Everything You Need To Know About Bonnaroo Superjam

Returning to Manchester, Tennessee, in June is Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Amongst acclaimed names like Fred Again.., Post Malone, FISHER, and Pretty Lights is another spotlight you may have missed: the Dashboard Confessional Superjam.

This spectacle might be hidden behind some of your favorite artists, but missing the show in real life will be a regret.

The Superjam is just what you’d expect: exceptionally talented and celebrated musicians sharing a stage to perform genres outside their wheelhouse where they elsewhere wouldn’t be given the opportunity.

It is a rare opportunity for megastars, rising artists, and renowned celebrities alike to manufacture a production that is unlikely to ever be replicated.

Let us explain more in-depth what to expect for the beloved event and anticipations for this year’s Superjam.

Image by East of 8th

What is a SuperJam?

If you’re a Bonnaroo newbie, you may wonder what a Superjam is.

Exclusively for Bonnaroovians, the festival presents the incredibly distinctive and eagerly awaited Bonnaroo Superjam set. Buzz around the Superjam from longtime vets can be felt from day one of the fest.

Let me set the stage for you (literally): Bonnaroo selects a theme for the Superjam that artists are to follow during the performance. In past years, these themes have ranged from broad concepts like 80’s throwbacks to more specific ones, such as tributes to the discography of a particular artist.

A house band and host will introduce and support the set throughout. Previous Superjams have notably been hosted by talents such as GRiZ, Cory Wong, Skrillex, and Jack Antonoff of the Bleachers.

As the show progresses, a variety of superstars from that year’s Bonnaroo lineup join the house band, creating a distinctive collaborative performance. Each artist, or group of artists, contributes a song or two that aligns with the chosen theme.

Talents like Lizzo, SZA, Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES, Big Wild, Vulfpeck, Big Gigantic, Remi Wolf, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Trombone Shorty, and K.Flay have all blessed the Superjam stage.

Traditionally, the host concludes the show by bringing all the participating artists back on stage for a grand finale performance together.

Unannounced and unexpected guests have a history of joining the stage for some Superjam excitement. In 2015, on a hiatus from the comedy tent, Zach Galifinakis and Jon Hamm joined up for a duet of “We Are The World” for the Retro Bash Superjam. That same year Chance the Rapper, named the unofficial mayor of Bonnaroo, made a surprise appearance with his rendition of “Juicy.”

Nashville local Nicole Atkins has also made special appearances at both the 2017 and 2022 editions of Superjam. Even more, joining the 2022 Superjam and triumphantly featured on the 2024 lineup, was pop star Carly Rae Jepsen.

With Bonnaroo holding a special place in the hearts of so many high-profile musicians, there’s always an element of surprise as to which artists will appear for the infamous Superjam.

Image by Bonnaroo Facebook

Bonnaroo has built its reputation on a diverse lineup spanning various music genres, such as rap, pop, bluegrass, electronic, and rock. Seeing the magic of music’s most iconic legends on one stage is an unbelievable experience.

Beyond performing together on stage, artists share jokes and cherish small moments together throughout the entire event. In an era of highly curated and performative festivals, it’s refreshing and raw to witness authentic interactions between musicians.

Artists appear inspired by the love, positivity, and creativity that flow through the festival grounds and draw on that energy to shape the show’s ambiance.

As an audience member, it is humanizing to witness artists freely express themselves on stage and create shared memories without constraints or the need to impress.

No other festival in the country hosts an event like this, and it’s one of many aspects that sets Bonnaroo apart from other festivals. The Superjam brings music back to music festivals.

Image by FilmMagic

This Year’s Superjam

Bringing an edgy, it ‘s-not-a-phase-mom kind of energy to the farm is this year’s Superjam theme, Once More With Feelings. Guests will join Dashboard Confessional to play the early 2000s’s best emo music.

Emo rock hits deep for those of us who grew up in the Myspace era and will surely still resonate with those not of that time. Plus Emo Nites have been wildly successful in recent years at nightclubs and festivals as throwback tribute subjects.

The 2024 lineup is stacked with emo rock adjacent artists like Cage the Elephant, Interpol, IDLES, The Mars Volta and Red Hot Chili Peppers to carry the theme through the weekend.

Users on Reddit are zealously speculating performances and having fun formulating dream mash-ups. Wishes of Ashnikko playing Avril Lavigne and Paramore covers from Reneé Rapp and Maggie Rogers are swirling the internet.

Hilariously, fans are also pondering if Mr. T-pain will show face. Wouldn’t it be something if long-time Bonnaroo supporter and performer Hayley Williams blessed us with her presence?

Set to be a night to remember, Bonnaroo’s Superjam is geared up to be a set to add to your schedule.

Featured image from Bonnaroo Facebook

Written by
Katie Katuscak

Katie is currently working as a travel nurse with a specialty in Pediatric ICU but has a deep passion for electronic music. She's been going to festivals since 2017 and loves the free-spirit energy that comes with festivals. Her favorite artists are Zeds Dead and Subtronics. If you see her at a show, please come say hello!

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