147 30 Acts Not To Miss At Bonnaroo This Weekend

If you couldn’t tell by the construction on the highway, it’s that time again: summer, a time of lemonade, poolside reading, and of course: music festivals. June destination: BONNAROO.

But the festival world can be daunting at best; with stages and tents all over the place, there are bands you know you want to see, bands you think you want to see, bands that your friends told you to see, and bands that you’ve never heard of but are intrigued by. And you always walk away hearing people around you talking about an awesome show that you missed because you were in line for the toilet.

This weekend to help eliminate the madness, we are highlighting 30 not-to-miss acts at Bonaroo, a list full of FREE MP3 downloads, exclusive interviews, and more!

If you’re like most of us and can’t make it to the fest this year, don’t worry — you can get full backstage access and watch the entire festival right here!

1. [lastfm]Arcade Fire[/lastfm]: They’ve been called indie rock, art rock, and baroque pop, but they’re really the kind of band you have to experience to know what all the fuss is about. They rocked Lollapolooza last year, and are sure to deliver at Bonnaroo.

Photos: Arcade Fire Live From Chicago’s UIC Pavilion

Free 30-Song Bonnaroo Music Sampler Download

Arcade Fire Work With Talking Heads’ David Byrne On New, Expanded Disc

Video: Arcade Fire Perform “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” With Cyndi Lauper

Free MP3 Download: Arcade Fire Acoustic Live Performance

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2. [lastfm]Widespread Panic[/lastfm]: To the would be “Dead Heads,” this Jam band from Athens Georgia is part blues, part southern, part jazz, part prog, and ALL jam, and in-keeping with the jam band tradition their shows, and the lights that come with them, are experiences within themselves.

Video: Widespread Panic Live from Studio X

Audio: Widespread Panic Live In-Studio

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3. [lastfm]The Black Keys[/lastfm]: The Blues had a baby and they named it Rock N’ Roll. That baby had a baby and they called it The Black Keys. This band takes rock back to its roots and puts on a fantastic show to boot.

First Listen: The Black Keys Cover Buddy Holly On New Tribute Disc

Video: In The Studio With The Black Keys At The Historic Muscle Shoals

Video: The Black Keys and Vampire Weekend Face Off On Colbert Report

Video: The Black Keys Perform On Saturday Night Live

Rockin’ In The New Year With The Black Keys In Chicago

Free Download: ‘The Brothers Of Chico Dusty’ – The Black Keys & Outkast’s Big Boi Album Mashup

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4. [lastfm]Buffalo Springfield[/lastfm]: Featuring Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas, Joe Vitale. WOAH, big names there Bonnaroo. The group that springboarded these names to fame reunites to play Bonnaroo. Worth seeing on the star power alone.

Neil Young, “Le Noise” – The Film

Thom Yorke Covers Young

Buffalo Springfield Returns

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5. [lastfm]My Morning Jacket[/lastfm]. You’ve heard ’em on XRT, now hear them live! A little bit Jam, a little bit psychedelic, a little bit country, and sure to put on a great show.

Free MP3 Download: My Morning Jacket – “Circuital”

Download More Free MP3s

Audio Interview: Jim James Talks New Album

Video: Monsters Of Folk Live From Austin City Limits

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6. [lastfm]Robert Plant & Band of Joy[/lastfm]: One of the greatest voices in Rock history, and he can still belt it out like it’s the 70s. See him rock the mic with an early band that was a pertinent predecessor to his Zep days.

Audio Exclusive: Robert Plant Talks “Band Of Joy”

Free MP3 Download: Robert Plant – “Central Two-0-Nine”

Plant & Emmylou Share A Buddy

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7. [lastfm]Mumford & Sons[/lastfm]: One album, two Grammy nominations, and a second place spot on both the UK album chart and the Billboard 200 in the US. This band is rising faster than a Zeppelin, and if you miss them now, you’ll regret it later.

Video: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & Old Crow Medicine Show Cover Woody Guthrie

Video: Mumford & Sons Debut New, Untitled Song

Free MP3 Download: Mumford and Sons – “Little Lion Man”

Video: Mumford & Sons Live From Studio X In Chicago

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8. [lastfm]The Strokes[/lastfm]: With the recent release of Angles, these NYC post-punk/indie rockers and golden boys are still going strong. And why shouldn’t they be? With Julian Casablancas talent and vision leading them, it’s Great Music or Bust, and we don’t see the latter happening anytime soon.

