Manchester votes to annex Bonnaroo property into city
The Manchester, Tenn., city council has voted unanimously to make more than 600 acres of property owned by the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival part of the city.
Manchester aldermen voted 5-0 in favor of the resolutions sponsored by Manchester Mayor Marilyn Howard, Alderman Ryan French confirmed to the Tennessean.
Since Bonnaroo's inception, the 650-acre Great Stage Park has been an unincorporated area in Coffee County. Tuesday's resolutions would allow the property's owners to work directly with the city, instead of the county, on projects that improve the venue's infrastructure.
Among Bonnaroo organizers' top priority is an expansion of Bushy Branch Road, which festivalgoers use to enter the grounds.
While Bonnaroo continues to work directly with numerous Coffee County arms, including its sheriff's department, there have been points of tension in recent years.
In 2019, the Coffee County Commission voted to institute a 2.5% tax on hotel room bookings. In response, organizers lobbied to introduce an amendment that clarified the tax wouldn't apply to those camping at the festival. That same year, organizers didn't rule out the possibility of the festival changing locations.
While Bonnaroo canceled its 2020 edition due to the pandemic, this year may be the busiest ever for Great Stage Park. Along with the 2021 festival — taking place in September — seven standalone concerts are planned for "The Bonnaroo Farm" in May and June, including Jason Aldean and The Avett Brothers.