A sprawling farm in Manchester, Tennessee, and a stretch of desert in Indio, California, will once again become rock meccas this spring: Radiohead, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Beck will headline the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which will run June 16th-18th, and Depeche Mode and Tool will top the lineup of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival April 29th-30th. “Depeche Mode have influenced so many of the bands that have played Coachella,” says its organizer, Paul Tollett. “We’ve been trying to get them for four years.”
Franz Ferdinand, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Coheed and Cambria will also be near the top of the bill at Coachella, and Bonnaroo will include Elvis Costello, Bright Eyes and Death Cab for Cutie. “Going from Petty to Radiohead shows the breadth and diversity of what we’re able to do,” says Bonnaroo organizer Rick Farman. “We’ve always wanted this to be the great American rock festival.”
Some acts – including My Morning Jacket, Matisyahu, Damian Marley and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – will play both of America’s leading rock fests, despite the apparent divide between Coachella’s alt-rock focus and Bonnaroo’s rootsier leanings. The organizers are unconcerned about the overlap: “We’re on different sides of the country,” says Farman. And My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James promises to “destroy the clichés of both festivals,” adding that he’s equally excited about each event’s headliners: “Tool have made a couple of the most brilliant rock records ever, and you can’t deny Radiohead. They’re a tornado.”
This story is from the February 23rd, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone.