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Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring alternative rock, hip hop, and punk rock bands, dance and comedy performances, and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups. Lollapalooza has featured a diverse range of bands and has helped expose and popularize alternative rock groups such as Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Hole.

Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997, and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, however poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be cancelled. In 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency partnered up with Austinmarker, Texasmarker-based company Capital Sports Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and retooled it into its current format as a weekend destination festival at Petrillo Music Shellmarker and other areas in Grant Parkmarker, Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker.

Etymology

The word dates from an American idiom of the late 19th / early 20th century meaning "one that is extraordinarily impressive; also, an outstanding example"—sometimes alternatively spelled and pronounced as lollapalootza or lalapaloosa. Farrell, searching for a name for his festival, liked the euphonious quality of the now antiquated term upon hearing it in a Three Stooges short film. The term also refers to a large lollipop, one of which is held by the character in the festival's original logo.

History

Creation

by events produced by Bill Graham, Perry Farrell, along with Ted Gardener, Marc Geiger, and Don Muller, conceived of the festival in 1990 as a farewell tour for his band Jane's Addiction. Unlike previous music festivals such as Woodstockmarker, A Gathering of the Tribes, or the US Festival, which were one-time events held in one venue, Lollapalooza was a touring festival that travelled across the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker.

The inaugural 1991 lineup was made up of artists from various genres, drawing in headliners from post-punk such as Siouxsie & the Banshees to rap such as Ice-T as well as industrial music such as Nine Inch Nails. Another key concept behind Lollapalooza was the inclusion of non-musical features. Performers like the Jim Rose Circus Side Show, an alternative freak show, and the Shaolinmarker monks stretched the boundaries of traditional rock culture. There was a tent for display of art pieces, virtual reality games, and information tables for political and environmental non-profit groups promoting counter-culture and political awareness.

Success and decline

It was at Lollapalooza where Farrell coined the term "Alternative Nation". The explosion of alternative rock in the early 1990s propelled Lollapalooza forward; the 1992 and 1993 festivals leaned heavily on grunge and alternative acts, and usually featured an additional rap artist. Punk rock standbys like mosh pit and crowd surfing became part of the canon of the concerts. These years saw great increases in the participatory nature of the event with the inclusion of booths for open-microphone readings and oratory, television-smashing pits, and tattooing and piercing parlors. After 1991, the festival included a second stage (and, in 1996, a third stage) for up-and-coming bands or local acts. Attendee complaints of the festival included high ticket prices as well as the high cost for food and water at the shows. When the festival played at the Pine Knob Music Theatermarker in Clarkstonmarker, Michiganmarker (near Detroitmarker) in 1992, concertgoers ripped up chunks of sod and grass and threw them at each other and at the bands, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the venue.

Grunge band Nirvana was scheduled to headline the festival in 1994, but the band officially pulled out of the festival on April 7, 1994. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's body was discovered in Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker the next day. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, made surprise guest appearances at several shows, including the Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker show at FDR Parkmarker (usually taking time given to her by The Smashing Pumpkins vocalist/guitarist Billy Corgan), speaking to the crowds about the loss, then singing a minimum of two songs. In 1996, Farrell, who had been the soul of the festival, decided to focus his energy to produce his new festival project, ENIT, and did not participate in producing Lollapalooza. Many fans saw the addition of Metallica in 1996 as going against the practice of featuring "non-mainstream" artists. Efforts were made to keep the festival relevant, including more eclectic acts such as country superstar Waylon Jennings and emphasizing more heavily electronica groups like The Prodigy. By 1997, however, the Lollapalooza concept had run out of steam, and in 1998 failed efforts to find a suitable headliner resulted in the festival's cancellation. The cancellation served as a signifier of alternative rock's declining popularity. In light of the festival's troubles that year, Spin said, "Lollapalooza is as comatose as alternative rock right now."

Revival and rebirth

In 2003, Farrell reconvened Jane's Addiction and scheduled a new Lollapalooza tour. The festival schedule included venues in 30 cities through July and August. The 2003 tour achieved only marginal success with many fans staying away, presumably because of high ticket prices. Another tour scheduled for 2004 was to consist of a two-day festival taking place in each city. It was cancelled in June due to weak ticket sales across the country.

partnered with Capital Sports & Entertainment (now C3 Presents), which co-owns and produces the Austin City Limits Music Festivalmarker, to produce Lollapalooza. CSE, Farrell and the William Morris Agency—along with Charles Attal Presents—resurrected Lollapalooza as a two-day destination festival in 2005 in Grant Parkmarker, Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker, with an even greater variety of performers (70 acts on five stages) than that of the touring festival. The festival was generally successful, attracting over 65,000 attendees, despite a 104 degree Sunday heat wave (two people were hospitalized for heat related illness). It returned to Chicago from August 4-6, 2006. On October 25, 2006, the Chicago Park District and Capital Sports & Entertainment agreed to a five-year, $5 million deal, keeping Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago until 2011. Lollapalooza ran from August 3-5 in 2007, August 1-3 in 2008, and August 7-9 in 2009. The dates for 2010 are set for August 6-8. After a successful 2008 festival, another deal was signed to keep Lollapalooza in Chicago through 2018, guaranteeing the city $13 million.

Lollapalooza lineups by year

References

External links




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