The rumors are true: the iconic Bonnaroo festival arch spanning the main entry gate between the general admission camping area and The What Stage seating area was burned to the ground Monday after officials discovered it had deteriorated beyond repair.
"Bonnaroo confirms that its world-famous arch that has represented the festival's celebration of community, connection and a return to glorious summer was sadly burned down due to structural issues," according to a statement released by festival organizers on Tuesday afternoon.
The statement further notes that the structure will be rebuilt.
"The structure had aged beyond repair and was no longer safe to remain in place. Its replacement will be revealed in a few short weeks as we welcome everyone back to The Farm for the 18th annual festival."
News of the burning began to circulate after a Twitter user known as @TheFestiveOwl posted a picture of a smoldering arch on Twitter Tuesday morning. He wrote in an email exchange with the Times Free Press that a Manchester, Tennessee resident first sent him the picture. Another resident sent a picture of the burned remains a short while later.
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which began in 2002, is held in June every year in Manchester. This year's event is set for June 13-16 and will feature headliners Phish, Post Malone, Childish Gambino, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers and Cardi B among its nearly 100 acts.
"Different things are symbolic to different people," @TheFestiveOwl said in the email.
"The Arch was that of freedom and the Bonnaroo spirit for many people. Obviously, seeing something like that burn is always sad, but now an opportunity for something (hopefully) just as great to takes its place and start creating new memories."
The festival takes place on nearly 700 acres of farmland. A few structures, such as the arch, typically remain on site year round. The rest are constructed in the few weeks leading up to the event.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.