One of the premier music festivals in the country, Lollapalooza is three days of non-stop music, vibes and good times. Drawing a diverse crowd from crop top wearing, flower crown toting millenials to longtime fans and festival veterans, one thing's for sure: with such a unique and impressive history, once you have your first Lolla experience under your belt, it's unlikely it'll be your last.
The Alternative Nation
If you're wondering what Jane's Addiction, rap, and Shaolin monks have in common, they were all key components of the first Lollapalooza, which also included alternative music, hosted freakshows, and virtual reality games. Created in 1991 by Perry Farrell, the festival was originally intended to be a monstrous and groundbreaking "farewell tour" for his band, Jane's Addiction, moving around the country from 1991 until 1997. In the era of grunge, the event rejected anything mainstream, and created a place for counter-culture to thrive, which at the time, was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately without a headliner in 1998, Lollapalooza fizzled out almost into oblivion. After failures to revive the tour during the 2003-2004 season, Farrell made the executive decision to reintroduce the event as a destination festival in one of his favorite cities in America -- Chicago. It has been an iconic summer event in the Windy City ever since.
Partnering with a few large entertainment companies, Perry held the first reborn Lollapalooza in 2005. Rather than traveling across the America to bring people music, people from around the U.S. traveled to Chicago to catch performances in iconic Grand Park along the waterfront. Since the initial 65,000 attendees in 2005, the fest has exploded, drawing over 100,000 music-lovers each day for a total of 300,000 attendees over the three-day weekend in late July, early August. What started as 70 performances on five stages now includes 170+ shows on eight stages. It's one of the most buzzing times to be in the city (and also one of the busiest, hint: don't drive).
Around the World
As a festival that began as a touring event, it only makes sense that they'd want to keep the tradition alive. In 2011, Lollapalooza marked it's territory by expanding into South America, performing it's first international show in Santiago. São Paulo became another destination in 2012 as well as Buenos Aires, in 2013. The very first Lollapalooza in Europe was held in Berlin in 2015. Today, the event is part of the cultural identity of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Germany -- and who knows where it may show up next.
Celebrating 25 Years
It's crazy to think that this incredible event has been around longer than most of the teenagers in attendance. In order to fully celebrate the milestone anniversary, Lollapalooza added an additional day to properly ring in the festivities. The bonus fourth day is full of big name acts like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, J. Cole, LCD Soundsystem, and of course, Jane's Addiction. At 1/4 of a century old — they're just getting started.