Bonnaroo representatives made the decision to burn down the Bonnaroo Arch, which leads into Centeroo from the campgrounds, during the evening of Monday, May 20. The fire occurred just 24 days before the festival begins.
Firefighter Brandon Gunn, who serves on the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department, confirmed that Bonnaroo let county firefighters know the burn was going to happen on the farm.
“The wood was rotten on it and it was becoming a hazard,” Gunn said.
Hillsboro Volunteer Fire and Manchester Fire Rescue were not involved in the burn – they were on New Bushy Branch Road that day for hazmat training only, Gunn explained.
“We did not burn it down. We had nothing to do with it,” he said. He added Hillsboro Fire Department and Manchester Fire Rescue were not called to respond to the fire either.
Ken Weinstein of Big Hassle Media confirmed the arch will be replaced.
"Bonnaroo confirms that its world famous Arch that has represented the festival’s celebration of community, connection and a return to glorious summer, was sadly burned down due to structural issues," said Weinstein. "The structure had aged beyond repair and was no longer safe to remain in place. It’s replacement will be revealed in a few short weeks as we welcome everyone back to The Farm for the 18th annual festival.”