Bonnaroo Officially Kicks Off Thursday - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Bonnaroo Officially Kicks Off Thursday

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MANCHESTER, Tenn. – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival officially kicked off Thursday in Manchester.

Gates opened Wednesday night to allow fans to get settled in early as crews worked to put the final touches on the stages. Approximately 80,000 fans were expected to attend the four-day festival at the 700-acre farm.

Event organizers said heat is one of the main things they are worried about.

"Biggest factor in that is staying hydrated. All across the property we have free water, every tap at Bonnaroo is drinkable, fresh, well water," said Bonnaroo co-founder Rick Farman.

"These people that you're talking about they're used to festivals. Yhese people go to these festivals all the time; it's probably cool compared to some places," said Coffee County Mayor David Pennington.

Security will also be beefed up this year. Authorities will be on the lookout for anything that can make explosives and they will conduct bag searches on everyone.

State troopers will also be on-the-job 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday night, patrolling on the ground and by air.

"The priority is to make this year's festival safe and secure for travelers and festivalgoers. State Troopers will work to manage the increased traffic on Interstate 24 and provide aerial support to relay important information on the ground. We hope our presence will ensure motorists make smart decisions and obey state traffic laws," THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.

Meanwhile, tickets for the festival officially sold out Wednesday afternoon. Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers will be among the headliners at the festival.

Approximately 80,000 people attended last year's festival, which included about 150 performances on more than 10 stages. It's the 12th year for the festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday.

The full lineup is also posted on www.bonnaroo.com.

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