Lollapalooza Celebrates 20th Anniversary with The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jane’s Addiction, Cat Power, Flaming Lips

“We put it together at a record pace as we had four months.  We did not want to come to Chile with a lineup that was anything other than world-class… Our ambition is to plant a very strong seed in Chile.  One that will grow over the years, and provide Santiago with an event for the ages.”
-Perry Farrell statement to the press quoted by Spinner and others

This past weekend, Perry Farrell celebrated 20 years since hosting his first Lollapalooza with a special festival at O’Higgins Park in Santiago, Chile.  Judging by videos uploaded to YouTube The Killers, Deftones, The Flaming Lips, Empire Of The Sun, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The National and Kanye West were among the stand-out performers.

The Chile celebration – the first Lollapalooza outside the United States – featured many artists from past festivals.  Some on the bill were a part of the original touring circuses in the ’90s – Jane’s Addiction (1991, 2003, 2009), Cypress Hill (1992, 1994, 1995, 2010), The Flaming Lips (1994, 2006), 311 (1996)…
   …many others have played the single-weekend incarnation of the festival that’s settled in Chicago in recent years – The Killers (2005, 2009),  Kanye West (2006, 2008), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2007, 2009), 30 Seconds To Mars (2003, 2006), Ben Harper (2007, 2009), The National (2008, 2010), Cold War Kids (2006, 2007, 2009), CSS (2007) and Cat Power (2008).
Others however have never played Lollapalooza before – most notably Fatboy Slim, Deftones, Sublime (who appeared this weekend with Rome).

The festival this weekend also featured Devendra Banhart, The Drums, Boys Noize, Fischerspooner,  Datarock, Steel Pulse, Ghostland Observatory, Toy Selektah, Mala Rodriguez, Todos Tus Muertos, Bomba Estereo, Joachim Garraud, Francisca Valenzuela, Zeta Bosio, Anita Tijoux, Quique Neira, Latin Bitman, DJ Raff, Fractal + Joe Vasconcellos, Fother Muckers, Astro, Devil Presley, Denver, Como Asesinar a Felipes, the Ganjas, Matanza, Ital, New Kids on the Noise, Magictwins, Los Pulentos, Achu, Cuchara and Mundano and Los Plumabits and others.

Though this was a 20th anniversary celebration, Lollapalooza has not been held for all 20 years – it hit a rough patch after becoming a cultural institution in the mid-90s (see: The Simpsons’ Homerpalooza and, uh, Sesame Street’s Elmopalooza), and had trouble rebounding in the early ’00s.  In 2004  Lollapalooza was redesigned for new era as the first ever two-day touring festival. Poor ticket sales forced the tour to be canceled just two weeks before it was set to kick off, despite a jaw-dopping line-up –Sonic Youth, Wilco, Modest Mouse, Danger Mouse, Morrissey, PJ Harvey, The Polyphonic Spree, Broken Social Scene, The Secret Machines and two of the acts brought back this weekend, The Flaming Lips and The Killers, the latter then just breaking.  

Lollapalooza hit a new stride for a few years as a one-weekend-only festival in Chicago but recent editions are often criticized for over-priced tickets, blocking its artists from bringing their own tours through the Windy City, and headline choices that stray too far from Lolla’s origins.  For all its ups and downs however, the festival has a one-of-kind heritage that has affected and reflected music in the past two decades in ways big and small, self-apparent and overlooked.  [Trivia of the day – through Lollapalooza ’94 The Flaming Lips met Yoshimi (P-We, and the rest of the Boredoms) and first penetrated the mainstream… with their name on the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time and the beginning of the buzz that brought “She Don’t Use Jelly” into hit radio playlists]… “Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell has long dreamed of taking his festival overseas….The top of the roster reads like a who’s who of past Lolla performers and includes such headliners as Kanye West, the Killers, 30 Seconds to Mars and, of course, Farrell’s own Jane’s Addiction… After nearly 20 years of wandering the U.S. and then putting down stakes along the Chicago lakefront since 2005, Lollapalooza is one of the most recognized music festivals on the planet.

The Chilean show…  a mix of international acts and South American stars… on five stages set up in the scenic downtown park. Farrell… promised to engage in a “cultural exchange” and bring some of the Chilean artists to this summer’s Lollapalooza in Chicago, whose lineup has not yet been announced.

“The job we did to gather these artists for 2011 was remarkable,” Farrell said in a statement. “Imagine gathering 60 artists while the contract ink is still wet.”

This weekend was produced by festival founder Perry Farrell, the William Morris Endeavor agency and C3 Presents (as per Lolla-usual), as well as Lotus Producciones, a Chilean promoter. Our ambition is to plant a very strong seed in Chile. One that will grow over the years, and provide Santiago with an event for the ages,” says Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell in a statement. The singer added that there is “Chilean talent in the mix” for the festival, and that he and his promotional partners will return to Chile “to work on the other aspects of the festival” … 30 Seconds to Mars, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Deftones and the Flaming Lips are … in the rock-leaning lineup.”

Farrell headlined with Jane’s Addiction – who reunited at Lollapalooza 2009 –  and also performed with his electronic side project, PerryEtty.

The American Lollapalooza returns to Chicago’s Grant Park August 5-7, 2011.  It too should be a special event (back in early October 2010 fans were asked fans to submit their top 3 “must-see” acts for 2011), though no artist announcements have been made yet, early-bird tickets are on sale tomorrow for $30 cheaper than regular three day passes. Last week’s pre-early-bird “Secret Sale” reportedly sold-out quickly (according to Lollapalooza, an obviously bias source).


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