Tennessee lawmakers may have passed their ban on drag performances in public, but Bonnaroo is ready to stand firm with its LGBTQ fans.
In a statement released on Friday (March 3), Bonnaroo indirectly responded to Tennessee’s new law, stating that it will not let the new legislation impact the annual festival, which takes place in Manchester, Tenn. “Bonnaroo has and always will be a place for inclusivity, a safe haven for people of all walks of life and a champion of self-expression,” the statement reads. “Rest assured The Farm will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival.”
The news comes after Gov. Bill Lee signed Senate Bill No. 3 into law on Thursday (March 2). It bans “adult cabaret performances” from taking place on public property or in locations where they could be viewed by minors. The bill defines such displays as any performance “that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar entertainers.”
The music festival is far from the only one in the industry to react to Tennessee’s drag ban. In an interview with GLAAD last week, Shania Twain said that she thought “drag shows are so fun,” adding, “I think we need this inspiration; we need drag queens to share their talent with us.”
Bonnaroo, which takes place each year at Great Stage Park (lovingly known by attendees as “The Farm”), is set to feature headliners Kendrick Lamar, Odezsa and Foo Fighters, along with a number of LGBTQ performers, including Lil Nas X, 070 Shake, Rina Sawayama and Girl in Red. Tickets for the this year’s festival, taking place from June 15 to 18, are available here.
Check out Bonnaroo’s full statement below: