Lollapalooza Chicago Tickets
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Lollapalooza wasn't the first music festival, and it surely won't be the last. But, for whatever reason, the name has become synonymous with a great, big party, even earning an entry in the Urban Dictionary. Spin-offs run the gamut, from Polar-Palooza to Powerpoint-Palooza, and all stops in between.
Nevertheless, the original name-bearer is a music festival that includes alternative rock, punk rock, and hip hop bands, along with dance troupes, comedy performances, virtual reality games, art exhibits, and craft booths. Non-profit organizations and political groups bent toward counter culture and awareness-raising also had a seat at the Lollapalooza table.
The idea originated in 1991 with Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction. It was his “Alternative Nation.” In a tip of the hat to legendary promoter Bill Graham, Farrell (along with Ted Gardener, Marc Geiger, and Don Muller) conceived of it as a final tour for the band, a way to both go big and go home. One of the things that would set Lollapalooza apart from previous events like Woodstock or Newport was that it toured North America.
A second stage for emerging acts was added to the mix beginning in 1992. Open mic presentations, tattoo and piercing parlors, and all manor of other things made their way into the camp where mosh pits and crowd surfing were the norm.
The 1994 festival included artwork developed by Farrell with Jim Evans, a rock poster artist. As a result, two 70-foot-tall Buddhas flanked the main stage. In 1996, a third stage found its place on the map, though Farrell chose to focus on his new ENIT festival rather than Lollapalooza. Metallica was added to that year's bill, much to the dismay of fans looking for non-mainstream artists.
Further monkeying with the artistry resulted in wide-ranging musical offerings from country's Waylon Jennings to electronica's The Prodigy. Perhaps a tocsin of the waning appeal of alternative rock, the bookings failed to keep fans interested, particularly in light of the high prices of tickets and refreshments at the festival.
Still, a number of alt-rock bands were given a much broader audience via the Lollapalooza stages. Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Hole, The Strokes, The Smashing Pumpkins, and others filled the line-ups during the first-run of the festival from 1991-1997. The 1998 festival had to be canceled due to not finding a worthy headliner.
Then, in 2003, Farrell re-banded Jane's Addiction and revived Lollapalooza with bands like Kings of Leon and Queens of the Stone Age on the bill. The 30-city itinerary suffered from weak ticket sales and a 2004 stab ended before it began.
Partnering with the producers of the Austin City Limits Festival, Farrell was able to put on a two-day Lollapalooza in Chicago in 2005 and 2006. The line-ups for those events included Liz Phair, Weezer, Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Kweller, Eels, My Morning Jacket, Manu Chao, Aqualung, The Shins, and many many more.
In 2006, the festival secured a five-year, $5 million deal with the City of Chicago for Grant Park to be Lollapalooza's home through 2011. Bands like The Ting Tings, Gnarls Barkley, Wilco, MGMT, and Broken Social Scene made the 2008 event so successful that the deal was extended through 2018.
Although the alt-rock vibe has survived represented by bands like Animal Collective, The Low Anthem, Passion Pit, and Bat for Lashes, a good number of singer/songwriters have also played the Lollapalooza stages over the years, including Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Ben Harper, Robert Earl Keen, and Neko Case.