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The addition of Kings of Leon to the Bonnaroo lineup was met with mixed emotions at best since it was announced in February.  At times the vibe of including the Nashville-based band as a headliner has even been tumultuous.  To oversimplify it, there are long-time festivalgoers who have questioned the band’s change in musical direction as their popularity increases – and there is no room for that at Bonnaroo.  It’s an old story played out in front of music fans since the beginning of what we know as “popular music.”

Bonnaroo was much different when Kings of Leon last played the festival.  It now brings fans that have recently jumped on the KOL bandwagon since their rise in popularity.  This is the evolution of what the festival has become, a unique dichotomy that has drawn music fans such as myself to the farm in Manchester, TN, this week.  Booking headliners like Kings of Leon will most certainly be the norm for the remaining existence of this festival.  That is just how the world works, especially in this capitalistic society.  Unfortunately there are fans that are unhappy with these practices.  However, be careful what you wish for.  You just may get it.

Due to singer/guitarist Caleb Followill’s throat infection, KOL has cancelled their Tuesday, June 8th performance at Toyota Pavilion in Scranton, PA.  This sickness puts their Friday night Bonnaroo set in jeopardy.

Whatever your opinion of Kings of Leon may be, losing a headliner at this stage of the game is a shot to the gut.  Surely the festival will survive and most likely be fantastic regardless, but any major changes could alter the experience for a lot of patrons.  I cannot speak on its effects at this point nor can I say for sure that the set will be canceled.  But I will speak on the inclusion of KOL.  If you don’t want to hear them, don’t go to the stage when they are performing.  If you do, show up and party.  But under no circumstances should we hope that they aren’t a part of Bonnaroo 2010.

Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for Caleb Followill and a festival with no cancellations and plenty of great music.  I will keep you updated.

-Chris Dino