Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Between our talks of folk music and the Black Migration, which brought hundreds of jazz and blues musicians to Chicago, I couldn’t resist talking about one of our country’s biggest music festivals. With the lineup set to come out soon, The Lollapalooza Music Festival is set to bring crowds in the 60,000’s daily. The Festival takes place in Grant Park, Chicago, and guarantees the city around thirteen million annually, however, Lollapalooza was not always as successful. In 1991, Perry Farrell, the lead for Jane’s Addiction, decided to create a traveling rock festival for the new sounds emerging from the west coast. Among the first bands, were Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and the lone rapper, Ice T, all of which performed on a stage with no side, or back stage. The next year, given its mild success, the festival took off again with many of the up and coming grunge artists like Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and another lone rapper with an affinity for ice, Ice Cube. The Festival held it’s own for the next few years with bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Beastie Boys, The Flaming Lips, Cypress Hill, The Roots, Redman, Metallica, The Ramones, Wu Tang Clan, Rage Against The Machine, and Snoop Dogg, but eventually took a hiatus in 1997. Six years later, the festival was scheduled to visit thirty cities in two months, however many fans did not attend due to high-ticket prices. Another tour scheduled for 2004 was to consist of a two-day festival-taking place in each city but it was cancelled due to weak ticket sales across the country. In 2005 Lollapalooza was resurrected as a two-day destination festival in Grant Park, Chicago, with an even greater variety of performers (70 acts on five stages) than that of the touring festival. Though the festival is one of the biggest in the country, it has lost some of its counter cultural following to the mainstream sounds of today.

Nevertheless, last year’s lineup was dope:

History of the Fest:

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