Bonnaroo 2014: Lineup Rumors, Predictions and Educated Guesses



On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Bonnaroo will announce its much-anticipated 2014 lineup, making an event of the unveiling with a “megathon” webcast that will feature a Superjam by Ben Folds and The Flaming Lips, along with other “special guests.” Think of it as the festival’s way of saying, “Suck on that, Coachella poster.” The event transpires on the festival’s official site, its app and on XBOX and at the rather odd time of 9 p.m. EST. Apparently Bonnaroo doesn’t realize that music bloggers don’t get paid to work overtime. Sigh.

Anyhow, until then, let’s play peanut gallery and prognosticate and predict who we think will hit the farm this year, shall we? Luckily, with the lineup announcement less than a week away, the trolling imps on the Inforoo message board and self-appointed pundits in the music-festival blogosphere have already done a lot of the armchair due diligence for us. From Elton John to Lorde, here’s a roundup of rumors, educated guesses and loosely substantiated predictions — cobbled together from leaks, observing curious tour itinerary gaps and, ugh, Roo clues of artists who just might possibly, maybe be Bonnaroo bound. (After the jump.)

And if you wanna venture further down the Bonnaroo rabbit hole, Inforoo is an outright cornucopia. Or just check out this humorous lineup announcement drinking game.


Why does it make sense? The better question is, why does it not make sense? Prince has become Bonnaroo’s white-whale headliner — with consistency, Prince gigs sporadically, making a Bonnaroo appearance seem inevitable. Every year this tops predictions, and yet every year those predictions don’t come to fruition. Think about it though: Would the festival really shell out for Prince in the same year they have Paul McCartney, Radiohead or Eminem?

Some evidence.

How likely? Well, Prince has been more productive lately than he’s been in years. Boasting a pretty dope afro, Mr. Purpleside recently released the amazingly titled single “Pretzelbodylogic” and has been gigging with his all-new all-female backing band 3rdEyeGirl. Roo Clue No. 7 had a reference to a third eye, yielding speculation that ‘90s musical torture troupe Third Eye Blind is on the bill. But wouldn’t that just be cruel and fucked up? Getting back to Prince, with cautious optimism, let’s say it’s very likely 2014 might be his Bonnaroo year.

Which stage? What Stage, headliner. (And if this is the year, don’t be surprised if the purple one also hosts an impromptu Superjam that rocks till dawn.)

Elton John

Why does it make sense? Just picture a field of festivalgoers on molly singing along to “Tiny Dancer” and other favorites.

Some evidence.

How likely? Very.

Which stage? What Stage, headliner. Friday night’s all right for fighting.

Kanye West

Why does it make sense? It would be more of a rematch (or best case scenario, a redemption) than a return, but when has Kanye ever been one to back down from confrontation?

Some evidence.

How likely? Let’s say there might soon be a whole new meaning to the term "Bonnaroo bound." “Fuck Kanye”?

Which stage? What Stage, headliner.

Jack White

Why does it make sense? Despite a vocal disdain for playing the festival circuit, with J-Dub hitting other fests he missed last year (like New York’s Governor’s Ball), not to mention his proximity to Manchester, this seems like a pretty solid prediction.

Some evidence.

How likely? A seven nation army couldn’t hold him back.

Which stage? What Stage, sub-headliner

Lady Gaga

Why does it make sense? Because a combination of curiosity, contemporary art-pop hits, Vegas-worthy stage production and sheer star power is a perfect recipe for main-stage glory. And you know every naysaying festivalgoer will bemoan a Gaga booking and then end up loving the show.

Some evidence.

How likely? Total shot in the dark, but think about it …

Which stage? What Stage, headliner

Foo Fighters

Why does it make sense? After faking a Foo Fighters breakup a couple years ago, reigning Duke of Rock ’n’ Roll Sanctimony, Dave Grohl (and his band) blazed back to the stage late last year. And since they’ve pretty much played every other festival there is, why not make them this year’s Red Hot Chili Peppers at Bonnaroo.

Some evidence.

How likely? I wouldn’t be surprised. Would you?

Which stage? What Stage, headliner

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Why does it make sense? Because Neil Young is Neil Young and Bonnaroo is Bonnaroo.

Some evidence.

How likely? Shakey is doing festivals this summer, so who knows?

Pearl Jam

Why does it make sense? Like onetime tourmates Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam returning to Bonnaroo (probably as a Sunday night What Stage headliner) would perfectly satisfy rockists and a handful of jam fans alike.

Some evidence.

How likely? If Kanye is in the mix, probably not likely.

Which stage? What Stage, headliner.


Why does it make sense? “Hey Ya!” “Bombs Over Baghdad,” “I Like the Way You Move,” “Ms. Jackson” = one helluva party.

Some evidence.

How likely? From Coachella to Hangout, the duo’s (much welcomed) cash-grab reunion jaunt features 40 festival dates. So I’d bet the house on it.

Which stage? Late-night Which Stage, or maybe What Stage.


Why does it make sense? Because we could be roooyals. #Zeitgeist

Some evidence: “I know a guy who knows a guy who says …”

How likely? I know a guy who says it’s very likely.

Which stage? Which Stage


Why does it make sense? Because kids these days love to go to CHVRCHES.

Some evidence.

How likely? Very.

Which stage? Tents or Which Stage.


Why does it make sense? Since the band is stepping out of the metal-circuit box to play Coachella, it seems festivals are on the booking agent's brain. Also, “Lemmy IS God.”

Some evidence.

How likely? Lemmy’s health issues have thrown a handful of Motorhead dates up in the air this year, but let's keep our fingers crossed anyway.

Which stage? Tents, a la recent years' late-night Alice Cooper/Billy Idol slot.

Ben Folds and Flaming Lips Superjam

Why does it make sense? Because both are festival mainstays who like to get wacky.

Some evidence.

Which stage? Tents. Superjam.

Chic with Nile Rodgers

Why does it make sense? Because as Daryl Hall and Chromeo proved a few years back, chic people like to freak out at Bonnaroo.

Which stage? Tents, late night.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Why does it make sense? Because watching life-embracing Bonnaroovians getting subjected to “Stagger Lee” will be amazing.

Some evidence.

How likely? I’d say it’s pretty much a lock.

Which stage? Tents.

Neutral Milk Hotel

Why does it make sense? Because right now Neutral Milk Hotel is the OutKast of the indie-rock reunion circuit.

Some evidence.

How likely? Very.

Which stage? Which stage.

Now, here, in no particular order, is a list of other artists rumored for the festival:

Arctic Monkeys
Vampire Weekend
The Avett Brothers
Girl Talk
Run the Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike)
Tegan and Sara
Louis C.K.
Andrew W.K.
Andrew Bird
Danny Brown
Sky Ferreira
Foster the People
The Neighbourhood
Dinosaur Jr.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Band of Horses
Dr. Dog
Deer Tick
Chance the Rapper
Cage the Elephant
Flight of the Conchords
Kevin Hart
The Knife
Broken Bells
Conor Oberst
Sleigh Bells
Washed Out
Shovels and Rope
Umphrey’s McGee
Earth, Wind and Fire
Fitz and the Tantrums
Young the Giant
Kaiser Chiefs
The Kills
The Head and the Heart
Gaslight Anthem
Capital Cities
Deltron 3030
James Blake

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