Aside from the numerous collaborations, marathon late night sets, and the extremely muddy fountain, the two things most heavily discussed amongst the tents at this years Bonnaroo Festival were the astonishingly little amount of rain that dropped on the ground, and the massive amount of diversity that dropped on stage. As the weekend wore on, and the sun continued to break through, so did the eclectic mix of artists. Certainly there were many well expected jam treats with The Dead, Widespread Panic and Neil Young as the headliners, but many in the crowd discovered new sounds and saw the light in the strangest of places. As the stream of late night arrivals crawled bumper to bumper into the land of tents, tarps and tiki lamps, Antibalas hit the stage at the stroke of midnight Thursday night to get things started a little early. Then, for the next 72 hours, Bonnaroo was an 82,000 person bustling city that rarely saw an idle moment.
Dispersed throughout the sets of the weekend, many artists attended intimate press conferences in order to answer media questions, express their various thoughts on the event, and offer general comments about the industry and specifically the ever-changing improvisational scene. There were many poignant moments, and equally as many humorous ones. Here is a collection of some of our favorites.
“I think [events like Bonnaroo], at least speaking for myself, turn me on to new things.