Video: The Strokes On SNL

The Strokes Release New Video For “Undercover Of Darkness”

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9. [lastfm]The Decemberists[/lastfm]: Of course we love Colin Meloy’s antics, but we love his music even more. A little bit indie with a hefty sense of history geekiness thrown in and some stellar female vocals, every Decemberists tour is different and memorable.

Free MP3 Download: The Decemberists Cover R.E.M.’s “Cuyahoga”

Decemberists: Worth Leaving The House For

Video: The Decemberists Play New Song “The Great Outdoors” On Yo Gabba Gabba

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10. [lastfm]Ray Lamontagne[/lastfm]: To every decade a forgotten music form brought back by a stellar musician. To this decade: folk, and the stellar musician helping to bring it back: Mr. Lamontagne. With his raspy voice and guitar that tells stories in chords, you’ll feel like you’re at the Newport Festival again.

MP3 Download, Interview: Ray LaMontagne Plays Live On Letterman

Additional Tickets Released For Ray LaMontagne At Jay Pritzker Pavilion In Millennium Park

Ray LaMontagne Rivets Crowd With Haunting Live On Letterman Performance

Audio: Ray LaMontagne Live From Studio X

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11. [lastfm]Florence & The Machine[/lastfm]: What is it about those redheaded singers? Florence Welch of Florance & The Machine has got a soulful Rock N’ Roll voice and a personality with just enough quirk to match her fiery red hairdo. Another artist that’s one album in and already rising to the top, Florence and the Machine received a 2009 Grammy nomination for best new artist for the release of their first album Lungs, and we anxiously await the next one.

Video: Florence & The Machine “Dog Days Are Over”

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12. [lastfm]Gregg Allman[/lastfm]: Formerly of the famed Allman Brothers with his brother Duane, Gregg has continued on with his music following his brother’s death. Another show worth seeing based on star power alone, but the boy can still play.

Free MP3 Download: Gregg Allman – “Just Another Rider”

Gregg Allman To Pen Memoir For Release Next Year

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13. [lastfm]Deerhunter[/lastfm]: The self-descibed “ambient punk”quartet has got VERVE. Surviving several line-up changes and the death of a member without missing a beat, their “noise rock” shows are so much more than just noise, and in a sea of nameless indie bands, they stand out with a BANG, an have earned a reputation for their intense live shows. It’s not uncommon for frontman Cox to wear sundresses or perform with fake blood smeared all over himself.

16 Free MP3 Downloads: ‘Best Of 2010- Playlist

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14. [lastfm]Grace Potter & The Nocturnals[/lastfm]: If you’re looking for a hefty dose of musical girl power, look no further than Grace Potter. You’d be hard pressed to count the number of instruments this girl can play on one hand, and she doesn’t just play them, she rocks them. A folksy hard rock fivesome from Vermont, if you’re partial to the mandolin, the Hammond B3 organ, or great music, this is the show for you.

Full Album: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Self Titled

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15. [lastfm]Bootsy Collins & the Funk University[/lastfm]: Remember Parliament-Funkadelic? Then you remember Bootsy Collins and his own funkadelic bass playing, vocals, and songwriting. Here his plays with his students at Funk U, an online only bass guitar school based around bass theory, the history of funk, and Collin’s own history.

William Shatner To Cover Queen And Bowie In New Album

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16. [lastfm]Freelance Whales[/lastfm]: For a uniquely joyful and glockenspiel-filled experience, the Freelance Whales’ show is the way to go. Based out of New York, this band incorporates banjo, mandolin, as well as more traditional musical instruments, into music that is simply and impossibly happy.

Free MP3 Dowload: Freelance Whales Cover DEVO’s “Girl U Want”

Free MP3 Download: Freelance Whales – “Day Off”

Video: Freelance Whales on The Big Beat

Free MP3 Download: Freelance Whales – “Enzymes”

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17. [lastfm]Mavis Staples[/lastfm]: Because every good festival needs a fantastic gospel singer, and this girl can belt R&B tunes with more soul than the River Styx.

Video: Mavis Staples & Jeff Tweedy perform “A Song For Everyone”

Video: Mavis Staples Live at Lollapalooza

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18. [lastfm]Warren Haynes Band[/lastfm]: You might know Warren Haynes from his long stint playing guitar with The Allman Brothers Band, or as the songwriter and vocalist of Gov’t Mule, or maybe even from his membership in the post-Grateful Dead band The Dead, but now you can get to know him on a personal level. Haynes is coming to Bonnaroo with his own band, his own songs, and the guitar playing we know so well.

