Bonnaroo 2023 Preview: Here’s who we’re looking forward to seeing on The Farm this year

By Grant Golden

June 12, 2023

Photo: Andre Jones / CLTure

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, held in Manchester, Tennessee, is known as one of the marquee music festivals in the country. Founded in 2002, the festival is anchored in community, collaboration, and all of the music and art your body desires. Averaging around 80,000 attendees each year and over 150 bands, the 700-acre farm is home to an annual music marathon, with sets lasting until sunrise all over the property. 

Courtesy of Bonnaroo

This year’s event, held June 15-18, brings esteemed acts like Kendrick Lamar, Vulfpeck, Odesza, Paramore, GRiZ, Foo Fighters, Sylvan Esso, Baby Keem, and countless others for one of the year’s most eclectic festival lineups. 

Bonnaroo is one of the last major U.S. festivals with such large-scale attendance that offers camping options on site but, unlike other festivals, Bonnaroo’s campgrounds are also home to unique parties and performances within the Campground Plazas.

Outeroo serves as its own festival within a festival, where each Campground Plaza brings its own brand of activations and art installations, encouraging attendees to explore every corner of the farm’s grounds. The aptly named Where in the Woods boasts a stage nestled in the woods with late night sets from massive EDM acts, House of Yes hosts engaging events like theater performances and parades (hosted by Big Freedia and more), and other plazas showcase intimate performances from acts like Madison Cunningham, Devon Gilfillian, The Beths, and more. Music aside, attendees can also take in various art installations across the grounds, sit in on sustainability workshops at Planet Roo, or prep for a long day with “Yoga-roo” or a 5K marathon run throughout the weekend.

But with so much to do in so little time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options.Take a peek at some of our most anticipated sets at Bonnaroo 2023.

Kendrick Lamar

Extending the tour for his Grammy Award-winning album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Kendrick is set to headline Bonnaroo for the second time this year. The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper brings a combination of intensity and profound introspection to his performances, so one can only wonder what his production will look like for Bonnaroo. With Bonnaroo’s unopposed headliner sets, there’ll surely be a sea of hip-hop lovers soaking in the sounds of Lamar’s Friday night performance. Whether he brings the choreography and flashy visuals of his …Big Steppers tour or serves a more stripped-down affair, fans in attendance are guaranteed a remarkable collection of some of hip-hop’s finest work for over a decade.

Amber Mark

Since her 2017 EP, 3:33am, Amber Mark has been hailed as a rising star in the R&B world, and her 2022 debut full-length Three Dimensions Deep solidified her stardom. Mark’s work has blossomed into a smooth selection of funk, soul, bossa nova, and R&B influences, making for a heady but groovy output. Backed by a four-piece band that combines sampling and live instrumentation, Mark’s impressive vocal prowess is on full display for her live performances. Mark’s mid-afternoon This Tent performance on Sunday will bring a slow-grooving (and shaded) respite from a long weekend of high energy outings.

Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf feels like an artist who was made for sun-soaked festival sets with her blend of high-energy pop, funk and indie R&B. Remi’s work is full of infectious hooks and lighthearted lyricism that teems with playfulness and introspection. Her performances are lively affairs driven by Remi’s charismatic personality, sing-along ready refrains, and danceable instrumentation. Her Saturday late afternoon set is sure to serve as a burst of energy for weary attendees, boosting them through a jam-packed evening.

Cory Wong’s Syncopated Superjam

One of Bonnaroo’s staples is their annual Superjam, a star-studded collaborative set that brings once-in-a-lifetime live experiences. Previous Superjams have been hosted by acts like Questlove, Jack Antonoff, Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) and more, with 2023’s jam hosted by Cory Wong of Vulfpeck. Wong is revered as one of impressive funk guitarists in the industry, and he’ll be bringing his 12-piece band and “many surprise all-star guests” to this set. Bonnaroo has already announced that artists like Victor Wooten, Sierra Hull, Big Wild, Remi Wolf, Hanson,  and more will be joining, so one can only imagine what’s in store.

My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket is an act that feels spiritually tied to Bonnaroo; the band has brought some of the festival’s most memorable performances for nearly 20 years. Earlier this year the band released a live vinyl from their Bonnaroo debut in 2004, a rain-drenched barn-burner of a set that helped solidify them as one of the finest live acts in alternative rock– and this late night Saturday set will surely be another for the books. The two-hour set doesn’t start until 12:30 a.m., but the Bonnaroo vets know how to captivate the attention of the eager festival goers. Jim James’ ethereal falsetto wails, careening guitar solos, and expansive jams will reel in folks from all across the farm. If unique and memorable live experiences are what you’re searching for at Bonnaroo, you won’t find one much more compelling than a midnight My Morning Jacket set.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

This 24-year-old blues phenom channels traditional blues foundations through a contemporary lens to make for an incredible sound. With enough guitar chops to please the hardcore blues fans and a heavy sense of rock n’ roll swagger, many claim Kingfish to be the future of blues, but with a Grammy win already under his belt, he feels more like a representation of the present. With staggering guitar solos, passionate vocal runs, and a tight accompanying band, Kingfish’s live sets are a dazzling affair and a fantastic way to kick off a Friday afternoon at Bonnaroo.

GRiZ (Chasing The Golden Hour)

On the heels of his recently announced hiatus, GRiZ has become one of Bonnaroo’s must-see acts for fans of electronic music. After beloved indie rock outfit Rainbow Kitten Surprise announced a hiatus, GRIZ stepped up for a second set, with one focused on the sax-heavy future-funk sound that initially propelled him to fame. Trading in heavy bass drops for melodically focused tracks driven by GRiZ’s adventurous sax runs, this late evening Saturday set should stay true to its name, “Chasing The Golden Hour,” as the Tennessee sky transitions to a vibrant blend of colors. Moments like these are what makes Bonnaroo such a special festival.

Bonnaroo takes place June 15-18 in Manchester, Tennessee. A live stream is also available to Hulu subscribers throughout the weekend.

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