2015 Bonnaroo Lineup Rumors

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Every year, immediately following Thanksgiving, there’s one major thing on our minds. And no, it’s not Christmas, but it might as well be; it’s Bonnaroo. While the annual fest is still seven months away (June 11-14 to be exact), and the lineup won’t be unveiled until February, the magical, musical gathering has launched its early bird pre-sale. As in years prior, a limited number of discounted passes are available, and, while the lowest tier has already sold out, tickets can still be had for $299.50 right here (payment plans, RV passes, and more are also being offered).

Continuing our annual tradition of getting into the Bonnaroo spirit, we’re filling the next few months of anticipation by bringing you our comprehensive list of lineup rumors and speculation. You can also count on our Roo Clue coverage, and, closer to the fest, our exhaustive artist coverage, as June approaches, but, for now, here’s our best attempt at figuring out who will and won’t wind up in Manchester next summer!

If you have any Roo-mor thoughts of your own, feel free to chime in in the comments!

NOT LIKELY/IMPOSSIBLE

While being able to tell conclusively who will be making an appearance on the farm can be a tricky task, ruling artists out tends to be much easier. These are the bands who, due to scheduling conflicts or various other circumstances, stand very little chance of winding up on the bill.

  • Foo Fighters will be firmly entrenched in Scandanavia during Roo.
  • Despite the release of a new record, Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour told Rolling Stone there is “no scenario where [he] see[s] [himself] touring with Pink Floyd again.
  • Another widely flung rumor this fall was that Virgin exec Richard Branson offered Led Zeppelin $800 million to get the band back together. While this rumor was likely sparked by the release of deluxe editions, both Branson and Plant have since claimed it was only a rumor.
  • Royal Blood have made HUGE waves with the release of their debut LP this year, but it looks like they’ll be getting warmed up to run through the UK with Foo Fighters instead of making the journey to the Farm.
  • We’re told Bonnaroo’s radius clause is 60 days on either side and 300 miles. That’s not to say the rules don’t get bent, but with a May date in Nashville, The Who seem unlikely, despite being available.
  • While word on the street is that Kanye West will drop a new album and hit the road next year, a repeat appearance, especially following 2014’s lukewarm reception, feels like a longshot.
  • Interpol are playing a festival in Europe that weekend. With no other U.S. summer dates scheduled, they’re unlikely to rush back for ‘Roo.
  • Mastodon played Bonnaroo ’14, and, while they’re free following a run in Australia, they’re probably not going to make a repeat appearance.
  • While they’ve grown considerably since their 2013 ‘Roo outing, twenty | one | pilots seem to be resting and writing in 2015. We’d bet on them for 2016.
  • Following his epic 2013 ‘Roo outing would be nearly impossible, and, most likely, Paul McCartney could use a break. Don’t count on him coming back for a long while.
  • Metallica seem to be focusing on festivals in Europe. While they’re technically free, we’ve been there, done that.
  • That worldwide, festival friendly Outkast reunion last year seems to be done.
  • Black Sabbath are working on a final album next year, and will tour in support, but they’re not likely to hit the road until 2016.
  • Though she’s technically available, pop star Taylor Swift will be out on an arena tour, and isn’t the best fit for Bonnaroo.
  • The Black Keys will be in Denmark then the UK, and have already played two local shows over the last year.
  • FKA Twigs will be in Denmark as well.
  • So will Sam Smith, who played ‘Roo last summer
  • Finally, despite playing a show at Marathon Music Works, St. Paul and the Broken Bones will be in Denmark too.
  • Fleetwood MacBilly IdolCounting CrowsFirst Aid KitPaolo NutiniPharrell WilliamsKool and the Gang, and The Prodigy will all be at the Isle of Wight Festival the exact same weekend.
  • While they could technically fly back to open or close, Muse will be at Download Festival in the UK with a bunch of metal bands.
  • Radiohead are working on new music. If they’re coming back, it’ll most likely be in 2016.
  • As great as he would be, Justin Timberlake is likely to take a year off following his lengthy 20/20 Experience tour.

SOMEWHAT LIKELY/POSSIBLE

These are the artists who, through social media hints, insider buzz, tour schedule analysis, promotional timing, festival history, and additional factors, we believe stand a decent chance of appearing on the farm in 2015.

  • Alt-J have a connection with Roo promoter AC Entertainment, but they also have dates the following weekend in Germany.  Possible?  Sure.  Probable?  Wouldn’t go that far.
  • The War On Drugs were a hot ticket here in Nashville with promoter AC Entertainment.  Their current tour runs though March, but we would imagine they aren’t going to stop riding the success of their newest release.
  • Hozier has seen explosive success this year, and have a chock full set of dates through March.  After that things settle down (at least as far as what has been confirmed) until a single date with the Foos in May.
  • Courtney Love is prepping a solo album, and is touring with Lana Del Rey (who seems like a Bonnaroo shoe-in) earlier in the summer.
  • Father John Misty is hitting the road this spring in support of his new album, has played Bonnaroo in the past, and currently has nothing on the books for summer.
  • While it might be an indication of taking a break, Jenny Lewis is finishing up a huge year, has nothing scheduled for 2015, and is certainly festival friendly.
  • O.A.R. are a popular festival band, and recently played the AC-run Marathon Music Works. So far, they haven’t announced any 2015 dates yet, so they’re a bit of a tossup.
  • Until they start booking festivals stateside, Death from Above 1979 are a wild card, but they’re certainly due for a Bonnaroo spot, and have a new album to promote.
  • While The Strokes have promised new music and increased activity in the near future, we think Julian Casablancas+The Voidz, who recently played Marathon Music Works, are the more likely candidate.
  • Already confirmed for March’s Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, tUnE-yArDs just barely miss the radius clause, and seem game for booking festival dates.
  • The Gaslight Anthem had to drop out of Bonnaroo last year. While they don’t have anything scheduled for summer yet, they’re touring in support of a new album, and could conceivably plan to make amends.
  • Bonnaroo loves booking legacy metal acts, and, with tour dates through spring and a recent show at Marathon Music Works, Queensryche seem a likely candidate.
  • Passenger will be galavanting around the world on festival appearances, but, so far, hasn’t booked anything in the U.S.
  • Local faves Moon Taxi don’t have much planned for next year, and are festival faves; could 2015 be time for a Bonnaroo return?
  • Glass Animals recently blew us away at AC-affilited Exit/In. They’re not touring in the summer as of yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the bill.
  • Thee Oh Sees are playing a Texas festival in May. Could Tennessee in June be in the cards? Just might be.
  • Jukebox the Ghost are touring until March, and recently played Exit/In. Could they add some festival dates to their summer slate?
  • They’re having a huge year and are already lining up European festival dates. Could Run the Jewels add some stateside fests as well?
  • Foxygen are already lining up festivals, and are due for a Bonnaroo spot.
  • While Dinosaur Jr. would be an epic addition, frontman J Mascis has been making tour rounds, and would be an equally adequate fit. His summer is currently wide open.
  • The Black Lips haven’t played Bonnaroo since 2012, and are starting to route for next year.
  • Swans brought the house down at Bonnaroo 2013, and are on the road in support of a new album. Could all of that festival hype spell a return this year?
  • The Lone Bellow are on the road until March, and are having a really buzzy year.
  • The Decemberists are playing The Ryman just on the cusp of the radius clause window, but they’re such a perfect fit, they’re still a strong candidate.
  • Spoon have been busy this year and are a dependable grab; it remains to be seen if they’ll tour throughout the summer, however.
  • Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser has been forging a solo career throughout 2014, and what better way than to build on that momentum than with festival dates?
  • Smashing Pumpkins have new music to promote, and are already booked to play South American Lollapalooza dates in the spring.
  • My Morning Jacket has been teasing the release of a new record, and that would make a return to Roo (and another Jim James curated Superjam?) a perfect fit.
  • Rebelution have a Marathon Date in Nashville in late January, and rasta vibes are perfect for Roo.
  • Johnny Marr has dates through the spring, and then has an evening with The Who in London’s Hyde Park in late June.  We’ll have to see how the rest of his 2015 routes to see if this could be a possibility.
  • Cold War Kids just released their 5th LP in late October, and, while their current tour is only routed through February, they were a big hit when we last saw them at Roo.
  • Waxahatchee recently played Marathon Music Works, and currently has a clear summer slate.
  • GWAR had a memorable Bonnaroo outing a few years back, recently played Exit/In, and are building up buzz with their new lineup.
  • Parquet Courts would bring some punk cred, and their Exit/In show is well before the radius clause would kick in, plus they have nothing on the books after a March tour in New Zealand.
  • Bad Suns are playing Exit/In in February, then have nothing slated following their winter tour.
  • Dr. Dog are touring extensively in support of a new live album, and their Nashville date is early enough to allow for it.
  • Florence and the Machine has a new album set to drop, and will be touring in support.
  • Back to back years are uncommon, but The Avett Brothers schedule would suggest that they’re going to be making festival rounds.
  • Gary Clark Jr. has an open summer before a fall tour with Foo Fighters, and is a festival favorite.
  • Alabama Shakes are due for a big comeback year, have Bonnaroo ties, and are already scheduling fests.
  • Although they’re sitting right at the cusp of the radius clause, Sleater-Kinney are playing AC-run Marathon Music Works, and are touring on a high-profile reunion album. If they’re available, they’re a shoe-in.
  • We thought Young the Giant were going to play in 2014. So far, their 2015 schedule seems like a strong bet to make a return.
  • Caribou is lining up festivals, and still has ‘Roo weekend free.
  • RL Grime is generating a ton of buzz, and is prime to make festival rounds.
  • Refused are booking festival appearances, and leaving a hole open for ‘Roo.
  • [updated] Modest Mouse have confirmed a new album in “early 2015”.  Now the only question is, which festivals will get them.
  • [updated] Imagine Dragons have a new album, Smoke + Mirrors, coming out February 17th.  No 2015 tour announcements yet, but you can imagine that they’ll be all over the place next summer.

