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Published: 2009/05/18

Steven Van Zandt , David Byrne and Elvis Costello Talk Bonnaroo

I love the fact that were playing to probably half of the audience who maybe [have] never even heard us, says Steven Van Zandt about headlining Bonnaroo 2009. And thats nothing but fun and nothing but exciting.
With one of the biggest music festivals of the summer just weeks away, Van Zandt, David Byrne and Elvis Costello spilled the beans during a press conference on their respective plans for the fest.
Headlining act Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, who is used to playing for a older demographic will play in front of tens of thousands of Roo-goers, most of them younger music fans who, as Van Zandt says, might have never heard the group live.
We dont particularly change things according to who the audience is or not, explains the guitar player and second-hand man to The Boss. We wont change a thing.
David Byrne takes a different approach and plans to give the Bonnaroo crowd something that they can take with them.
They want to experience something amazing, something that they cant download. Byrne continues, something that theyre going to tell their friends about.
Byrnethe first artist to curate a tent at the festhand-picked several acts that he has seen perform to play on his own stage including Santogold, St. Vincent, Dirty Projectors, Ani DiFranco and Katzenjammer.
I ended up taking a lot more of my time and effort, to establish kind of a personal relationship with all the artists, Byrne admits. I want to kind of make sure everybody was cool.
Billed as a solo act this year, Elvis Costello is returning to the fest for the first time since his appearance in 2006 when he performed with Allen Toussaint, but dont let the solo billing fool you.
I think its kind of highly unlikely that itll be an entirely solo performance in the long run, he says. I am only playing one or two solo shows all year, so this makes my sense of event of Bonnaroo special.
Although Costello has a new record out, fans shouldnt expect his set to be made up of completely new tunes.
Im going to play what I feel will work in the time I have on the stage, he explains. I want to try and play a little of everything that I have, some familiar songs. But Costello admits, It is not beyond the realms of possibility, if I feel that the circumstances are right, I might play a song thats brand new.
The 2009 Bonnroo Music and Arts Festival will take place from June 11-14 in Manchester, TN. Tickets are available online at www.bonnaroo.com . _ Report by Matt Franciscovich_

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