Bonnaroo: The 2016 lineup and how music festivals have changed the business

Performers at this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival include LCD Soundsystem, Pearl Jam, and Dead & Company. The festival is being held this June.

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    Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performs at the Global Citizen Festival in New York in 2015.
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Some of the lineup for this summer’s Bonnaroo music festival has been revealed. 

Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem, and Dead & Company (which includes such Grateful Dead members as Mickey Hart and Bob Weir as well as musician John Mayer) are all set to perform at the Tennessee festival, which will take place in June. 

Acts including Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tame Impala, and Ellie Goulding will also make appearances, as will J. Cole, Death Cab For Cutie, and M83, among others. 

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Bonnaroo also includes comedy performances and an act billed as “Judd Apatow and Friends” was included in the announcement. Apatow has directed such comedies as “Trainwreck” and “This Is 40.” 

The festival is set to take place June 9 through June 12.

In our current music industry, the ways in which a musician would make revenue are of course much different than 20 years ago and music festivals can be an important part of that. Coachella, the highest-grossing festival of 2015, was founded in 1999 as these changes were beginning. (Napster debuted the same year). 

Since then, music festivals have become an important part of an artist’s financial planning. “A festival pays three and a half or four times more than the average club show," Cloud Nothings member Dylan Baldi told Rolling Stone. "We're still a small-scale band, but the festival shows make you realize what happens when you try to become more popular.” 

Meanwhile, Forbes writer Ryan Middleton wrote, “Music festivals continue to be some of the biggest moneymakers in the music business, and their popularity only seems to increase year after year.” 

Young people are contributing to the success of these festivals. Approximately 14.7 million Millennials went to at least one music festival in America in 2014, according to data from Billboard. According to the same data, 32 million people attended at least one US festival that year.

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