A Boost for Bonnaroo

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Scott Simon takes a moment to applaud the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which is under way this weekend in Manchester, Tenn. The roster for the relatively new festival is ultra hot, and so is the weather forecast.

(Soundbite of "Don't Stop")

BRAZILIAN GIRLS: (Singing) Don't stop, don't stop now.


"Don't Stop," a hymn, could be the theme of the Bonnaroo Festival outside Manchester, Tennessee, this weekend. Bonnaroo's one of the world's largest music festivals. More than 90,000 people and 80 artists are expected.

(Soundbite of "Don't Stop")

BRAZILIAN GIRLS: (Singing) Don't stop, don't stop now.

SIMON: We're listening to the Brazilian Girls, one of the festival's early morning acts. And do we mean early, because on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the music starts at noon and ends at 4AM. For those of us who can't or won't make it to Bonnaroo, Manchester farm this weekend, here's a sample of what we'll miss.

(Soundbites of music samples)

JOHN BUTLER TRIO: (Singing) Treat your mama with respect, you better treat your mama with respect.

OZOMATLI: (Foreign language sung)

THE BLACK CROWES: (Singing) Hey, little thing, let me light your candle, 'cause mama I'm sure hard to handle now, yes around.

WIDESPREAD PANIC: (Singing) Meeting of the waters raises (unintelligible).

Mr. RAY LAMONTAGNE: (Singing) ...(Unintelligible) stay by a woman.

Ms. ALISON KRAUSS: (Singing) I don't know that I will ever trust again; it's a price that I must pay for all my sins.

THE MARS VOLTA: (Singing) Wait without an answer, free from all the shame.

Ms. JOSS STONE: (Singing) You had me, you lost me, you're wasted, you caught me. I know...

OLLABELLE: (Singing) Behind the altar...

Unidentified Singers: (Singers) How long?

OLLABELLE: (Singing) ...pick up your trumpet...

Unidentified Singers: (Singing) How long?

OLLABELLE: (Singing) ...and begin to blow it.

Unidentified Singers: (Singing) How long?

OLLABELLE: (Singing) I want you to blow it.

SCOTT: This is Ollabelle, and before that we heard Joss Stone, The Mars Volta, Alison Krauss, Ray LaMontagne, Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes, Ozomatli and the John Butler Trio. They're just some of the artists performing this weekend.

Now if you're headed to Manchester right now, lots of luck, because Interstate 24 is clogged. The hotels and RV parks are booked solid. Bonnaroo began three years ago; it may be the only profitable rock music festival of the summer. Rolling Stone even went so far as to proclaim it the American rock festival to end all festivals.

The drawback: Rock 'n' roll is by nature hot, and so is a farm in Tennessee in June. Think of hordes of sweaty and, if it rains, muddy bodies riving about on a 700-acre farm. It's exactly this mix of music and heat that attracted Boston native Jerrod Narly(ph). He told The Knoxville News, `I came because this place gives me the same feeling as Disney World did when I was a kid.' Does that make Lollapalooza feel like a trip to Epcot Center?

(Soundbite of music)

OLLABELLE: (Singing) I may be ...(unintelligible). It's some lonesome graveyard. I may be ...(unintelligible). It's some lonesome graveyard. Oh, Lord, how long?

SIMON: And it's 22 minutes before the hour.

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