10 Artists To Watch at Bonnaroo 2013: June 13th – 16th


As we prepare ourselves for four days of live music at the premier festival in the United States, we’re admittedly a bit overwhelmed by the lineup. Yes, Bonnaroo has grown past what it used to be – and yes, it’s now one of the largest music festivals in the world – but rightfully so. More laid back festival goers may opt for sets to end at 11:00pm and a lineup that would leave me scratching my head, but Bonnaroo has it all; headlining slots from rock and roll legends, as well as sets from some of the best and brightest new artists and comedians. 

The team behind Bonnaroo has had practice doing this – eleven years of it to be precise. Festival attendees can expect an unparalleled level of quality from the people working. This means no long waiting periods in lines, stages that are laid out in a practical manner, and some of the most unique food, beer, and craft vendors you’ll ever visit at a festival. 

That’s not to say that you won’t find a few problems here and there (what would you expect when you get some 80,000 people in the same area), but nearly all of the festival attendees we’ve encountered in the past have been nothing but welcoming and supportive of the “spirit of Bonnaroo”. 

With four straight days of live music running early into the morning, Bonnaroo 2013 is set to be the best festival Manchester, TN has seen yet. We picked just ten artists from the massive lineup that we would consider to be “Don’t Miss” acts and hope to see you in the crowd. These aren’t the bands you were probably planning to see, so let’s hope this helps you make up your mind. Scheduled for June 13th – 16th, tickets are available but selling quickly.

Vacationer – 6.13 – 4:00pm @ Silent Disco & 6.14 – 4:00pm @ Silent Disco

Just in time for summer, I uncovered Vacationer‘s laid back grooves. Seems like it would be hard to overlook a band that spent time opening for Two Door Cinema Club, but these things happen. And since I’m a good year behind on things, the timing is perfect – I get to spend another summer enjoying the progression of “chill wave” and it all seems new again. Gone will be on heavy rotation throughout the next few months.

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Japandroids – 6.13 – 10:00pm @ This Tent

I love it every time these guys updates their Facebook status and I can’t say that about too many artists (or people for that manner). The duo of Brian King & David Prowse have a sound that most five-piece bands envy and simply know how to rock. There’s a firm rule for most Japandroids shows – Do what ever you want, but there’s no standing around.

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Jonny Fritz – 6.13 – 10:00pm @ New Music On Tap Lounge & 6.14 – 12:45pm @ Sonic Stage

First things first, I would buy any album titled Dad Country, no matter what it actually sounded like. The fact that the man behind such a record is none other than Jonny Fritz (Corndawg, but those days are over) makes me want to pre-order as many copies as I can. Fritz is the topic of a recent NPR piece titled “A Country Jester Gets Personal”, where he discusses the life behind this new recording and how it differs from past projects. Expect a hell of a show from one of the most “American” men I’ve ever met.

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Von Grey – 6.14 – 5:30pm @ Cafe Where?

These four sisters might be the next best thing to come out of Georgia. Though the average age of the group is sixteen, the girls have performed on Letterman and toured alongside Sarah McLachlan, Lindsey Sterling, and Company of Thieves.

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Matrimony – 6.14 – 10:40 @ New Music On Tap Lounge & 6.15 – 6:15pm @ Sonic Stage

Comprised of husband and wife Jimmy & Ashley Brown, along with Ashley’s brothers, the group has been a mainstay on TheBlueIndian.com since our very first year. The Charlotte, NC-based band is set to release their Columbia Records debut in June and will be touring throughout much of the summer. Listening to tastefully refined folk-rock sounds exactly like how I want to spend my time at Bonnaroo.

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Patrick Watson – 6.15 – 12:30pm @ This Tent & 6.15 – 4:45pm @ Sonic Stage

To quote one of my brothers – “I feel like indie music has hit rock bottom – and still keeps digging. However, I like Patrick Watson because he’s an amazing musician and he’s not trying to be cool.” While I wouldn’t echo his sentiments entirely on the state of indie music, I can completely agree with how he feels about Watson. Just read this review of one of his shows and you’ll understand what you can expect.

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Two Gallants – 6.15 – 1:45pm @ That Tent

Going way back to around the time of What the Toll Tells, Two Gallants has been a band that I’ve wanted to see live. And for one poor excuse or another, it’s never happened. As far as the 2013 lineup is concerned, these two have musical grit that you won’t see to often over the weekend. Just be careful how much fun you have, as you don’t want to wind up like the guy in Houston who got tased at their show..

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Kasey Musgraves – 6.16 – 12:00pm @ Which State

If we get negative feedback for including any of these artists on this list, it will probably be Kasey. Seeing her on the lineup nearly made us say, “WTF, Bonnaroo?” Yes, she’s the first pop-country artist we’ve ever featured (and we promise not to make a habit of it), but the young girl has been a point of controversy in the country music community for the subjects covered in her debut album, Same Trailer Different Park. Who likes to party? I do.

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LiL iFFy – 6.16 – 12:20pm @ New Music on Tap Lounge

Im partial to Harry & the Potters, but I’ll give the “wandcore” electro/hip-hop a try. If the last day of a giant music festival isn’t weird enough, this should help.

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Royal Thunder – 6.16. – 8:30pm @ New Music On Tap Lounge

Hard hitting, deeply tonal metal from Atlanta, Georgia. If the fact that Royal Thunder has toured alongside Dillinger Escape Plan, The Faceless, Enslaved, Pallbearer, ASG and more isn’t enough for you – well then you should just pack up your bags early and go home to your mother.

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