Rothbury 2009 looks like a go thanks to an agreement between AEG Live and A U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee that allows the concert promoter to lease the Double JJ Ranch in Michigan once again this summer.
The owners of the Double JJ Ranch, which hosted last year’s successful Rothbury debut, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy a few months after July’s festival. Since it’s unlikely new owners won’t be found by the time, AEG and Madison House struck a deal with the Ranch’s federally appointed trustee. Now that the pesky venue issue is almost resolved – a federal Bankruptcy judge must approve the deal – the promoters can focus on the lineup.
For the last few years the promoters of Bonnaroo have successfully transformed the event’s image from Hippie Jam Fest to the nation’s best and biggest music festival. If they signed both Phish and The Dead for Bonnaroo 2009 they’d lose all the credibility with the mainstream audience they’ve worked so hard to build since 2002. The folks behind Rothbury don’t have that problem. AEG Live and Madison House embraced the jam fans and have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being the first festival to feature both bands in the same lineup.
We’re not sure if the promoters are talking to The Dead, but Phish seems to be on their radar. Yesterday, Dave Alexander of the Kalamazoo Gazette speculated that Phish and Tom Petty would headline Rothbury 2009. Other names thrown around in the article were Coldplay, the Foo Fighters and AC/DC. If last year’s announcement schedule holds true, look for the full lineup towards the middle of February.
- Previously on HT: Rothbury Coverage by Jennifer Kirk