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UPDATE: LIVE Stream Bonnaroo 2012 HERE:

Dell and YouTube have partnered to deliver live webcasts of this year’s Bonnaroo, Music Festival in order to reach fans across the country and around the world who couldn’t make it to Manchester, Tenn., for the 11th edition of the legendary festival.

This year’s Bonnaroo headliners include Radiohead (Friday), Red Hot Chili Peppers (Saturday), and Phish (Sunday). Webcasts from he massive festival began streaming Friday, June 8 at 1:30 P.M. EDT and will run through Sunday’s final performance, by Kurt Vile & the Violators.




Why is the Hippie Festival so Popular?

There’s Ultra, the annual electronic music festival in Miami over college spring break that's a black(out) nightclub, with steely capital letters and sleek digital art in the background. There’s Coachella, which invites only mainstream dubstep DJ’s and other safe bets like Snoop Dogg on California beach, with its sandy color, ferris wheel, palms, warm sunset, and Polaroid pictures.

And then there’s Bonnaroo, the four-day music festival set to begin Thursday in Manchester, Tenn. The hippie cousin from the South has become unexpectedly popular over the years. Why has Bonnaroo, which originally celebrated jam bands and folk rock, become the place to be for everyone from New York to Texas? Because it has made the concert experience accessible to almost everyone -- from environmentalists to dubsteppers to hipsters to more classic rock fans -- while keeping its friendly hippie atmosphere.

Bonnaroo features a wide range of music, but stays true to its hippie roots. Although the lineup includes Skrillex and Ludacris, its headliners are Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish. The festival encourages you to join its “giant communal art project” by clapping, dancing, and singing along. It’s about “Discoveries. Trees. Fresh Air. Green Grass ... Adventure. Overwhelming happiness. Hugging a stranger by accident.”

All the artsy-naturey spirituality, though, is not flaky or too counterculture; just friendly. The main stages are named “what stage,” “which stage,” “this tent,” “that tent,” and “that other tent.” Even the name “Bonnaroo,” which honors the Louisiana music tradition, sounds down-to-earth.

The comedy and film festivals also separate Bonnaroo from other music festivals and give fans only more reason to go. Only Bonnaroo would host stand-up comedians and a New York comedian alongside its music. Only Bonnaroo would screen such an eclectic mix of films, from serious documentaries to cult films the Trapped in the Closet Sing-Along, an audience-participation screening of R. Kelly’s hip-hopera. It's quirky, but inviting.

They also offer yoga, a hair salon, and a brewers’ beer festival for relaxation. They promote greenness by hosting environmental nonprofits and a bottle/clothing recycling program. They have a shopping market of all the best craftsmen and artisans east of the Mississippi River. They have food trucks. Bonnaroo is more than a music festival; it’s a retreat and a greener way of life.

Maybe one bullet point of the “Bonnaroovian Code,” the rules and regulations, captures the appeal most poetically:

“Your Bonnaroo is a snowflake that will soon melt. Leave the world Out There out there, and while you’re In Here, take advantage of your one shot to make the most of your experience. Savor every flavorful moment.”

The festival brings together mainstream popular artists, quirkier acts, and old-timers in a love-is-all-around bohemian spirit for everyone. I’m already tuned in and dropped out.

Why is the Hippie Festival So Popular?