Bonnaroo wraps up its 12th year

By Brian Mansfield
Special for USA TODAY

MANCHESTER, Tenn. – Bonnaroo wrapped up its 12th year Sunday, on a day that suggested thunderstorms but yielded only a couple of cloudbursts. Those that risked getting caught in a downpour got to enjoy sets from country newcomer Kacey Musgraves, rapper A$AP Rocky, indie-rock favorites The National and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes.

Uneventful weekend. Though two people on their way to Bonnaroo were killed early Thursday morning when a tractor-trailer overturned near Murfreesboro, Tenn., and crashed into eight other vehicles, the festival itself seem to have run smoothly after that tragic start. Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said Sunday afternoon that he believes arrests at this year’s Bonnaroo are “probably down a little bit, but we’ve still got a day and a half left” before all the festivalgoers will have left Manchester.

Fur ball. With Sunday’s early-afternoon temperature approaching 90 degrees, Macklemore didn’t wear one of his signature knee-length fur coats when he and Ryan Lewis took the stage. But someone in the crowd did. “Dear sir in the fur coat, you are insane,” the rapper told the audience member, asking him to take off the coat and crowd-surf it to the stage so Macklemore could see it. Though he said it smelled “like weed and malt liquor,” Macklemore donned the coat before singing the duo’s hit Thrift Shop.

Taking sides. While rapper Kendrick Lamar encouraged a “battle of the sides” between the two halves of the main-stage audience against each other Sunday afternoon, with each chanting “f*** that side” to the other, the five members of the North Carolina folk-pop group Delta Rae brought several hundred people together at the tiny Sonic Stage, singing songs such as “Bottom of the River” and “If I Loved You.”

Bring us the head of Nicolas Cage. Bonnaroo attendees don’t just dress for their favorite shows, they carry lots of accessories. At Tame Impala’s show, along with the usual flowers, flags and dreamcatchers on tall poles – useful for locating friends from a distance in a large crowd – someone brought a giant Nicolas Cage head. Also, a large inflatable orca crowd-surfs for a couple of songs. Cage’s disembodied head reappeared at David Byrne & St. Vincent’s show, while the orca resurfaced during Tom Petty’s set.

Anything that’s rock ’n’ roll’s fine. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers closed the festival Sunday night, opening their set with a cover of The Byrds’ “So You Want to Be a Rock ’n’ Roll Star.” The rest of the set showed why Petty and his band succeeded, with hits like “I Won’t Back Down,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “Free Fallin’,” “Listen to Her Heart,” “Here Comes My Girl” and “Refugee.”

“I predict you’re going to have an incredible time tonight,” Petty told the audience. “I don’t have to be anywhere for hours.” He ended up playing for more than two hours, a good deal of that time during a rain shower that started at almost exactly the same time his set did. After encoring with “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “You Wreck Me,” Petty said, “We’re going to leave you where it all started,” then closed with “American Girl.”

© 2013 USA TODAY. All rights reserved.

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