Bonnaroo Box Office Numbers Go Through The Roof
As the dust settles on Bonnaroo 2007, which wrapped its June 14-17 run last night at its 700-plus acre site 60 miles south of Nashville, producers Superfly Presents and A.C. Entertainment are baskingAs the dust settles on Bonnaroo 2007, which wrapped its June 14-17 run last night at its 700-plus acre site 60 miles south of Nashville, producers Superfly Presents and A.C. Entertainment are basking in the glory of yet another record-grossing run.
"Speaking for all of us, it feels like another breakthrough year," A.C. Entertainment President Ashley Capps tells Billboard.com. "In terms of the festival programming and organization, it was a banner year for us. It feels fantastic."
Bonnaroo once again sold out at 80,000, but an increase in ticket prices led to a gross in the $17 million range, organizers say. That's up from the $14.7 million gross last year that made Bonnaroo the top-grossing festival in the world, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Much of Bonnaroo's success can be credited to a massive talent budget that included such acts as the Police, Tool, the White Stripes, Widespread Panic, Kings Of Leon, Wilco, Dierks Bentley, Ziggy Marley, String Cheese Incident, Wolfmother, Lily Allen, and all-star Led Zeppelin jam with John Paul Jones, Ben Harper and ?uestlove and scores of others across 11 stages.
Now in its sixth year, Bonnaroo has found another gear by broadening its musical diversity beyond the jam band music that initially put the event on the map.
"We keep pushing the envelope a little bit in terms of the diversity of the music," says Capps. "To have an evening like Friday, for example, where you have Tool closing on the main stage, you have Dierks Bentley -- basically a mainstream country artist -- closing on one of the tent stages to an absolutely packed house, and then you've got Manu Chao in front a huge audience singing in Spanish on another stage. That kind of richness and diversity I think is really the musical memory I will go away with."
Asked to name a couple of highlights, Capps says he hardly knew where to begin. "The jazz tent we had this year, 'tent' doesn't even do it justice," he says. "It was a jazz club, with air conditioning, table seating, table service and some of the greatest jazz musicians in the world."
Bonnaroo producers earlier this year purchased the bulk of the land on which the festival sits, but Capps says festival-goers weren't able to tell much difference this year.
"It enabled us to organize things a little bit differently and to make a few long-term decisions in terms of behind-the-scenes organization," Capps says. "We haven't put any permanent infrastructure into the site yet, but we're making plans to do that. We're working with architects and engineers on a site development plan. That will make producing the event more effective and efficient in the future."
In addition, it is likely that some recorded product from Bonnaroo 2007 and years past will eventually be available to consumers. "We shot seven of the stages in multi-cam HD and we multi-tracked it at all of the stages, so we'll definitely be putting out product" says Superfly president Jonathan Mayers. "But whether they're individual artist releases or compilations, we're still wrapping our heads around that. We have all this amazing content from year one on, so we really want to work with the artists, labels and publishers to put out some really cool product. It's definitely one of our focuses."