When U2 announced its 2017 tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, the itinerary revealed that the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival had landed the Irish band’s first-ever (and only) U.S. festival appearance. By live music standards, it was the biggest get of the festival season -- rivaled only by Beyoncé’s since-canceled headline appearance at Coachella -- in a critical year for the Manchester, Tenn., event. One of the world’s most captivating live acts, U2 will perform its landmark 1987 album in its entirety -- the kind of major draw that the festival, which is scheduled to run June 8-11, could use.
According to Nashville newspaper The Tennessean, Bonnaroo’s daily attendance hit an all-time low of 45,537 in 2016, and 28,156 fewer tickets were sold than in 2015. That decline cost Live Nation Entertainment, which acquired a majority stake in the festival in 2015, and its partners, festival co-founders A.C. Entertainment and Superfly, an estimated $9 million in ticket sales.