10 Bands to See at Bonnaroo 2019

Music Lists Bonnaroo
10 Bands to See at Bonnaroo 2019

This week, it was announced that Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is likely to sell out for the first time since 2013. That means 80,000 people will invade the 700-acre, Manchester, Tenn. farm for four days (June 13-16). This multi-stage camping festival is now in its 18th year, and this year’s headliners include Phish, Childish Gambino, the Grand Ole Opry, Post Malone and Odesza. Before Paste heads out to cover Bonnaroo (and before we finish our last-minute packing), we chose 10 acts we’re most excited to catch at one of the country’s premier music festivals. You can follow along with Paste’s coverage of Bonnaroo throughout the long weekend on Twitter and Instagram.

1. Beach House

Dream pop duo Beach House have been melting minds and hearts for over a decade with their noisy yet cozy atmospherics. Paste praised their latest full-length, 7, for its beautiful production and well-crafted “saintly, synth-driven sound.” While Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally hardly deviate from their melodramatic, wispy tendencies, there’s comfort knowing if you fall under their enchanting spell, you’ll enjoy their entire discography and every moment of their flowy live performances. —Lizzie Manno

2. Faye Webster

Atlanta singer/songwriter and pedal steel enthusiast Faye Webster makes wavy music that sounds great in headphones, positively lovely on a speaker in your kitchen and loose and wild blasting out of car windows. Her third LP Atlanta Millionaires Club feels especially suited for the indoors, but that’s not to say songs like the beachy “Kingston” and sultry “Right Side of My Neck” won’t sound divine radiating off a stage on the sweaty farm. “Come to Atlanta” is perhaps best saved for a dark club on the city’s east side, but that can’t be helped. We’re excited to hear one of our favorite albums of the year so far wherever we can get the chance. See you out there, Faye. —Ellen Johnson

3. Solange

If you don’t know by now, Solange is much, much more than the sister who hit Jay-Z in that elevator that one time. Her 2016 album, A Seat at the Table, reintroduced her as an artist completely in her own right, and this year’s When I Get Home followed suit. Her set will be a soulful, avant-garde R&B experience, and there’s nothing that warrants an excuse for not being there. —Annie Black

4. Deafheaven

With influences ranging from post-rock and shoegaze to black metal and post-metal, Deafheaven are challenging what it means to be a metal band. With four albums under their belt, they’re not interested in stagnating or indulging in metal cliches. Though there are two commonalities: meticulous musicianship and artistry that always pushes the envelope. If you decide to catch them at Bonnaroo, don’t expect to see just another metal band—expect to be fully submerged in a pool of mercurial, thoughtful heavy rock. —Lizzie Manno

5. Kacey Musgraves

It’s been over a year since Kacey Musgraves’ career changed forever with the release of her Grammy-winning psychedelic-country-pop masterpiece Golden Hour, and by now the ever-extending “Oh, What A World Tour” is one of the most buzzed-about around. We’re talking lots of sparkles, disco, rainbows, “Butterflies” and, of course, ample yee-haws. She may be a big ol’ pop star now with a modeling deal and mom-blog-sized Instagram following, but this Texas-born, Tennessee-based country queen still knows how to throw down. Musgraves doesn’t mess around. —Ellen Johnson

6. Parquet Courts

For such a heavy EDM and pop lineup, you’ll need some rock ‘n’ roll reprieve during Bonnaroo. If you’re not quite ready for the rest of the night (Friday night’s a long one at ‘Roo, y’all), you will certainly be after this raucous and groovy set. The band hasn’t released any new original material since last year, so be ready for the hits, the sleeper hits, and possibly a cover. —Annie Black

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Five albums deep, including a recent instrumental record, New Zealand outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra continue to create dynamic psychedelic rock that isn’t afraid to dip its toes into the funky, the fuzzy and the soulful or shift between lo-fi and hi-fi. Their latest non-instrumental effort, 2018’s Sex and Food, somehow sounds feathery and heavy at the same time—there’s a breezy exuberance to these tracks, but they’re counterbalanced by UMO mastermind Ruban Nielson’s syrupy, swaggering production. —Lizzie Manno

8. John Prine

We’d never miss our chance to see this legend. John Prine is a Grammy winner, 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a lyricist who seems to have his own private window into the human soul. Throughout his career, which stretches almost 50 years, he’s bounced from the profound to the sad to the laugh-out-loud hilarious in his lyrics, from the famously tender “Angel from Montgomery” to last year’s The Tree of Forgiveness. John Prine is more than a mainstay in country and folk: he’s a champion of the craft. —Ellen Johnson

9. Cardi B

Okuuurrrr, you just HAVE to see Cardi B at Bonnaroo. Even if you don’t like Cardi B, you have to admit she’s a great performer. It’s hard to know what to expect from her, but whatever it is, it will be a good time. Will Offset join her on stage? We’ll have to wait and find out. —Annie Black

10. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Breakout Australian rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are hard to dislike. Their 2018 debut full-length for Sub Pop, Hope Downs, has everything you’d want in a sun-kissed pop/rock album. Their self-described “tough pop” checks all the boxes: instantaneous hooks, driving rhythms, subtle yet crafty riffs and an emotional gut punch. Paste christened Rolling Blackouts C.F. as The Best of What’s Next back in 2017, and Hope Downs landed at number eight on our list of The 50 Best Albums of 2018. —Lizzie Manno

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