Phish, Childish Gambino, Post Malone to Headline Bonnaroo
Lorne Thomson/Getty / Jeff Kravitz/Getty / Rich Fury/Getty – Bonnaroo 2019
Post Malone, Phish and Childish Gambino will headline Bonnaroo this June.
Bonnaroo for the 18th year returns to Manchester, Tenn., in June — and the beloved festival will also get back to its roots with not one or two, but three sets from iconic jam band Phish. Childish Gambino and Post Malone will also headline the event, which runs from June 13 to 16.
Other highlights of the wide-ranging lineup announced Tuesday include The Lumineers, ODESZA, Grand Ole Opry, The Avett Brothers, Cardi B, Solange, Kacey Musgraves, The National, Hozier, Mac DeMarco, Brockhampton, Brandi Carlile, The Lonely Island, Maren Morris, Gucci Mane, Walk the Moon, Courtney Barnett, Girl Talk, Beach House, John Prine and recent Pollstar cover stars Juice WRLD and Jim James. The announcement did not include information about Bonnaroo’s vaunted superjam, which is typically detailed weeks or months after the fest’s initial lineup reveal.
Phish previously headlined Bonnaroo in 2009 and 2012, and Trey Anastasio’s history with the festival goes back even further: The group’s charismatic singer and guitarist headlined three of the first four Bonnaroos, between 2002 and 2005, and also performed with Primus’ Les Claypool and The Police’s Stewart Copeland as Oysterhead in 2006.
Courtesy of Live Nation / Superfly – Bonnaroo 2019 poster
Phish’s three sets extend over two nights. Their first appearance is a single late-night, main-stage set on Friday, after Childish Gambino’s headlining performance. The coveted post-headliner Friday slot has been held down by acts such as My Morning Jacket and Tame Impala in the past. On Sunday, Phish will perform a more traditional two-set headlining show to close out the festival.
Well into their fourth decade, Phish remains a massive draw, selling 1,012,535 tickets for a gross of $67.3 million over 2017 and 2018. The band rang in 2019 with four Madison Square Garden shows and, after taking 2018 off, will stage their Riviera Maya destination festival in Mexico this February for the third time in four years. The group’s Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio also have spring tours confirmed; in April, Anastasio will debut his new band Ghosts of the Forest with a series of theater gigs.
The group’s booking is noteworthy because they’re the first jam band to headline the famously jam-friendly Bonnaroo since Dead & Company in 2016 — the year the fest saw a troubling 28,156 drop in ticket sales and $9.02 million drop in revenue after AC Entertainment and Superfly sold a controlling stake in the festival to Live Nation.
So, while the fest’s headliners have historically included jam bands and classic rock icons like Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney, the tops of the recent bills skewed modern. In 2017, Chance the Rapper and The Weeknd were joined by U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2018, Bonnaroo’s headlining slate of Eminem, Muse and The Killers eschewed the 20th century almost completely.
Childish Gambino and Post Malone, already announced as headliners for this year’s Coachella and Firefly festivals, respectively, give this Bonnaroo lineup that modern flair. Both topped Billboard‘s Hot 100 in 2018, and Post Malone became a bonafide star, grossing $20.9 million and even staging his own Posty Fest in Dallas in late October.
Ultimately, this year’s lineup is quintessentially Bonnaroo, with marquee roots acts old and new (The Grand Ole Opry, John Prine, Kacey Musgraves), off-the-wall electronica (Griz, a rare set from mashup extraordinaire Girl Talk) and plenty of indie-rock (The National, Beach House, Courtney Barnett).
That’s in line with what Superfly and Bonnaroo co-founder Rick Farman told Pollstar in a 2018 cover story about the festival. “The beauty of our business is there’s still a lot of magic attached to it,” he said. “For all the ways you can use data and try and figure out how to predict what acts will mean what, at the end of the day our business is still filled with lots of surprises.”
Bonnaroo also continues to expand its list of amenities and programming beyond its primary music lineup. In 2019, the festival will feature a “Sanctuary of Self-Love” campground experience curated by Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and The Yes Barn, curated by House of Yes and Little Cinema, will return with a slew of events — including Bonnaroo’s first-ever Pride parade. Additionally, the festival has maintained the upgrades it made to its communal areas, known to Bonnaroo attendees as Plazas.
Bonnaroo’s lineup announcement follows those by Governors Ball and BottleRock on Monday and by Coachella last week.
Tickets for Bonnaroo 2019 go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on January 10. General admission passes will sell for $319, while VIP passes will sell for $825. A platinum option is also available for $3,275.
Check out the full lineup below.
Thursday, June 13
Grand Ole Opry Featuring Special Guests
Space Jesus b2b Eprom b2b Shlump
All Them Witches
Magic City Hippies
The Nude Party
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
The Comet Is Coming
Friday, June 14
The Avett Brothers
Catfish And The Bottlemen
Nahko & Medicine For The People
The Teskey Brothers
Saturday, June 15
The Lonely Island
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Jim James (Full Band)
Shovels & Rope
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The Record Company
Sunday, June 16
Phish (2 Sets)
Walk The Moon
Trampled By Turtles
The Wood Brothers
Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers
Princess (Featuring Maya Rudolph & Gretchen Lieberum)
The Soul Rebels
The Lemon Twigs