EXTREMELY LIKELY/PROBABLE

These are the artists who, through social media hints, insider buzz, tour schedule analysis, promotional timing, festival history, and additional factors, we believe stand an incredibly strong chance of appearing the farm in 2015.

UNKNOWN/HOPEFUL

These are artists who we can’t reasonably confirm, but, more importantly, can’t conclusively rule out for a spot at Bonnaroo. While some stand a strong chance of being upgraded in likelihood as we learn more, others could wind up just being wishful thinking.

  • Every single year, David Bowie makes our wish list. While he certainly has become increasingly more active, and is said to be working on new music yet again, he’s been reluctant to tour, and might be out of Bonnaroo’s league to bag.
  • We heard rumblings last year about Prince nearly joining the ‘Roo lineup, and, hey, what festival wouldn’t want to have him? Prince being Prince, however, it’s hard to predict what he will or won’t agree to. He’s not busy, but he’s also only performing very occasionally these days.
  • Daft Punk are always a big hopeful, but whether or not they’re going to tour in 2015 is unclear.
  • Ryan Adams is on fire right now, and will presumably be on the road all next year. His festival appearances are sporadic, however, and nothing in his route strongly confirms or detracts from his ‘Roo likelihood.
  • Beck certainly was a big draw for Forecastle Festival in 2014, and we were blown away by his set of mega-hits at The Ryman the week before.  Could we have a follow up to his puppet intermission in 2006?
  • Hometown heroes Kings Of Leon are set to perform at a couple of festivals in South America this spring, but are otherwise free of dates promoting their 2013 release, Mechanical Bull.
  • Public Enemy is working on deluxe reissues for seminal hip hop records, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Fear Of A Black Planet.  They last graced the Roo in 2009.  Think they are primed to return in 2015?
  • The Neighbourhood are supposedly working on new music, but, so far, haven’t unveiled any dates for next year. They’d be a good fit, but they’re hard to call.
  • Our local faves COIN seem more than ready to have a breakout year. With a new record and major label deal, a debut Bonnaroo performance would make a lot of sense.
  • While nothing indicates that they’ll be touring next year, the latest incarnation of Black Flag have been touring, and would be a good legacy punk get.
  • The Wu Tang Clan have appeared at the farm before, and have a new album out. Getting them all together is a tough task, though, and so far no 2015 shows have been announced.
  • fun. are expected to resume activity in 2015, but, so far, haven’t detailed tour plans. Their availability is contingent on guitarist Jack Antonoff’s scheduled with Bleachers, who would also be a good fit for ‘Roo.
  • Despite in-band personal and legal issues, AC/DC just dropped a new album, and will presumably be touring in support. So far, one European date after Bonnaroo is all they have on the books, so it’s a tossup.
  • U2 will be in Canada during Bonnaroo, but it wouldn’t be impossible for them to fly in to kick it off or close it out.
  • Pixies tour intermittently, and after a very active 2014, we wouldn’t count on them doing much next year.
  • There are unsubstantiated rumors that Arcade Fire will tour again in 2015, but, more likely Will Butler could show up to support his forthcoming solo effort.
  • Green Day have long been rumored as a Bonnaroo contender, and, while they’re a polarizing pick, stranger things haven happened. Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is teasing activity for 2015.
  • Rappers as headliners are not always guaranteed, but ‘Roo has been booking them more frequently in recent years. While Eminem‘s 2015 plans are a little fuzzy, his return to the farm would be a safe, strong choice.
  • The National are currently writing and recording a new album. Whether they’ll be ready to hit the road by summertime remains to be seen.
  • HAIM are hard at work on their second album and would perfect for a return; it’s hard to say if they’ll be playing out by summer though.
  • According to sources in the know, Eric Clapton was confirmed last year, and had to back out right before the lineup was announced.  Rain check?
