Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has issued a statement following Tennessee’s ban on public drag.
The law bans drag shows and ‘adult cabaret’ from occurring in public places where minors could see the performance. “Bonnaroo has and always will be a place for inclusivity, a safe haven for people of all walks of life, and a champion of self-expression,” begins the statement. “Rest assured The Farm will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival.”
Bonnaroo is will take place on June 15-18 in at Great Stage Park in Manchester, TN. The lineup in 2023 features Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, Paramore, My Morning Jacket, Pixies, Tyler Childers, Vulpeck, and more. The 2023 edition of the festival will also include the return of the Superjam, bringing together unlikely groups of artists for a one-time-only event on the Bonnaroo Farm. The 2023 Bonnaroo Superjam will take place on Saturday, June 17.
Early access tickets for Bonnaroo 2023 went on sale in January. Hulu will be live streaming select performances to subscribers at no additional cost. Additional special footage and behind-the-scenes looks will also be available for streaming, with no schedule announced yet.
The response to the statement on social media ranges from positive to questioning whether Bonnaroo will be able to keep people safe on its premises. “What actions will be taken to ensure queer attendees will be protected from cops enforcing this law?” asks one person.
“If you really cared, you would move Bonnaroo out of TN. By keeping it in TN these hallow [sic] statements of support are meaningless. Actions speak louder than words,” says another person. “Pandering for profit,” says another. “Bonnaroo, Burning Man, SXSW are exclusive not inclusive. Sell elitism and ‘exclusive accessibility’ for profit. VIP stages/VIP lounges/turnkey VIP packages priced ABOVE the already exclusionary ticket prices are the definition of non-inclusion.”