Warren Haynes Talks About His 1st Solo Album in 19 Years

Free MP3 Download: Gregg Allman – “Just Another Rider”

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19. [lastfm]Old Crow Medicine Show[/lastfm]: Gotta love that Bluegrass. Old Crow Medicine Show is an old-time string band that takes us back to a time when music was about music and the only things instruments were plugged into were the ways of the world. In addition to originals, they always include pre-World War II blues and folk songs in their shows.

Video: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & Old Crow Medicine Show Cover Woody Guthrie

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20. [lastfm]Portugal. The Man[/lastfm]: Quite psychedelic and a touch garage-y, Portugal. The Man is all lights and sounds and colors. And they’re from Alaska.

140 Free MP3 Downloads From SXSW 2011 Artists

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21. [lastfm]Gogol Bordello[/lastfm]: Some call them the band that invented Gypsy Punk, we just call them pretty damn awesome. Featuring members and sounds from Ukraine, Russia, Israel, China… and incorporating instruments such as the accordion, the violin, and saxophone into a punk sound, Gogol Bordello is anything but ordinary.

Video: Gogol Bordello Backstage at Lollapalooza

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22. [lastfm]Iron & Wine[/lastfm]: The folk rocker Samuel Beam is Iron & Wine and is also the kind of songwriter that comes around but so often. He can only be described as a man producing some of the best folk out there, a simple yet powerful description that matches the simple power behind his music.

Free MP3 Download: Iron & Wine – “Tree By The River”

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23. [lastfm]Girl Talk[/lastfm]: Gregg Gills is Girl Talk, a master of mash-ups and digital sampling. Known for his wild shows which utilize balloons, pounds upon pounds of confetti, and a concert staff that pulls audience members on stage to dance, his shows are not as much concerts and they are huge parties.

Free Download: New Album From Girl Talk, ‘All Day’

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24. [lastfm]Amos Lee[/lastfm]: He’s brushed shoulders with the stars, the singer-songwriter has toured with such names as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, Paul Simon, and, recently, Adele. And he’s quite a star himself, with a style encompassing jazz, folk, and blues, and a talent worthy of every star he’s toured with, you will not want to miss one chord that comes from his guitar.

Free MP3 Download: Amos Lee, “Ease Back”

15 Musicians Who Were Once Teachers

Video: Amos Lee Shares His “Mission,” Performs Live In-Studio

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25. [lastfm]Alison Krauss & Union Station[/lastfm]: featuring Jerry Douglass. Alison Krauss, well known for her work with Robert Plant, is a bluegrass-country singer, songwriter, and fiddler. Backed here by her band Union Station, and resonator guitar player Jerry Douglass, this is definitely a not-to-miss performance.

Free MP3 Download: Alison Krauss And Union Station, “Paper Airplane”

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26. [lastfm]Black Joe Lewis[/lastfm]: This Honeybear is one of the few great blues guitarists alive and well in today’s day and age. If you want a no-gimmcks, all-about-the-music, great blues show, this is where to go.

Audio: Mayor-elect Emanuel Talks Inauguration, Education, And Black Joe Lewis

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27. [lastfm]Matt & Kim[/lastfm]: They’re a little off kilter, but they make up a fantastic dance punk duo whose bizarre antics only add to their unique take on music. The best thing about this band is the way Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino play off each other and work together to create an unforgettable live music experience.

Free Download: Matt & Kim, “Block After Block”

Video: Matt & Kim Backstage at Lollapalooza

Free MP3 Downloads: 2010 Austin City Limits Artists

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28. [lastfm]Neon Trees[/lastfm]: Billed as an alternative band, but what does that really mean anyway? Our take on it is an alternative to lesser shows and lesser bands, because Neon Trees’ Utah post-punk sound has been rocking music festivals since 2005, and we doubt Bonnaroo would be any different.

More Neon Trees

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29. [lastfm]Wavves[/lastfm]: Any band who calls themselves “noise pop” is going to attract attention, but glancing at Wavves twice only reveals that “noise pop” is an accurate description for their unique and strangely delightful music. Their show will add a wave of energy and fun to your Bonnaroo experience.

More Wavves

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30. [lastfm]G. Love & Special Sauce[/lastfm]. Don’t write them off as just another hip hop band. G. Love & Special Sauce play hip hop based in Blues and R&B, and are known for their unique “sloppy” and “laid-back” sound. Formed in Philadelphia in 1992, but this band reaches backs into the depths of American music history, and they’re good, really good.

Free 30-Song Bonnaroo Music Sampler Download

Download More Free MP3s

Listen To Full Albums

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