Bonnaroo Artist | Briston Maroney
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Friday | That Tent | 3:00-4:00pm
Like we’ve been doing for many years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with many of our favorite acts from Bonnaroo‘s 2022 lineup. And, for the first time in three years, we finally feel confident that there definitely will be a Bonnaroo this year, after a postponement then cancelation in 2020 due to Covid, and an unfortunate rainout of last year’s would-be September event. Returned to its traditional timeframe of June 16-19, this marks Bonnaroo’s 21st summer and 19th installment, and features a largely new lineup for the festival’s much-anticipated return!
As we dig through the entire schedule, we’ll highlight a spread of performers spanning across genres and stages, big and small, new and old, to bring you some of the most interesting, lesser-known, and most highly-recommended among this year’s crop of artists. And as our time at ‘Roo approaches, we’ll also be bringing you some special features and full list-style daily lineup guides, to help you plan your weekend ahead of the fest. While these previews won’t span every artist, and might omit some more obvious must-see acts, we hope they’ll serve as a way to help you navigate Bonnaroo’s gargantuan lineup, and to make the most of your busy weekend on the farm!
Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight!
We felt it fitting to kick off the series this year with the artist we ended on last year before Bonnaroo’s abrupt cancelation, since not only is he a No Country favorite, not only is he in the midst of a great year already, not only is his local, not only was he at the top of our list of 2021 lineup recommendations, but also because he’s one of just a handful of performers originally announced for Bonnaroo 2020 and 2021 and still remains on this year’s largely-new slate. We’re really hoping third time’s the charm here.
Raised in Knoxville on a steady diet of Americana and bluegrass, a scene which he emersed himself in and began performing at a young age, singer-songwriter Briston Maroney first found a taste of fame as a contestant on American Idol several years back while still in his teens. Though he’s bounced around between Tennessee, Los Angeles, and Florida, Maroney settled on Nashville for college, and it’s here where he’s spent most his career, finding himself as an artist and growing his sound to match his own personal growth, now as a 24-year-old with a decade of life and musical experience under his belt few artists can claim in their early 20s. Following some impressive self-released early EPs, Reason to Shake and Big Shot, Maroney landed a deal with Atlantic Records imprint Canvasback, where he released his 2018 breakthrough Carnival, the EP that spawned “Freakin’ Out on the Interstate,” a tune which has found something of a second life as a viral song on TikTok. Though infused with a sense of the John Prine-esque folk Briston grew up on, his solo works adopted a more genre-defying bent, awash with pop sensibilities and indie rock bite, deconstructed and made even more raw and vulnerable with 2019’s Indiana, an EP written and recorded after a tumultuous period which included a stint in rehab. The several years since have been some of the exciting up and comer’s most transformative, opening up his fiercely independent process to include more co-writers, and tapping producer John Congleton to help helm his debut full-length, last year’s Sunflower. While the LP echoes everything Briston has done before, maintaining the spirit of a folk rock foundation, it’s a much more indie rock oriented work, channeling the artsy, profoundly confessional, emo and punk-adjacent stylings of artists like Manchester Orchestra (which makes sense, since singer Andy Hull helped co-write), Kevin Devine, or Bright Eyes. To say it’s Briston’s finest work to date would be an understatement; Sunflower is one of last year’s absolute best records period (and we’re stoked to see it’s getting a deluxe reissue with six more tracks this Friday, April 29). It’s gripping, it’s thrilling, it’s profoundly resonant, a triumph of highs and lows that find Briston Maroney coming out on the other side more confident in himself and his art than ever before, and it’s the reason we think he’s still one of the most-essential artist of this year’s entire lineup!
WATCH | “Bottle Rocket” (Live at Third Man Records)
LISTEN | “The Kitchen”