The fourth annual Bonnaroo Music Festival will be held June 10-12, 2005, it will be announced later today. The hugely successful jam-band fest will return to its previous 700-acre site in rural Manchester, Tenn., about 60 miles south of Nashville.
Jonathan Mayers — partner in Superfly Presents, which produces the event along with Ashley Capps and A.C. Entertainment — tells Billboard.biz that the lineup is being finalized and will likely be announced in January. “We are going to continue to expand the programming from our core,” Mayers says. “We will continue to have our core, but we’re also into introducing fans to all types of music. We think these fans are very open to different kinds of music.”
Bonnaroo was the second-highest-grossing concert of 2004, according to Billboard Boxscore, taking in $14.5 million from a lineup that included the Dead, Dave Matthews & Friends, Trey Anastasio, Bob Dylan, and nearly 80 other acts. Mayers says ticket prices, which were $139 and $164 in 2004, will increase slightly in 2005. The show’s capacity will remain at 90,000.
“We want to keep the capacity the same and improve the experience,” says Mayers. He adds that the producers are close to a resolution regarding a per-ticket fee payable to Coffee County, where Manchester sits. The city originally wanted 5%-8% of ticket sales; Bonnaroo has in the past donated $2 per ticket to local charities. The final agreement will likely result in $2-$3 per ticket going to the county.
“We know that Bonnaroo puts a lot on the town, and they’re very good to work with,” says Mayers. “There is a fine line between what they feel is fair and what we feel is fair. But we love being there, and we think we can come up with a solution that keeps us in Manchester for a long time to come.”
Meanwhile, Mayers and the Superfly and A.C. staffs are busy putting together the various bands and attractions that will complete the Bonnaroo puzzle. Mayers says they will not limit themselves to what is generally percieved as “jam band” music. “There is just so much good music out there,” he says. “And we don’t want to stand still.”