Dead & Company put a flavorful end to Bonnaroo 2016 on Sunday night with a guitar-fueled encore of “Touch of Gray,” the last hit song from The Grateful Dead in 1987.
It was a fitting finale to four days of around-the-clock music that featured performers from every possible realm.
Country star Chris Stapleton provided a signature show Saturday on the main stage, while Macklemore and Ryan Lewis completely changed the tone just two hours later with hard-charging rap.
Hermitude made the trip from Australia for a hypnotic dance and light show Thursday night, while Third Eye Blind provided traditional rock ‘n roll pop on Sunday.
The lineup lacked a jaw-dropping headliner along the lines of Paul McCartney or Elton John and the crowd was noticeably thinner. Bonnaroo organizers have traditionally announced attendance numbers around 80,000, but did not release ticket sales after this weekend’s show.
In a statement, Bonnaroo said, “For the past 15 years, we’ve been extremely fortunate to have over a million fans share the Bonnaroo experience with us. While our attendance was slightly lower this year, the Bonnaroo community was as vibrant as ever, and we enjoyed celebrating with our fans this milestone year on The Farm.”
As a result of the lighter attendance, coupled with Live Nation taking full control of the festival, there were persistent rumors over the weekend about the fate of Bonnaroo in the coming years. Perhaps with that in mind, organizers have already released the dates of next year’s festival as June 8-11, 2017, showing the four-day format will remain intact for what will be the 16th year.