Yesterday Bonnaroo organizers AC Entertainment and Superfly unveiled a redesigned bonnaroo.com featuring all-new graphics in preparation for this year’s lineup announcement, which is due next week according to a note on the event’s website. Shortly after the new design went up, a regular at the Inforoo.org message boards who uses the handle Alberto Balsalm posted an image featuring a lineup utilizing the new graphics that he claimed he found on the “Roo website shortly after they updated it with the new theme.” The Inforoo community has been slowly figuring out the 2012 lineup since last year’s event finished, so Balsalm diabolically compiled all the band names which Inforoo users have been speculating/confirming will play Bonnaroo, threw in a few surprises (hello Paul Simon plays Graceland), added the new graphics and unleashed his creation on the message board.
[FAKE LINEUP GRAPHIC]
[FAKE LINEUP GRAPHIC]
Within hours the graphic went viral and spread like wildfire across Twitter, Facebook and even a few music blogs. Later that night Balsalm couldn’t contain his laughter and returned to Inforoo with the following enthusiastic post, “one of my friends posted a link on facebook to one of the music sites that picked this up. that was cool haha. its crazy how fast things can spread these days. this was fun.” Crazy indeed. This gent’s image was seen by hundreds of thousands of music fans within hours, many of which fell hook, line and sinker for it.
The week before the Bonnaroo announcement is notorious for fakeouts such as the one Balsalm initiated. Last year Paste fell so hard for a fake image that they actually claimed it was the real lineup. At least the websites that fell for Balsalm’s prank seemed to mention they didn’t know if it was real or not unlike the Paste debacle. Yet all around Facebook and Twitter people were posting the image by itself with little context such as “Bonnaroo Lineup [link]” which helped fuel the graphic’s supersonic trip around the ‘nets.
In these days of “be first or be last” many music fans, and even some websites, will post rumors or images such as Balsalm’s first and ask questions later, if even at all. That’s apparently the age we live in. It didn’t take much time to find the source of the purported lineup image as the folks on Inforoo.org spend all year discussing and debating each Bonnaroo lineup, so you had to figure they were discussing the graphic – sure enough that’s where it originated. Kudos to Balsalm as he even had a handful of Inforoo regulars fooled, but you’ve got to keep in mind this isn’t AC Entertainment and Superfly’s first rodeo. The Bonnaroo organizers know the blogosphere is thirsty for lineup details and keep that information very close to their vest. Yet Balsalm knew that there aren’t many people who keep tabs on all the discussions on Inforoo and was able to trick many knowledgeable fans by slipping in plenty of groups who are expected to make the trip to Manchester in June.
As always, nothing’s confirmed until it’s printed on the festival’s website. Keep your bullshit detectors on high alert, folks. We’ll be sure to let you know when the lineup is official.