Bonnaroo Artist | Orville Peck
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Friday | This Tent | 4:30-5:30pm
As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorites acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2021 lineup. However, to say that this year’s Bonnaroo is a bit of an unconventional one would be an understatement. Postponed from 2020, moved later into the summer, and with a lineup, schedule, and enhanced Covid-19 precautions all only announced and finalized mere weeks from the fest’s Sept. 2-5 weekend, we’re starting our preview coverage later than usual now that we have the full rundown, and will only be highlighting a handful of artists we want to make sure are on your radar this year, reflecting the full gamut of the festival’s days and stages, and even some performers from the plaza lineup. Additionally, look out for our full list-style lineup guides for each day of the fest, with many other artist recommendations, to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s stacked and sprawling 20th-anniversary slate.
Tickets for 2021 sold out in record time, but if you already have yours, or you manage to snag some from a reputable 3rd party, we hope you’ll do everything you can this year to keep yourself and your fellow Bonnaroo attendees safe throughout the fest, and to behave as cautiously as possible after to limit your risk of exposure to others. We’re thrilled to have music back, but, as the Delta variant fuels a rise in Covid cases, if we want it to stay back and stay safe, we all need to take care of one another. That said, we’re hoping this year’s Bonnaroo marks another important milestone on the road to normalcy, and some welcome solace for those in attendance. To help you get ready, read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight.
Who is Orville Peck? It’s almost certainly the first question that comes to mind, upon discovering there’s a gay, Canadian, former punk rocker whose face is always obscured by a fringed mask, behind those incredibly earnest and surprisingly faithful retro country tunes he’s been crafting for the past few years. The answer is, technically, still a secret (though not a very well-kept one), but also, it’s unimportant. The man behind Orville Peck (who, from what we understand, hails originally from somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere- perhaps South Africa- and spent time in London studying drama and performing on the West End, before settling in Canada) is, for all intents and purposes, secondary to the persona, pseudonym, and musical outlet he’s created around the character, self-producing and largely performing every part on his breakout debut album, 2019’s Pony. With his haunting baritone voice and effortless drawl, it’s sometimes hard to believe Peck isn’t even American, much less not southern, and while his affinity for country and western iconography and thematic focus can sometimes border on the theatrical, his music, a sort of Kacey Musgraves adjacent modern alt-country filtered through the lens of classics like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Townes Van Zandt, and Gram Parsons, is nothing but genuine, and has earned Peck not only critical acclaim, but team-ups with everyone from Shania Twain to Miley Cyrus, and even a supporting slot on an upcoming tour with Harry Styles. Orville Peck is the breath of fresh air we love to see in contemporary country, and the mystique around him is simply a bonus, but, certainly, one makes the experience of seeing him live all the more memorable.
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LISTEN | “Dead of Night”