Bonnaroo 2012: Lineup Rumor Season in Full Swing

We’re less than five months from the start of Bonnaroo 2012, which is set to take place in Manchester, Tenn. between June 7 and 10. Last year’s lineup was announced on February 14, the 2010 lineup was announced on February 9 of that year, while the lineup for the 2009 edition of the country’s biggest and most prestigious music festival was revealed on February 2, 2009. In about a month we should officially know who will perform at the 11th Bonnaroo. ‘Roo Lineup Rumor Season is in full swing and for those who haven’t been paying attention, or didn’t want to sort through 100s of pages of posts, we’ve combed through the posts by the Bonnaroo diehards that swap info on the message board to compile what they’ve figured out.

The Inforooster (@TheInforooster), who runs and has a strong past track record, feels this year’s headliners will be Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Fleet Foxes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Eagles, Phish, Radiohead and Prince.  Fleet Foxes is a long shot considering the band responded with a blunt “no” to a fan who asked whether they would play any summer festivals in ’12. McCartney doesn’t have any dates currently planned but will be putting out an album next month that you’d think he’ll support. Gaga is said to have a major tour in the works and would fit the mainstream superstar slot filled by Eminem and Jay-Z the last two years. The Red Hot Chili Peppers kick off a European Tour on June 23, so a Bonnaroo headlining slot might be a nice warm-up. Meanwhile, both Radiohead and Phish seem to be in the discussion every year lately, though each act will be on the road this summer.

Another potential headliner would be The Black Keys, who Billboard reports are already confirmed for “headlining slots at major U.S. and European festivals this summer.” We’ll also point out that Van Halen has a gap in their tour between June 5 and June 12, just sayin’.

On the lower end of the bill, you’d have to think buzz band Alabama Shakes is right up Superfly’s alley. A purported email from the group’s management says the Shakes will indeed be at Bonnaroo 2012. Also, it’s likely The Black Lips will be on the bill after the group responded to an inquiry about their ‘Roo status recently with, “Yea.shh.not announced yet” through @TheBlackLips.  Cage The Elephant and The Silent Comedy are two more acts the mavens at feel are “confirmed.” Superfly faves Foster The People have the 8th and 9th of June off and we’d be surprised if they don’t appear at the festival on one of those two days. On the other end of the spectrum, about two dozen acts have denied they’ll perform in Manchester, according to, with Levon Helm, M83, Animal Collective, moe., Jane’s Addiction and Drive-By Truckers among them. Wilco is playing a festival in Spain that weekend, so they’re another band that appears to be out. Tom Petty will be in Ireland precluding The Heartbreakers from making a Bonnaroo return.

Earlier this month Bonnaroo clue master Gary Chardonnay tweeted the first lineup clue. “Rooclue 1: Good or evil? Canton-bound. Ascension linked to versions of the Sabbath.” The Inforoo community feel they’ve solved the riddle as Scottish post-rock band Mogwai because their name means “devil” or “evil spirit” in Cantonese and their first hit was a cover of Sweet Leaf. Look for the next clue tomorrow.

As always, nothing is confirmed until Bonnaroo organizers reveal the official lineup. Who would you like to see rock the ‘Roo in June? Let us know by leaving a comment below…


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27 Responses

  1. First stop on the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary tour. God Street Wine debuts new tunes and album details… And I would hope 7 Walkers kicks it in TN. Anyone who has not listened to the album and live material from this great band should do so immediately…

  2. So my work schedule this summer would allow me to do Bonnroo. Havent been since 2004, if the lineup looks good enough I was thinking of making the trip back down to the farm. Lady Gaga as a headliner would be a turn off though, that’s for sure. But I guess there’s plenty of other things going on there I could easily find a way to kill 3 hours until the late nights get going.

  3. count on it….beach boys, shins, black lips and from nashville pujol and a return of last years best set jeff the brotherhood

  4. gaga as a headliner is a turnoff. u need to bring pretty lights and primus back. get some old school rappers like nas and immortal technique. idk the status for Dave Matthews Band but if theyre available any of these days u should get him there.

  5. i REALLY hope mumford & sons are going. it’s the same situation as the black keys..they performed in 2010 and 2011, but have gained SUCH a huge fan base in the past year!

  6. I really hope the Fleet Foxes go. I got a chance to see the at Merriweather in September and they were so awesome. I hope Animal Collective goes as well. They’re great. I was hoping for some MGMT, but I doubt that, RCHP will be interesting to see without John…

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