Bonnaroo Organizers Purchasing Festival Site
Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment, producers of the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival, are finalizing the purchase of the bulk of the festival site land near Manchester in Coffee County, Tenn.Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment, producers of the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival, are finalizing the purchase of the bulk of the festival site land near Manchester in Coffee County, Tenn.
The festival will end up owning about 530 acres alongside Interstate 24 purchased from landowner Sam McAlister. Bonnaroo has long-term leases with owners of 300 additional acres at the site.
Superfly president Jonathan Mayers tells Billboard.com that serious negotiations to buy the property have been in place for about six months. He declined to reveal a price tag for the land, but did say the plan is to not only build a permanent infrastructure at the site, but to host other events in addition to Bonnaroo.
"We always felt the land would be a good long term investment for us," Mayers says. "It's a big investment for us, but we believe in the long term of the festival and other events we can create on the property, and the fact that we're going to be able to put permanent infrastructure there. We're really excited about that."
Mayers says he and his partners are working on a master plan with architects, with improvements probably to take place in certain phases. "A lot of the infrastructure that we've brought in temporarily, whether it's power, water throughout the facility, permanent bathrooms, roads, even some of the actual staging, we're definitely planning to put in permanently," he says. "We're going to plan it very carefully to give us the flexibility to host several events out there. We want to make it one of the premier venues in the world."
Mayers says the rural Bonnaroo site would work for a wide range of events, large and small, "whether it's a country event or a Christian music festival, or just a stand-alone concert out there, with us producing it, someone else, or us partnering with someone. We're totally open-minded."
Bonnaroo is the top-grossing event of its kind in the world, capturing the Top Festival award at the Billboard Touring Awards for three consecutive years. Last year's event grossed $14.7 million, according to Billboard Boxscore, with such headliners as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Radiohead, Beck and My Morning Jacket.
Bonnaroo VI is set for June 14-17. A limited allotment of "a few thousand tickets" went on sale at the end of 2006 and sold out quickly, before any acts were announced. Mayers expects the 2007 lineup to start being announced by the end of the month.
"It's a diverse lineup, strong throughout," says Mayers. "We're really excited about some of the new artists that haven't played the festival, and I think there are going to be some surprises that no one else has. Each year we try to raise it a notch, present different artists and expand what Bonnaroo means."