Bonnaroo explains why they booked Kanye West

on February 20, 2014, 10:15am

Photo by Joshua Mellin

Not surprisingly, Bonnaroo’s booking of Kanye West has been quite polarizing. While music critics and Yeezus enthusiasts are surely foaming at the mouth, Bonnaroo’s Facebook page is ripe with negative comments. Many longtime Bonnaroovians are befuddled why the festival would welcome back the rapper following his disastrous performance in 2008, which saw him take the stage several hours late and then lambast festival organizers in an open letter.

In a new interview with Relix, Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly, the production company behind Bonnaroo, explained why the festival decided to book Kanye again.

“First and foremost, we think Kanye is one of the most prolific and groundbreaking artists of this generation,” Farman explained. “He’s hugely influential. His albums are as great and as acclaimed as they get. He’s also a great live performer. He takes a lot of chances and he’s adventurous with the live space. All those things are what Bonnaroo performers are about. That’s why we booked him [in 2008].

“Everyone has moved on—it’s in the past. We’re happy he wants to come back to Bonnaroo and is embracing this. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to look forward, and we think it’s a great opportunity for the Bonnaroo community to show what it’s made of. It goes back to what Bonnaroo stands for: It’s about having good time, radiating positivity and that whole message. We couldn’t be more excited about what we think has the potential to be another historic Bonnaroo moment.”

For more on the topic, check out my recent Festival Outlook piece with Carson O’Shoney, where we discuss Kanye’s return to the Farm and why time heals all wounds.


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concerned louisvillian
February 22, 2014 at 1:54 am

Hey dum dummy, the word is RIFE not ripe… such as the example: “Bonnaroo’s Facebook page is rife with negative comments.” lol

February 21, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Kanye is the a terrible excuse for an artist! He has never accepted any responsibility for his own actions and this for, I can promise you, he will be booed off stage again! Superfly is gonna ho super broke if they keep stacking the Bonnaroo line up like this! People have been upset since 2008 and it continued through last year! All you have to do is look at the wall and listen to the crowd as they chant “Fuck Kanye”! They continued this new found tradition from that night in 2008 all the way through the last minutes of the 2013 festival! Nothing has changed and Kanye will be a flop!

February 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

get off kanyes dick.

February 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

This years lineup is pretty weaksauce compared to the last few IMO.


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