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Bonnaroo 2013: 10 Must-See Acts

McCartney, Petty and eight more can’t-miss artists

Bonnaroo 2013: 10 Must-See Acts

This year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (June 13-16) is, per usual, jam-packed with talent. "You just feel so wild and free," says Jim James of the behemoth fest, now in its twelfth year. Like always, though, there are tough decisions to make regarding which acts to catch. Luckily, Rolling Stone has you covered. Check out our picks for the 10 must-see acts, from hip-hop heavyweight Kendrick Lamar to L.A. sister rockers Haim.

By Dan Hyman

Tom Petty

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Fresh off a pair of rarity-dominated residencies in New York and L.A. that saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers busting out super-deep cuts like "Billy the Kid" and "A Woman In Love," the Hall of Fame rockers kick off another wild summer on the road with a headlining gig at 'Roo. Guitarist Mike Campbell admits it can be a drag to play the hits every night at arena and festival gigs. But fear not: a main-stage "American Girl" sing-along is a practical certainty. "I still love playing that song," Campbell says. "It honestly gives me an adrenaline rush every time, still."

Wu-Tang Clan

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Wu-Tang Clan

Twenty years after dropping their game-changing debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), RZA, Ghostface Killah and the entire Wu-Tang posse are officially back. Before they drop a brand-new album in July, the Staten Island hip-hop legends touch down at Bonnaroo for one of their only summer gigs. There's no word on whether Wu-Tang Clan will unveil their much-hyped ODB hologram in Manchester, but keep your eyes peeled just in case. As for the RZA's attitude heading into the reunion: "Wu-Tang is forever," he recently said. "I'm never gonna deny that."

Jim James My Morning Jacket

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Rock N’ Soul Dance Party Super Jam

Headlining acts and smaller-stage fare may be Bonnaroo's bread and butter, but its annual late-night Super Jam, billed this year as the Rock N' Soul Dance Party, is surely its sweetest delight. "It's going to be a celebratory dance party where people just have a good time," says My Morning Jacket's Jim James, who leads the musical magic this year alongside John Oates, Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bilal and Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham.

Kendrick Lamar

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Kendrick Lamar

In 2012, few things were as universal as the critical adulation for Kendrick Lamar's debut album. good kid, m.A.A.d City traces a day in the life of a young, Compton-bred Lamar: the MC is torn between the roles of conflicted bystander and active participant in his neighborhood's endless swirl of violence. It also established the Dr. Dre protégé as one of hip-hop's premier voices. Just don't expect a new solo LP from him anytime soon. "If I don't put anything else out, I'm happy," he told Rolling Stone in January. "I have my life story, written."

Kacey Musgraves

Kelly Christine

Kacey Musgraves

Country music's newest starlet is a foulmouthed, politically incorrect yarn-spinner who’s also an adorable, innocent-looking brunette. "It's about real shit that people are going through," Kacey Musgraves says of her spitfire debut LP, Same Trailer Different Park, which tackles all things booze, bimbos and broken hearts. At 24, the Nashville Star alum now finds herself as one of the genre's most promising – and polarizing – young talents. "I think country music is ready for this," Musgraves says of her no-frills attitude to songwriting. "It's 2013."

Father John Misty

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Father John Misty

Former Fleet Foxes drummer J Tillman, who since leaving the group in 2011 has performed as genteel singer-songwriter Father John Misty, has become a festival regular: this year alone he's already played Coachella and Sasquatch, and will hit Lollapalooza later this summer. Fear Fun, Tillman's SoCal-pop leaning 2012 LP, is his best work to date – the singer's power lies in making death and bad drug experiences sound like a scenic drive through Laurel Canyon.

Kevin Parker Tame Impala

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Tame Impala

With Lonerism, Australia's Tame Impala crafted one of last year's finest albums. Still, to them, even as they prepare to head out on a massive summer tour – which in addition to a slot at Bonnaroo finds the psych-rockers touching down everywhere from Paris to Japan – the notion that they're now bonafide rock stars remains laughable. "My housemate will tell me he saw something on the Internet about me being like a rock god, and we'll have a laugh," says frontman Kevin Parker. "It's such an absurd idea."

Este Haim Danielle Haim

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Haim

This L.A. sister trio were bred to rock: Danielle, 24, Alana, 21 and Este, 27 spent their childhood in a family band, and following Danielle's stint touring with Julian Casablancas, dropped their slick, Fleetwood Mac-vibing synth-rock EP, Forever. Their live show, perfected this summer on the road with Vampire Weekend before they release their debut full-length, is as erratic as a Buckingham-Nicks relationship montage. "I have no filter," says Este. "I asked the audience once if my tampon string was showing."

Earl Sweatshirt

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Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt was long the most non-present member of the rap collective Odd Future. Now, thanks to his stunning 2010 release Earl, he's back from exile. He's since stolen the spotlight at Coachella and SXSW, not to mention on tracks by everyone from Frank Ocean to Flying Louts. No release date has been set for his debut LP, Doris, but the MC has been slowly revealing its content. (His latest revelation is the caustic, Tyler, The Creator-featuring "Whoa").

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