Rothbury Festival to Return With Phish?

Rothbury 2009 looks like a go thanks to an agreement between AEG Live and A U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee that allows the concert promoter to lease the Double JJ Ranch in Michigan once again this summer.

The owners of the Double JJ Ranch, which hosted last year’s successful Rothbury debut, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy a few months after July’s festival. Since it’s unlikely new owners won’t be found by the time, AEG and Madison House struck a deal with the Ranch’s federally appointed trustee. Now that the pesky venue issue is almost resolved – a federal Bankruptcy judge must approve the deal – the promoters can focus on the lineup.

For the last few years the promoters of Bonnaroo have successfully transformed the event’s image from Hippie Jam Fest to the nation’s best and biggest music festival. If they signed both Phish and The Dead for Bonnaroo 2009 they’d lose all the credibility with the mainstream audience they’ve worked so hard to build since 2002. The folks behind Rothbury don’t have that problem. AEG Live and Madison House embraced the jam fans and have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being the first festival to feature both bands in the same lineup.

We’re not sure if the promoters are talking to The Dead, but Phish seems to be on their radar. Yesterday, Dave Alexander of the Kalamazoo Gazette speculated that Phish and Tom Petty would headline Rothbury 2009. Other names thrown around in the article were Coldplay, the Foo Fighters and AC/DC. If last year’s announcement schedule holds true, look for the full lineup towards the middle of February.

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9 Responses

  1. Heard mixed things about the overall experience, but any featie in its first year is bound to have some hiccups at least that’s the big thing I took away from my experiences last summer between All Points West and Outside Lands. Great to see that it will hopefully be back for year two and will be interesting to see if Phish plays both Rothbury and Bonnaroo.

  2. I thought that whole Lefsetz thing was BS. He held up the Rolling Stones as the paragon of not selling out in his opening comment, but Mick Jagger was quoted as saying, “If you don’t go for as much money as you can possibly get, then I think you’re stupid.”

  3. @ SomeDud, This fest was PERFECT last year if you didn’t go you won’t know. I’ve been to a handful of fests from 10k to camp bisco and rothbury blew them out of the water in terms of setup the forest was made to enchance to expirience and sweet for losing your mind in. The line-up was great and to have the dead and/or phish would be a treat. Bring back ZpZ, tDB, STS, Thivery, eoto, kimock, lotus.Add in younger brother, ott, buckethead, animal collective, umph, the egg, new deal, ol, and the PLACE WILL BE FILLED WITH ATLEAST 75.000 people, more if the grounds allow it. AEG/MH can afford to pay bands big bucks by charging $300-350 per person. That is $26,250,000!!! Along with all the other $$ they make, plus how much it help MI. Also a huge draw is that it’s 4th of July weekend, fireworks are going off, people are ready to rage and everyone just has a great time.

    Do it big or not at all, Rothbury can’t be just another GOTV or Wakarusa.

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