Bonnaroo Artist | Fleet Foxes
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Friday | This Tent | 9:00-10:15pm
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 2023 lineup. After roaring back to life last summer, after two years off due to Covid and weather, this year marks Bonnaroo’s 20th installment (and 22nd anniversary), boasting not only another great and varied lineup, but also more changes and improvements then we’ve seen in years, with more flexibility in ticketing and camping, a reimagined “Outeroo” campground area, new activations, and further new ways to Roo. Back once again in its usual June 15-18 timeframe, we’re counting down the days until another great weekend on the farm.
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 at the fest!
Grab your tickets right here if you haven’t already, and read on for our Bonnaroo Artist Spotlight!
Formed by frontman and primary songwriter Robin Pecknold and guitarist Skyler Skjelset while still in their teens, beloved and acclaimed Seattle indie folk outfit Fleet Foxes more formerly came together in the mid-’00s, swiftly building a cult following through their online presence and regional performances, and earning widespread attention and ubiquitous critical praise for their Sub Pop debut EP Sun Giant and first full-length, Fleet Foxes, both in 2008. Drawing influence and inspiration from pop music and folk rock of the mid ‘60s to the early ’70s, Fleet Foxes’ fusion of harmony-laden folk with baroque and psychedelic pop earned them praise as an instantly iconic act, capable of writing songs with a substance and maturity beyond their years, and by 2011 sophomore LP, Helplessness Blues, which arrived after an extended period of high-profile touring and continued acclaim, the group were one of the hottest indie bands in the world. That’s why it was especially puzzling when they subsequently dropped off the grid, with drummer Josh Tillman departing (on somewhat acrimonious terms) to reinvent himself as the sarcastic and self-aware Father John Misty, an act which in the ’10s even surpassed Fleet Foxes in widespread awareness, and Pecknold opted to hit pause on the band to attend Columbia University, an experience which seemed to realign his perspective and worldview in more recent material. In 2017, after teasing their return, the band finally made a comeback with a stunning third album Crack-Up, a more ambitious, culturally relevant, and focused effort, leading to renewed live activity once more in support, and giving way to a fourth album, Share, in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, largely recorded by Pecknold alone while in lockdown. Though they never quite grew as big as some of the other timeless, folk-inspired indie acts who rose to prominence in the 2000s, Fleet Foxes were, and remain, among the most critically beloved, commanding a diehard fanbase and possessing a stunning, fine-tuned, unrivaled command of their art which has carried them well beyond the rise and fall of the indie folk boom. We had to triple check that the band have never played Bonnaroo, as they couldn’t be more suited for the fest. But, best we can tell, this is Fleet Foxes’ first time on the farm, making their Friday evening set even more essential!
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