Jan. 12th was a big news day for fans of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, as organizers dropped three big pieces of news. In addition to announcing the date and format for their lineup unveiling, Bonnaroo also detailed infrastructure improvements to The Farm and a controversial new car fee.
The biggest news of the day was the announcement of a date and format for the unveiling of the 2016 Bonnaroo lineup. After three years of hosting hour-long shows called the Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon, or BLAM, organizers opted for a simpler approach this year, although still retaining a bit more flair than just dropping a poster on social media. Bonnaroo alumnus and late night talk show host Conan O’Brien will announce the Bonnaroo 2016 lineup on Tuesday, Jan. 19th during his TBS talk show, which airs at 10 p.m. Central. O’Brien has worked with Bonnaroo before, performing at the festival in 2010 during his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour. The exact format of O’Brien’s announcement or how it will be worked into his regular show has been left as a surprise.
The second bit of welcome news from Bonnaroo organizers was that, with the new partnership with Live Nation in full effect, major infrastructure improvements are being made to Great Stage Park. While some of the improvements won’t be ready until Bonnaroo 2017, fans who come to Bonnaroo 2016 are promised a noticeable difference, as the festival is investing in a permanent water line. This will allow the installation of permanent toilets and better shower stations, partially eliminating the enemy of all festival goers, the porta potty. According to a press release today, Bonnaroo plans to have 400 permanent flushable toilets installed for 2016 and over a hundred shower stalls. This will account for 38% of the total toilets and 35% of total shower stalls. Bonnaroo released conceptual art for their new permanent facilities on their Facebook feed as well.
But all that infrastructure improvement comes as a price and the third announcement has proven controversial among Bonnaroo fans on social media. For the first time, Bonnaroo will institute a “car fee” for their festival. Those planning to camp in General Admission will have to pay $59.75 per car to gain access to the campgrounds. Those planning to day park will have to pay a $39.75 per vehicle parking fee. Those who partake of Bonnaroo’s specialized ticket packages, including VIP and Le Bon camping, will not have to pay the fee. Organizers listed several reasons for this new fee, including paying for the infrastructure improvements and reducing carbon footprint by encouraging carpooling, as the fee is per car, not per person. Bonnaroo had previously been one of the last major festivals to offer free camping as part of its ticket price.
Bonnaroo 2016 will be held June 9-12 at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tn. Tickets for Bonnaroo 2016 will go on sale Jan. 22.