For a couple of months now, fan chat boards on Reddit, Facebook, and Inforoo have been floating the rumor that rock titans U2 will be the anchor headliner for the 2017 edition of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Now those fans have some high level semi-confirmation for those rumors from Billboard Magazine.
In an article published Dec. 25, Billboard referenced a Christmas message posted on U2's webpage that promised “next year is going to be a big year for U2” with some “very special shows coming” to celebrate not only the release of their new album Songs of Experience but also the 30th Anniversary of their landmark Diamond certified album The Joshua Tree. Billboard reports that those “very special shows coming” are the band's first extended run since 2015, with stadium shows beginning in the spring before they hop the pond to Europe.
But the part of the Billboard article that was of interest to Bonnaroo fans came in the third paragraph. It was reported that the American dates “are expected to include a headlining performance at Bonnaroo”, as well as a pair of dates at Metlife Stadium.
Despite a high profile slate of headliners that included LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, and Dead & Company, 2016 was hardly the Bonnaroo's best. Local reports that counted the $1 per ticket donated to Bonnaroo's host city of Manchester, Tennessee estimated the festival, which holds 90,000 attendees at capacity, sold approximately 45,000 tickets for the year.
If any band can bring those numbers back to sellout capacity, it is U2. Arguably the biggest rock and roll band in the world, U2 regularly plays venues near the size of Bonnaroo as a regular part of their touring package.
There has been no word if the Joshua Tree anniversary will result in an altered U2 setlist, though rumors have surfaced that the band may dive into deep cuts or possibly even play the album in full on this tour.
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will be held June 8-11, 2017 at Great Stage Park in Manchester, Tn. So far, no bands have been officially announced, though they are currently running a series of clues to lineup artists on their social media feeds.