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There are a lot of music festivals out there: Coachella, SXSW, Ultra, Lolapalooza, Bamboozle, and, of course, Bonnaroo. The 2011 Bonnaroo (Manchester, TN) lineup came out yesterday and it features some amazing artists. Here are 12 artists you should check out during your time at one of the biggest music festivals in the country.


Eminem does not perform as often as he used to. So when the opportunity presents itself, you should take full advantage and check it out. He’s one of those artists where you tell your grandchildren that way back when you were young, you saw the legendary Eminem perform live in concert.

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is a band that doesn’t get much radio play, but you know about them simply because they make fantastic music. Their appeal is undeniable, as they have already sold out Madison Square Garden and most recently threw a great performance at the 2011 Grammys. You’d be crazy not to see them perform at Bonnaroo.

Lil’ Wayne

Why wouldn’t you want to see Lil’ Wayne kick a live set? Few rappers work harder perfecting their craft than Mr. Carter. He brings so much passion and energy to the stage that you should just want to watch him rap his ass off. The fact that you know at least twenty Lil’ Wayne songs also doesn’t hurt.

Florence & the Machine

You are losing if you haven’t heard of Florence & the Machine. Having been nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys, they should certainly peak your interest. Although they have enjoyed most of their success in the UK, they have performed at the MTV VMAs, on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and on SNL.


Bassnectar is a pioneering artist in the dub step movement that is slowly taking over your iTunes. You can’t have a discussion about electro/dubstep artists who put on amazing live shows without mentioning Bassnectar—crazy lights, infectious beat drops, and total chaos. Check out his set and you’ll understand.

The Black Keys

The Black Keys have been around since the turn of the century. After releasing a handful of albums, they recently took home three Grammys for their most recent release, “Brothers.” They are hitting their stride right now and it would be a shame if you missed out on an amazing performance because you were sleeping in your tent.

J. Cole

J. Cole is on a collision course with greatness. He’s signed to Roc Nation. Jay-Z is his mentor. He has Kanye West on speed dial. He’s dropped two critically acclaimed mixtapes. Everybody wants him on their record. If you aren’t familiar with his music, at least check out his performance to see what the hype is all about.

Sleigh Bells

One song, two words: “Infinity Guitars.” You’d be hard pressed to find an artist who brings more attitude to their live set than Sleigh Bells. This is not their first rodeo, as they have performed at many other festivals and showcases. So you know they have what it takes to heat it up at Bonnaroo.

Wiz Khalifa

Uh huh, you know what it is. Wiz Khalifa has some of the most loyal fans in the music industry, so you know Taylor Gang will come out in numbers and represent. If you haven’t been to a Wiz Khalifa concert yet, this would be the perfect opportunity to roll up and breathe it in. It’ll be quite the experience.

Matt & Kim

Even if you are unhappy with the Bonnaroo lineup, how can you frown at Matt & Kim? Like how can you hear the beginning of “Daylight” and not smile? Listening to Matt & Kim is like eating Pringles: once you pop, you can’t stop. So actually, you should just eat Pringles while watching their live set. It’ll change your life.

Chiddy Bang

Chiddy Bang throws down a killer live show. With Xapoon Jones on the drums and Chiddy rocking the mic, few artists can match their ability to get the crowd going. Undoubtedly the best part of their performance is when Chiddy asks the crowd what they want him to rap about and he kicks an incredibly dope freestyle off the top of his head.

The Drums

Having performed alongside Florence & the Machine and Kings of Leon, The Drums have proven they are a solid band with the ability to throw down a noteworthy live set. How can you not jump up and dance in the mirror when you hear “Let’s Go Surfing?” It’s the perfect song for a hot summer day in Manchester, Tennessee.


Bonnaroo is the perfect festival for Wavves. Their latest release, King of the Beach, was brilliant. Their poppy, indie rock sound combined with their energy makes them a must-see band. From the first guitar riff to the final drum roll, you’ll be jamming out nonstop when they take the stage.

Check Out Some More Links From Around The Web:

Bonnaroo 2011 Lineup Announced(Heavy)

Lil Wayne Shatters Oreo’s World Record for Most Facebook ‘Likes’ in 24 Hours (Brobible)

Tags : Arcade FireBassnectarBonnarooBonnaroo 2011 ArtistsBonnaroo 2011 LineupBonnaroo Music Festival Lineupchiddy bangEminemFlorence and the Machinej. coleLil WayneMAtt and KimSleight Bellsthe black keysThe DrumsWavveswiz khalifa

The author Kathrina

Kathrina is an enthusiast of all-things college lifestyle. She's the expert!

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