Backbeat: Bonnaroo Backstage With Skrillex, Gary Clark Jr., Big Hassle, Red Light, More
Backbeat: Bonnaroo Backstage With Skrillex, Gary Clark Jr., Big Hassle, Red Light, More

coran(L-R): Chip Hooper, Music Dept. Head, Paradigm, Coran Capshaw, founder, Red Light Management, Billboard's Ray Waddell.

The second full day of the 2012 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival was a hectic one in the VIP Area, with artists, journalists, publicists, label reps and everyone in between trying to make the most out of their stay in Manchester, Tennessee. As groups like Das Racist, Bad Brains and Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires performed early sets, reps from Big Hassle Media, the festival's official publicity team, coordinated with security teams, helped writers wrangle artists and hosted a press conference featuring LP, comedian Reggie Watts and Dave King of Flogging Molly.

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"It's been insane, like always, but everything's been going fairly smoothly," says Big Hassle's Tito Belis, who also reps Sunday performers We Are Augustines. Belis also confirmed the rumored "very special guest" that will be performing alongside The Roots' Questlove during the Superjam performance on Saturday night, and said that he thought Thom Yorke was indeed playing a DJ set in a roped-off after-party on Friday night, following Radiohead's headlining performance. From the press area at 2:00 AM, Billboard.biz could overhear Yorke dropping jams like Erykah Badu's "The Healer" and Madvillain's "Meat Grinder."

hassleFrom left: Big Hassle Media's Myles Grosovsky and Tito Belis discuss the festival with Billboard.com assistant editor Jason Lipshutz in the press area.

Elsewhere, Reggie Watts strolled around with his entourage after his 1:00 Comedy Theatre show; members of Flogging Molly stripped off their shirts and displayed their tattoos to photographers; and Skrillex took part in an XM satellite radio broadcast. Jim Burruss, senior vice president of promotion & marketing operations at Columbia, was spotted heading toward the What Stage to catch his band the Temper Trap perform to a packed crowd; Columbia also has Foster The People and the Shins performing at this year's fest.

skrillexSonny Moore, aka Skrillex, gets ready to conduct an XM satellite radio session in the press area at Bonnaroo.

Most artists at Bonnaroo only get to stay on the premises for one day -- on Friday, the members of Little Dragon, who were on site with Life or Death PR head Heathcliff Berru, lamented the fact that they had to get back out on the road right after their muscular performance. However, soul virtuoso Gary Clark Jr., whose long-awaited debut album will be released in September, discussed the benefit of playing sets on both Saturday and Sunday at the festival.

clarkGary Clark Jr. chats with Billboard.com assistant editor Jason Lipshutz about Bonnaroo and his upcoming debut album.

"I'm gonna do some people-watching," said Clark Jr., who was being escorted by Warner Bros. Records publicist Rick Gershon. As for the early performances, Clark added, "I walked in and Charles Bradley was playing and I was like, 'Man!'"

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