Music City has moved to Manchester for Bonnaroo’s 17th annual Music and Arts Festival, bringing the atmosphere, eats and, of course, sounds that have made Nashville famous.
This year, Bonnaroo has partnered with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation to bring to life “The Ville” to Plaza 7, a Bonnaroo camping area. The Ville is a brand-new camping experience for festival attendees that promotes Nashville-area musicians, comedians and businesses.
Throughout the days and nights of Bonnaroo 2018, attendees are able to step into The Ville barn to enjoy sets from DJs as well as open-mic performances. The Ville offers a cozy, playful atmosphere for music fans. The barn is decorated with prints from Nashville-based silk screening company Grand Palace, hanging lights designed by Nashville artist Jonathon Kingsbury, and house plants from Gardens of Babylon, a plant store in the Nashville Farmers Market.
All of the barn performances are produced and curated by Fort Houston, a 17,000-square-foot makerspace in Nashville that allows artists and businesses to work on custom projects. According to Fort Houston co-owner Ryan Schennel, more than 225 businesses and artists have utilized the makerspace.
“Being that we had this network of artists so close, we wanted to expose people to (those artists) at Bonnaroo,” Schennel said in an interview.
He said The Ville allows Bonnaroo attendees from across the country to see what Nashville has to offer.
“You look at West Coast festivals, and they’re known for their art and culture,” Schennel said. “People don’t generally associate that with the South … That creative culture is alive and well here, and there’s no better place to promote it and expose it than Bonnaroo.”
Surrounding the barn are Nashville vendors, such as Prince’s Hot Chicken, Third Man Records, and The Hip Zipper, a vintage clothing store in Nashville.
“I feel like the camping areas are the heart of where the actual music fans are at Bonnaroo,” said Angelina Castillo, Third Man Records Nashville store manager. “The vibe out here is miles from anything I’ve experienced before. People are excited to discover new things, and we just want to be one of those new things they are discovering. Also, seeing some familiar faces is nice.”
Trisha Brantley, owner of The Hip Zipper, said many Nashvillians were excited to see the store at Bonnaroo.
“A lot of people come through Nashville to get to the festival,” Brantley said. “People who walk by have been like, ‘Hip Zipper!’ They know us immediately, because we’re Nashville’s oldest vintage clothing store.”