Bonnaroo representatives made the decision to burn down the Bonnaroo Arch, which leads into Centeroo from the campgrounds, during the evening of Monday, May 20. The fire occurred just 24 days before the festival begins.
AEDC Firefighter Brandon Gunn, who serves on the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department, confirmed that Bonnaroo let county fire fighters know the burn was going to happen on the farm.
“The wood was rotten on it and it was becoming a hazard,” Gunn said.
Hillsboro Volunteer Fire and Manchester Fire Rescue were not involved in the burn – they were on New Bushy Branch Road that day for hazmat training only, Gunn explained.
“We did not burn it down. We had nothing to do with it,” he said. He added Hillsboro Fire Department and Manchester Fire Rescue were not called to respond to the fire either.
Gunn did not know if Bonnaroo plans on replacing the arch.
According to Bonnaroo's Twitter, "This incarnation of the Bonnaroo Arch had significant structural issues and needed to be removed. The Arch has changed throughout the years, and we're excited for it's newest incarnation."
"Bonnaroo confirms that its world famous Arch that has represented the festival’s celebration of community, connection and a return to glorious summer, was sadly burned down due to structural issues," organizers said in a statement issued Tuesday. "The structure had aged beyond repair and was no longer safe to remain in place. It’s replacement will be revealed in a few short weeks as we welcome everyone back to The Farm for the 18th annual festival.”