The Raconteurs feverish Bonnaroo 2008 set is currently streaming on bonnaroo.com, and Jonathan Mayers, president of Bonnaroo co-producer Superfly Presents, says there will be plenty more to come.
Mayers says the Raconteurs set was a beta model for bonnaroo.com. “The vision of where we can take the template and application I think is going to be 10 times beyond what we’re seeing now,” he says. “We’re really excited to launch this program with the Raconteurs, they’re a great band to start with. This is really ‘phase one’ of where we think we can go.”
All footage is taken directly from the festival’s master tapes, and the audio is remixed from the fest’s soundboard recordings. More performances are teed up, followed by another big ramp-up of the initiative starting in Q3 of 2009.
The goal is to have a large archive of performances on the Bonnaroo site that can be accessed through a wide range of distribution channels, ultimately including user-generated content. “We have over 300 full sets that are line cut, iso-cammed, beautifully shot, and lots more audio multi-track,” says Mayers. “Last year we filmed about 70 full performances.”
Over the years, Bonnaroo has offered a variety of different audio/video programs including Web casts, broadcasts, and physical product, and Mayers says they’re all “opt-in” programs.
“We’ve been fortunate that a lot of artists want to participate,” he says. “At the end of the day we need artist, publisher, label permission to do any of these programs. All of this is about relationships, and we really have a give-and-take there. We’re really open with artists as to their usage of it, because ultimately it benefits us.”
Financial arrangements for future Bonnaroo 365 incarnations are still being determined, but right now the value to artists comes through the exposure. Bonnaroo has an e-mail list of more than 500,000 names to tap into.
“We feel we could become a marketing platform for artists, not just at the event but 365,” Mayers says. “We want our Web site to become ‘365,’ so it’s not just a
festival Web site, but it becomes this platform with an editorial voice, expanding the brand. We view ourselves as a media company, not just a festival.”
Bonnaroo ’09 is set for June 11-14 in Manchester, Tenn., with a lineup announcement due Feb. 3.