Home Music Music Country Lists

Bonnaroo’s Greatest Country Music Moments

From Kenny Rogers jamming with Phish to Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Roo Debut, photos of country stars at the rock-heavy festival

bonnaroo

Gary Miller/WireImage; FilmMagic/FilmMagic

The monster of all festivals lives: Bonnaroo has begun. While A-list rock, pop and hip-hop names like Elton John, Jack White and Kanye West may rule the top of this year's lineup card, the eclectic festival, held 60 miles south of Nashville in Manchester, Tennessee, does showcase its share of country music. Chief among them: Dierks Bentley, a 2007 'Roo alumnus, is slated to burn a little 'grass as part of the Ed Helms' Bluegrass Situation Superjam on Sunday night. As the four days of live music, public intoxicants and increasingly dirty tents roll on, Rolling Stone Country looks back at some of the most memorable country moments — Kenny Rogers jamming with Phish! — that festival-goers are almost certain happened.

Kenny Rogers performs with Phish at Bonnaroo

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kenny Rogers and Phish, 2012

An awesomely unusual pairing on "The Gambler": the legendary Kenny Rogers is joined by iconic jam band, Phish, for his classic tune.

Sam Bush and Dierks Bentley play Bonnaroo

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Sam Bush & Dierks Bentley, 2007

Bentley released an entire Live From Bonnaroo album, with recordings from his 2007 performance. Lauded musician Sam Bush joined him for the bluegrass-heavy set.

Zac Brown Band play Bonnaroo

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Zac Brown Band, 2009

Zac & Co. are two-time Bonnaroo performers, fitting right in with the rest of the festival's jam bands.

Kris Kristofferson & Jamey Johnson

FilmMagic

Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson, 2010

The two lauded songwriters performed together in 2010, with the audience singing along to every word of both Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" and Johnson's "In Color."

Old Crow Medicine Show play Bonnaroo

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Old Crow Medicine Show, 2007

Old Crow Medicine Show jammed to "Wagon Wheel" and other hits from their country-bluegrass catalog.

Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers perform together at Bonnaroo

FilmMagic

Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers, 2012

The longtime friends surprised Bonnaroo goers with a duet of "Lady," a song Richie wrote for Rogers back in 1980.