Bonnaroo 2016 was the least attended year in the festival’s 15-year history. According to public records obtained by The Tennessean, only 45,537 tickets were sold for the festival that ran from June 9th to the 12th. That’s 28,000 fewer tickets than last year and a 45 percent drop from the festival’s peak in 2011.
The Nashville paper claims that the festival made $9.07 million less in ticket sales revenue in 2016 than it did last year. The drop-off comes in the first full year of ownership by concert mega-giant Live Nation. The world’s largest concert company purchased Bonnaroo just weeks before the 2015 festival, after acquiring controlling stakes in the companies behind Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival. However, the sale didn’t appear to be the culprit behind the lagging ticket numbers.
The decline in attendance seems to stem from multiple factors, including the average ticket price ballooning to $324, a lack of interest in a lineup headlined by Pearl Jam and LCD Soundsystem and a saturated festival market.
While Bonnaroo hasn’t released official attendance numbers, organizers did address the drop in attendance in a statement released on June 12th.
“For the past 15 years we’ve been extremely fortunate to have over a million fans share the Bonnaroo experience with us,” they said. “While our attendance is slightly lower this year, the Bonnaroo community is as vibrant as ever and excited about celebrating this milestone year on The Farm.”