The iconic Bonnaroo arch has gone out in a blaze of glory.
As this year’s festival approaches, the bright archway which has welcomed festival-goers since Bonnaroo’s inception will no longer stand as the fabled entry point into the main concert area.
Representatives of Bonnaroo and Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department had the structure dismantled and burned on Monday -- only 24 days until this year’s festival begins.
The reported reason is due to significant structural issues. The Fire Chief of Manchester, George Chambers, stated the removal was planned to happen since the wood of the archway had deteriorated, causing a safety concern for Bonnaroo patrons.
Seen as an historic landmark, the arch has developed and changed through the years. Taking on different themes and colors, it had been a focal point for thousands of photos. One year, the arch even sported a top hat.
The demolition of such an important attraction was a shock for some Bonnaroo veterans. However, a new arch is in development and will take the place of the previous one.
Bonnaroo brought in 65,000 people last year and has attracted crowds of more than 80,000 to Manchester to hear bands such as Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Elton John, Tom Petty and U2.
A statement released from Bonnaroo says, “Bonnaroo confirms that its world-famous arch that represented the festival’s celebration of community, connection and a return to glorious summer, was sadly burned down due to structural issues. The structure had aged beyond repair and was no longer safe to remain in place. Its replacement will be revealed in a few short weeks as we welcome everyone back to the farm for the 18th annual festival.”