So, here’s the dirty little secret about Roo Clues: Bonnaroo rarely, if ever, bothers to announce the answers to the clues after the fact. Sure, once the lineup is posted, you can see if your guesses made the bill. It’s also entirely possible that your answer was completely wrong and that artist just happened to be playing anyway. The festival has mentioned giving us the clue answers this year, so I suppose we’ll see. It makes basing understanding of Roo Clues on previous years’ Roo Clues, even if they ended up on the lineup, a bit of a mixed bag though. The general assumption is the clues only point to small to mid-sized bands. Our guesses so far would mostly correspond with that. There have been instances in previous years, however, when a clue or two has occasionally been assumed to point to a much, much larger band. I’d imagine the very top-tier (i.e. big 3) headliners would be totally off-limits, but the second-tier headliners might just be possible, if not unlikely. Bonnarro’s latest Roo Clue #9 is, I think, the first clue that might just reveal one of the festival’s bigger bands.
The clue, which was posted at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, is as follows:
Eleven Months Wait,
For Entry to the Prestige,
The First Rejected.
There are a ton of different ways this clue could be interpreted. Just the fact that it was at Red Rocks could link it to pretty much every big touring band ever, so although that most likely ties in, it doesn’t help much. David Bowie hopefuls are quick to point out he was in the film The Prestige and, although he might just be at ‘Roo, the rest of the clue doesn’t fit. Plus he’d be too big to reveal. Similarly, guesses like The Decemberists and The Rolling Stones are floating around. Decemberists seems plausible, but not a perfect answer. Bonnaroo would never give away The Stones like this. The whole thing seems to allude to a record release that barely missed Grammy eligibility, and that brings a few bands to mind: notably The Black Keys and Kanye West. Either could play the festival, but neither make sense beyond that one connection. I do believe the Grammy thing to be part of the clue, however, and I think the one band that fits that aspect and also fits the rest of the clue is MUMFORD & SONS.
Here’s why I think it HAS to be Mumford, even though they’re much larger than your typical Roo Clue-hinted band:
- Just last week the band released a DVD entitled The Road to Red Rocks (trailer above), which documented a tour ending at Red Rocks, the venue where Clue #9 was placed.
- Mumford & Son’s sleeper-hit debut, Sigh No More, was released in October of 2009, mere days after the Grammy eligibility cutoff. Therefore the band had “eleven months wait, for entry to the prestige” because they released in the first month of eligibility for the following year’s awards.
- The Grammys are the most prestigious awards show in music.
- Mumford received several nods the following year of eligibility (2011). The band then received even more nominations the following year (2012), since they released singles (still from Sigh No More) within its eligibility period.
- Despite their wait and their “entry to the prestige” of nominations, Mumford & Sons won no awards. Sigh No More, their first record, was rejected.
- Mumford & Sons’ most recent release is called Babel. Babel is short for Babylon. Babylon is a historically significant city of prestige to which only few were granted entry.
- Finally, Mumford and Sons’ lead single from Babel is “I Will Wait,” which would be reflected in the “Eleven Months Wait” line.
- Though Mumford & Sons are bigger than ever, they still likely wouldn’t be the top-tier at Bonnaroo and, therefore, might just be the one huge act they’re willing to leak early. They’ve done well at Bonnaroo in the past, and they’re due for another string of U.S. dates this summer.
So, even though this one seems unbelievably big, I’m certain enough to go ahead and announce that you’ll be seeing the English folk rockers at ‘Roo!
We’ve got 5-7 more of these to go before the big reveal. Are you guys hanging in there? Getting excited about how the lineup seems to be shaping up?
Our previous Roo Clue Solutions:
Roo Clue 8 | Purity Ring
Roo Clue 7 | A$AP Rocky
Roo Clue 6 | Of Mosters and Men
Roo Clue 5 | Tame Impala
Roo Clue 4 | MGMT
Roo Clue 3 | Sleigh Bells or Pixies
Roo Clue 2 | Animal Collective
Roo Clue 1 | Japandroids
And don’t forget to check out our 2013 Bonnaroo Lineup Rumors post, which is regularly updated with the lastest info and speculation!
–TWiN | This Weekend In Nashville | 1/25 – 1/27
–Music on Television | 12.10-12.15
–No Country’s Best Records of 2012
–Baltimore Natives Think Alike: Animal Collective & Dan Deacon To Play Marathon Music Works.
–2013 Bonnaroo Lineup Rumors