published Friday, February 18th, 2011

Courter: A decade later, Bonnaroo inspires debate

At noon on Tuesday, the folks who run the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival up in Manchester, Tenn., released the 2011 lineup. By 12:00:10, Facebook and Twitter were filling up with posts from fans calling it the best lineup ever and posting things like "It's massive ... it's awe inspiring & probably offers a little something for everyone" from someone called BlacKoutINK.

Others were less impressed, posting things like "Bonnaroo has been ruined! It's more like lolopalooza [sic] now."

My 17-year-old, who has never been, was giddy over the fact that Mumford & Sons was on the lineup and Wednesday morning as she prepared for school, the stereo in her room was blaring their music.

My 21-year-old, who attended Bonnaroo four years ago, said he'd like to see Girl Talk and Florence and The Machine, "but there isn't anyone I want to camp out for four days to see, and I can't imagine seeing Eminem or Lil Wayne in that environment with that crowd."

Even a festival dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 50 moments that changed rock 'n' roll history can have its detractors. That's easy to understand. Everybody has their favorites, and if your band or artist isn't on the list, the lineup therefore stinks to high heaven and the people who made it are clearly incompetent fools.

You also have the percentage of folks who just like to criticize, and you have your music snobs who dislike anything that has any hint of being mainstream. My favorite T-shirt seen at Bonnaroo over the years read "I'm into bands that don't exist yet."

For me, it's a good to almost great lineup with a few acts that I really want to see, some I'm curious about and many more I've never heard of. I want to see Buffalo Springfield primarily because original members Stephen Stills and Neil Young will be there.

Another rare reunion will be Dr. John and The Original Meters, who will perform "Desitively Bonnaroo," the band's 1974 album that inspired the festival's name. Bonnaroo is a Cajun word for "a really good time."

Bonnaroo has changed over the years, no doubt. The growth in popularity of the RV/VIP section has meant more middle-aged people there with their teenagers and fewer hippies. I'm not judging, but the hippies are definitely more interesting to watch.

How either group will react to Eminem and Lil Wayne will be interesting.

* * *

  • WUSY-FM 100.7 personalities Bill "Dex" Poindexter and Melissa "Mo" Turner won the 2011 Small Market Personality of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music, according to a new release from the station.

It marks the first anyone in the Chattanooga market has won an ACM award in the category. The afternoon duo won the same award from the Country Music Association earlier this year as well.

US-101 has won the Station of the Year award three times.

"It's an honor to be the recipient of this award, and I'm most of all proud for my partner, Melissa," Dex said. "It's a huge deal for all of us."

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