'This is a tremendous opportunity': For music artists, Bonnaroo offers chance to find new fans

'This is a tremendous opportunity': For music artists, Bonnaroo offers chance to find new fans

June 16th, 2019 by Barry Courter in Local Regional News

Philip Slabber | Leon De Baughn | Liam Merrett-Park are members of Crooked Colours, an Australian-based band who played their first Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on Friday.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

MANCHESTER, Tenn. — For fans, Bonnaroo is a chance to see nearly 100 bands all in one place over a four-day period. For acts like Crooked Colours from Australia and Quinn XCII from California via Detroit, it's an opportunity to put their music in front of 80,000 people, many who have no idea who you are or what your music sounds like.

QuinnXCII calls his music "melting pop," a blend of all types of genres starting with hip-hop. He loves that there are fans here of everybody from singer/songwriter John Prine to soul/hip-hop/singer/showman Childish Gambino and electronic dance musician Girl Talk.

"I think that's the best part about festivals," he said just prior to his set Saturday night. "You get to make new fans. There are fans of all kinds, fans of different artists here, and you get to connect with them."

Like Quinn XCII, the three members of Crooker Colours were playing and attending their first Bonnaroo. The band features Philip Slabber, Leon De Baughn and Liam Merrett-Park. The rock/pop trio arrived in America on Tuesday and were spending as much time at Bonnaroo as they could in addition to playing on Friday night.

"This is a tremendous opportunity," Slabber said. "Just the reaction we got yesterday gives us a tremendous amount of confidence going forward."

Cooler-than-usual weather is being credited with fewer heat-related incidents at this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this weekend in Manchester, Tennessee, according to Chief Billy Butler with the Coffee County Sheriff's Department.

While the festival, which started on Thursday and continues through Sunday, had been relatively safe as of Saturday afternoon, Butler said his department has made 10 arrests and issued 125 citations for drugs. He said the difference between a person being arrested and being issued a citation comes "down to the amount of the drugs and attitude.

"Yeah, it usually is a lot to do with attitude."

Fans all around the 700-acre farm on Saturday morning were reliving the shows they'd seen on Thursday and Friday. High among them was the riveting set that Childish Gambino did Friday night on the What Stage.

"The way he was able to connect with the audience was incredible," said 31-year-old Logan Burrus from New York.

Gambino opened the show rising among the audience about 20 rows in front of the stage on a small round stage on a scissor lift that rose into the air about 30 feet. He returned into the crowd on two other occasions. The rest of the show he spent primarily along on the massive stage surrounded by large square movable set pieces that at times blocked the band, lit up the stage or blew smoke onto the artist.

Every move was intentional and captivating.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.


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