Since 2015, AC Entertainment, the founders and co-producers of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, has expressed its interest in making more than four days’ use of Manchester’s Great Stage Park, where the festival is held each June.
In 2017, AC Entertainment’s Jeff Cuellar told the Manchester Rotary Club that more events were “going to happen.” Earlier this year, he made good on his promise.
This year, for the first time, AC Entertainment and co-producer C3 Presents – the company behind Lollapalooza – will bring hard rock to the 700-acre Bonnaroo site for a three-day camping and music festival in mid-October.
Dubbed the “Exit 111” Festival after the Manchester exit used to enter Great Stage Park from Interstate 24, the new hard rock and heavy metal festival is expected to bring in a large crowd. But, Cuellar said he predicts it will be a smaller one than typically seen at Bonnaroo.
“It is hard to compare the two because they are drastically different events, but yes, looking at just the number of patrons, it will be less than half of Bonnaroo,” he said.
Bonnaroo had an estimated attendance of 80,000 this summer, so Cuellar’s prediction puts current Exit 111 expectations at about 40,000.
Tickets went on sale April 25 and already the more expensive VIP and Platinum ticket packages have jumped to Tier 2 pricing. The three-day general admission tickets are still available at Tier 1 pricing, but could jump from $189 to the Tier 2 price of $219 soon.
All ticket fees include a $2 donation to charity. Of that, $1 will be donated to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), but which local organization might benefit from remaining donation has yet to be determined.
“We are working with Spectrum (our concessionaire) on having a program in place for Exit 111 as we do for Bonnaroo that would help benefit local organizations but I do not have any details yet as we are still working on it,” said AC Entertainment’s Community Engagement and Festival Relations representative Brad Parker.
Lynyrd Skynard, Def Leppard and a reunited Guns ‘N’ Roses are the headlining acts on each of the three days of the Oct. 11-13 festival, which will feature three stages. Times and locations for each show have yet to be announced.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slayer (who announced their retirement last year but will return for their last-ever Tennessee show), Seether, Antrhax, Killswitch Engage, Black Label Society, Black Stone Cherry, The Cadillac Three, 10 Years, Southern rock group Bishop Gunn, Kyle Shutt (of the Sword) and Watermox are on the bill for Friday, Oct. 11.
Saturday, Oct. 12 welcomes Def Leppard, ZZ Top, Ghost, Mastodon, Gojira, Cheap Trick, Blackberry Smoke, Nothing More, Sleeping with Sirens, Whitechapel, Power Trip, Fever 333, Graveyard, New Years Day, Alien Weaponry, Dead Sara, Them Evils and Astronoid.
Guns ‘N’ Roses headlines the final night, Sunday, Oct. 13, sharing the day’s bill with Deftone, Coheed and Cambria, Lamb of God, Alter Bridge, Ministry, Skillet, Of Mice and Men, Thrice, From Ashes to New, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Plague Vendor, Dirty Honey, Tetrarch and O’Brother.
The festival, hosted by DJ Eddie Trunk, will also include a car show, freestyle motocross demos, a sports bar and performances by the adult circus Paranormal Cirque.
Currently, a general admission three-day pass is available at the Tier 1 price of $189. A three-day military pass is available at a discounted Tier 1 rate of $159. Also available is the general admission four-pack, which includes entry for four people and a parking pass at the Tier 1 price of $676.
Parking passes are only included in the four-pack. Otherwise, parking passes - $35 for a single day or $99 for the weekend – may be added during checkout.
The VIP package bundles all 35-plus musical and non-musical acts, premium viewing at the main stage and stage 2, and shaded lounge access that includes air conditioned private restrooms, preferred pricing on beer and liquor at the cash bar and free water and energy drinks. At press time, VIP tickets are at Tier 2 pricing: $595.
The Platinum package builds on the VIP package, adding up-front standing pit access to main stage viewing and premium viewing at stage 3, and shaded Platinum lounge access that includes free beer and preferred pricing on liquor. The Platinum package also includes a dinner buffet and snacks, reserved seating for Paranormal Circus and golf cart transportation from stage to stage. At press time, Platinum tickets have also bumped to Tier 2 pricing: $1,625.
Single day options are also available at all package levels. Prices are $89 for general admission, $299 for VIP and $799 for platinum.
To purchase tickets and see all pricing tiers, visit exit111festival.com/tickets.
Like Bonnaroo, the festival offers full camping spaces and opportunities for car, motorcycle or RV camping. All camping passes include four nights of parking or camping (Thursday through Sunday), walking privileges between the campgrounds and main festival area, access to restrooms and showers are available at an extra cost.
A full camping site for an RV is the largest available at 20 feet by 50 feet. Tents may be set up within that campsite. Prices range from an additional $250 to $800. Visit the website for details.
For an additional $50, festivalgoers can purchase access to a 20-by-20-foot campsite for pitching a tent next to a standard-sized vehicle.
For an additional $15, festivalgoers on two wheels can purchase access to a 15-by-10-foot campsite for pitching a tent next to a motorcycle.
Exit 111 has partnered with Clean Vibes to provide a clean camping experience. Volunteers will receive free tickets in exchange for 12 hours to volunteer work over the span of two days. For more information, visit the clean vibes website at cleanvibes.volunteerlocal.com. Scroll to find Exit 111 at Great Stage Park and Find the Exit 111 festival and click to volunteer.
Managing Editor Kelly Lapczynski and Staff Writer Elena Cawley contributed to this report.