  • The Wailers just announced a three day run in San Francisco performing ExodusLegend, and Survival.  They currently have dates through booked through March, so late night Roo sets would certainly offer a refuge from the DJ set.
  • His rocky 2014 tour history is a bad sign, but, so far Morrissey‘s plans for 2015 have not been announced.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers are currently working on a new album and are festival favorites. Rather they’ll be ready to play out by summer is unknown, however.
  • Though she’s a festival favorite and is due to debut at Bonnaroo, Lorde seems to be focusing on her new album.
  • Paramore might be taking a breather after a huge, worldwide tour cycle, but they’re local, and have never performed on the farm.
  • Pearl Jam are always a safe festival guess, though their plans for next year have not been announced.
  • David Byrne is always busy with something, and has strong Bonnaroo ties. It’s unclear if he’ll be playing shows next year.
  • 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, and surviving members like Phil Lesh and Bob Weir have long running Bonnaroo ties. Could some sort of tribute materialize?
  • Neil Young has a new album, but no shows scheduled.
  • Lady Gaga is out performing with Tony Bennett over the summer, and has never played ‘Roo. Whether or not they’ll bring their act to festivals is unknown.
  • We’d love to see Danny Brown return, but he seems to be winding down a record cycle, and might need a break.
  • Franz Ferdinand just finished an album cycle; it’s hard to say if they’ll do another festival round.
  • Though they owe Bonnaroo a do-over, Mumford & Sons seem to be taking a breather and finishing a new album.
  • They seem to be taking a breather after a crazy year of touring, but Nine Inch Nails are technically available.
  • Queens of the Stone Age are off-cycle, but would be an awesome lineup addition.
  • Tom Petty has a new album to support, but doesn’t have any 2015 shows scheduled, and played Bonnaroo not long ago.
  • After a year of rest, Rush are prepping to return to touring. No plans have been confirmed so far.
  • The Killers claimed to be taking a break, but have still been performing on and off.
  • The 1975 might be worn out from nonstop touring, but are showing no signs of slowing down.
  • Bruce Springsteen had a big release and tour in 2014. It’s unclear if he’ll hit the road again next year.
  • Local country crooner Caitlin Rose should make a Bonnaroo return, but we have no strong reason to believe she will.
  • The Dave Matthews Band have been lining up some spring shows. We’re not sure if they’re going to be making summer festival rounds.
  • The Replacements had a hell of a 2014, but it’s unclear if their victory lap will extend into the new year.
  • Deltron 3030‘s tour to support Event 2 is scheduled to run through spring.
  • The Cure have been playing fests off and on for the last few years, but have never played Bonnaroo.
  • Foster the People released a new album last year, will play Lollapalooza South America in the spring, and haven’t played ‘Roo since 2012.
  • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals seem due for a new album, and, likely, shows to support it.
  • Matt and Kim also seem due for a new album, and are always a welcome festival addition.
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs haven’t been especially active lately, but that could change. Singer Karen O is also a possibility for a solo set.
  • Sleigh Bells only have one show on the books, but are due for a big comeback year.
  • Phish have a new album out, and haven’t made it to Manchester in a few years.
  • The Rolling Stones don’t really play American festivals, but ‘Roo got McCartney, so anything’s possible.

CONFIRMED/INEVITABLE

This list isn’t likely to start gaining entries until closer to the fest, when, through insider tips, Bonnaroo-curated clues, and more exhaustive research, we can tell with you the utmost certainty who is all but guaranteed to perform.

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1 comment

  1. I recently spoke to Jack Antanoff, and he confirmed to me that Bleachers will, indeed, playing Bonnaroo this year. That will mark the third different band he has played with at Bonnaroo, playing two years with Steel Train and one year with fun.

    Reply

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