For many festivalgoers, Bonnaroo Music Festival peaks with its annual Superjam tradition, which unites a group of disparate artists for a unique, one-off stage collaboration. This year’s insane lineup could be the wildest to date: The most star-studded Superjam features Skrillex, Big Gigantic, Janelle Monáe, the Doors‘ Robby Krieger, the Grateful Dead‘s Mickey Hart, Thundercat, Warpaint, Chance the Rapper, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Zedd and more.
There are three Superjams booked for the 2014 fest – and while the other two aren’t as jaw-dropping in terms of sheer eclecticism, they’re still bound to turn some heads.
The second jam features guitar whiz Derek Trucks with special guests Andrew Bird, Chaka Khan, Taj Mahal, Ben Folds, Susan Tedeschi, drummer Adam Deitch, guitarist Eric Krasno, Los Lobos frontman David Hidalgo and legendary session drummer James Gadson. The Bluegrass Situation Superjam (hosted by actor-banjo ace Ed Helms) features Lonesome Trio, Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz, Lake Street Dive, the Black Lillies, Shovels & Rope, The Lone Bellow, Robert Ellis, Della Mae, Bryan Sutton and Yonder Mountain String Band banjoist Dave Johnston.
Last year’s Superjam found My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James collaborating with John Oates (and guests R. Kelly and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard) for an unpredictable set featuring covers of John Lennon, Prince and Sly and the Family Stone.
Reflecting on the set afterward, James told Rolling Stone, “You just kind of walk off from that. . . literally feeling like you just won the Super Bowl or something because it was such a battle. . . The whole thing was such a fucking battle. . . there’s so much involved in trying to make it work. And then when it actually does work, you really just feel so victorious.”
Bonnaroo 2014 takes place June 12th to 15th in Manchester, Tennessee. More details can be found at the fest’s website.