Major music festivals attract no shortage of criticism for recruiting nostalgia acts as headliners. While these gripes are sometimes exaggerated or misplaced, Bonnaroo has just announced its 2012 lineup, and the big names are basically a mid-’90s mixtape: Radiohead, Phish, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining, along with the reunited Beach Boys (whose Grammy performance didn’t exactly leave us craving more). Of course, the rest of the bill is full of the usual suspects — recent Grammy winners Skrillex and Bon Iver, acts that harken back to the festival’s collegiate jam-band roots (Dispatch, Umphrey’s McGee, Superjam), and indie-mainstream cross-over bands like Foster the People, The Avett Brothers, and Feist.
This isn’t to say that Bonnaroo (and even some of the acts in the categories above) is bereft of exciting bookings. We’re certainly excited to see tUnE-yArDs, Flying Lotus, Yelawolf, St. Vincent, Phantogram, Kurt Vile, Alabama Shakes, Big Freedia, The War on Drugs, and especially — because we love her but her music isn’t obvious summer-festival fare — EMA on the bill. Check out the entire lineup after the jump, acquaint yourself with any unfamiliar artists via this handy Spotify playlist, and let us know whether you’re planning a trip to Manchester, TN this June 7-10 in the comments.
Bonnaroo 2012 Lineup