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Bonnaroo Canceled—But Not Because of Why You'd Think

Ida's heavy rains in Tennessee make festival grounds unsafe
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2021 1:38 AM CDT
Bonnaroo Music Festival Canceled Thanks to Ida
The new Bonnaroo arch appears at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on June 16, 2019, in Manchester, Tenn.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Heavy rains from Hurricane Ida have forced Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee to cancel as organizers say the waterlogged festival grounds are unsafe for driving or camping. The annual festival was scheduled to start Thursday on the site of a former farm in Manchester, about an hour southeast of Nashville, the AP reports. On social media Tuesday, the festival said that tremendous rainfall over the last 24 hours, remnants of Ida's powerful winds and rain, have saturated the paths and camping areas. The festival had earlier warned fans that camping capacity would be reduced because of the rain, but by Tuesday afternoon, the festival said its central stage area was also waterlogged.

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Artists who were scheduled to headline include Tyler, the Creator, deadmau5, Lizzo, My Morning Jacket, Foo Fighters, and Megan Thee Stallion. The festival's attendance in 2019 was around 80,000 but last year's event was postponed to this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Refunds were being offered for fans. More from Ida:

  • Power and water outages are still affecting hundreds of thousands of people, the AP reports. The region is under a heat advisory, with forecasters saying the combination of high temperatures and humidity could make it feel like 106 degrees on Wednesday. It could take weeks for power to be restored to some areas. New Orleans on Tuesday instituted a curfew to prevent crime amid the power outage.
  • Drivers lined up for roughly a quarter-mile, waiting to get into a New Orleans Costco that was one of the few spots in the city with gasoline. At other gas stations, motorists occasionally pulled up to the pumps, saw the handles covered in plastic bags and drove off.
  • The Louisiana barrier island of Grand Isle, which bore Ida's full fury, is “uninhabitable,” with every building damaged, Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng told a news conference. There are also numerous breaks in the levee system and a strong odor of natural gas, she said.
  • The death toll still sits at four, but is expected to rise. (One person was killed by a falling tree; another drowned in his car trying to drive through floodwaters; and two more were killed when part of a highway was washed away.)

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