Chung to Amy Schumer to Ed Helms, who hosted a special VIP bluegrass show on Saturday late night, were spotted congratulating musicians on their sets. The best sighting: The National’s frontman Matt Berninger helping his young daughter pick out food from catering after the band’s inspired performance on the main stage on Sunday afternoon.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Paul McCartney
- Ted Dwane
- Bonnaroo music festival