Why Bonnaroo?

A crowd cheers The Flaming Lips; credit: Wills Glasspiegel
Wills Glasspiegel

One thing the NPR Music team keeps asking as we cover this year's Bonnaroo festival is how on earth something so enormous ever got started. Ashley Capps is a co-founder of Bonnaroo, and he said that he and other promoters (and music lovers) were looking for creative ways to bring music to the outdoors. Festivals were always a way of life in Europe, but here in the U.S., most outdoor events were either one-off concerts (think Woodstock) or at established amphitheaters. I spoke with Capps on the second day of Bonnaroo: He explains how jam bands, the Internet, and some music freaks converged at the beginning of this century to change music festivals in America.

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