While the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is canceled for the second year in a row, a local festival has taken its place this year.
Less than 24 hours after Bonnaroo officials announced via social media and website that the music festival was canceled, the South Central Tennessee Tourism Association and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s social media pages announced The Other Fest was held in Manchester from Sept. 2 through 5.
“After the cancelation of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, we are all devastated,” the announcement read. “We're here to rally around the Roo Community, the town of Manchester and artists with The Other Fest and celebrate all that we love about Bonnaroo and the Bonnaroo Community.”
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival for this year was canceled earlier this week due to the conditions of The Farm caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
The lineup for The Other Fest includes Andy Frasco, Big Something, Kid Politics, Jade Million, Phenix Red, Steady Rotation, Them Guys, Justin Williams, Any Walker and more. The Other Fest will also feature the Roo Bus and Camp Reddaroo. The venues booked for The Other Fest are Common John Brewery, Praters BBQ and Bites of Europe. All the locations are on Woodbury Highway off I-24 Exit 110 in Manchester.
According to its website, the event is being organized by the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Unsigned, South Central Tennessee Tourism and “a few passionate Manchester citizens.”
According to Director of South Central Tennessee Tourism Ryan French, the executive director of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Katy Riddle reached out to him and told him they should do something since they have all the volunteers who were ready to work Bonnaroo.
“I told her, ‘I don’t know what we can do in two days,’” French said. “I have to give her all the credit; she was persistent and said we need to do something.”
While the original plans for The Other Fest weren’t for it to be big, French said when they were able to book Andy Frasco organizers needed to make it big. Within 45 hours they were able to book 30 bands to play at three venues for the next four days. French described the support and response from the community as “literally a story-book type response.”
“It’s been a hard 20 months on everybody, and Bonnaroo not happening is devastating to everybody,” he said. “We wanted to do something, and the fact that everybody just jumped on board right away is very encouraging and cool to see. I am literally just one person in hundreds that are responsible for this happening, and it is super cool to see the community rally around it.”
French added that some of the vendors who were scheduled to be at Bonnaroo will be taking part of The Other Fest as well, including the festival favorite pizza vendor Spicy Pie.
“If you’re a Bonnaroovian, then you have had Spicy Pie,” French said.
French praised and thanked the venues for being so willing and flexible to invest their time and effort and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s executive director for pushing for it.
“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life but it’s going to be rewarding," French said.
Tickets are available at $20 each but are limited. Masks are encouraged, and free masks will be provided at the door for those who want one.
For more about the festival visit theotherfest.com.