Bonnaroo promises “safe haven” after anti-drag bill passed in Tennessee

Bonnaroo has promised to remain a “safe haven for people of all walks of life” after a bill was passed in Tennessee restricting public drag performances.

Governor Bill Lee signed legislation last week (March 2) that aims to limit “adult cabaret performances”. Republicans have called for the measures as they claim performances expose children to sexual themes and imagery.

The bill defines “adult cabaret” as shows “that feature topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar entertainers”. Repeat offenders will face felony charges now it has been passed.

Republican state Senator Jack Johnson told CNN that the new bill “is not targeting any group of people”. “It does not ban drag shows in public,” he said. “It simply puts age restrictions in place to ensure that children are not present at sexually explicit performances.”

Bonnaroo has responded to the new legislature with a statement shared on its social media channels. “Bonnaroo has and will always be a place for inclusivity, a safe haven for people of all walks of life and a champion of self-expression,” it read.

“Rest assured The Farm will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival.”

Bonnaroo 2023 will feature performances from the likes of headliners Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Zeds Dead and Liquid Stranger. Other acts on the bill include Baby Keem, Rina Sawayama, Lil Nas X, Korn, Paramore, Pixies, and more.

The festival will also feature parades, a village market, a waterpark and carnival rides, a Planet Roo sustainability program, a dedicated brewers’ festival, a substance-free Soberoo program, a five-kilometre Roo Run, daily yoga and more.

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