Written by Emilee Lindner • June 12, 2017
Bonnaroo is festival royalty, so what happens at Bonnaroo makes headlines. The 2017 edition, which ran from June 8-11, was no exception. From U2's meaningful Joshua Tree set to the fest closer The Weeknd, there were many moments jam-packed into the weekend in Tennessee that even had non-festival-goers buzzing. Let's recap:
Bonnaroo was U2's very first time headlining an American festival -- and their second festival overall -- so before the legendary band even hit the stage, you knew the performance would be epic. In a more somber moment, Bono dedicated their song "One Tree Hill" to the late Chris Cornell's daughter: “This next song is about a friend of ours that was stolen away from us far too soon, way back then,” Bono said. “And I’m sure a lot of people here at Bonnaroo have had a similar experience. Tonight, we want to sing it for Lily Cornell. Her dad had an epic heart."
Chance the Rapper is a serial cameo-maker, and Bonnaroo was no different. Except this time, he jumped from the realm of music to comedy. That's right -- Chancelor escaped to Bonnaroo's Comedy Tent for a quick sec to visit the hosts of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, who were delivering a live taping of the program. As Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson emerged in glittery gold capes, Chance came out carrying their trains. The audience was shocked to see the unannounced guest, but he soon ran off stage. He also made an appearance during Francis & the Lights' set to perform their song "May I Have This Dance?" complete with synchronizd choreography. On Saturday, he surprised the Soul Shakedown with covers of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers -- unlike U2 -- have played a countless number of music festivals before. But that didn't mean that Bonnaroo was just another festival gig for them. In fact, bassist Flea declared that Bonnaroo 2017 was at the top of their all-time favorite show list. "We've played a million f---ing festivals," said Flea. "This is my favorite one."
Big Freedia, New Orleans' bounce queen, has been known as the matron of modern-day twerking. So when she arrived at Bonnaroo, she held a dance class for music lovers. She performed some of her bounce classics and urged the crowd to get involved. At the end, the entire crowd got a chance to show off their moves in a 15-minute dance-off. Wild.
The Weeknd has been on the road, showing off an impressive set with an insane lighting rig and mirrored, Star Trek-esque stage design. He wowed Bonnaroo with the whole bit by barely stopping his show at all. With the last spot on the Bonnaroo schedule, the Canadian pop star had to make sure the crowd wasn't about to wind down. He kept the party going by twirling around and blasting out his hit-laden catalogue for 90 minutes.
There was 30-mintue delay caused by a sound issue, but the New Zealand star pulled off an even better performance than ever before. Lorde has been making the rounds on the festival circuit as her sophomore album, Melodrama, approaches its release date on Friday. And before she left Bonnaroo to enjoy the rest of their day, she thought she'd get closer with those who stuck it out through the technical difficulty. She jumped offstage and ran along the barricade, touching hands with those in the front. "Bonnaroo, I am so in love with you," she said. "...You've made this unforgettable."
Portugal. The Man was one of the many bands scheduled for post-midnight show at Bonnaroo, playing early Saturday morning in the This Tent. The rock band busted out a cover of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger," and dedicated it to the city of Manchester, U.K. The city is where 22 fans at an Ariana Grande concert were killed when a terrorist detonated a bomb at the exit of the Manchester Arena in May. The song by the Manchester natives has taken on new meaning since the horriffic attack.