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Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

The alternative rock traveling circus Lollapalooza began in 1991 as the brainchild of Perry Farrell, then frontman of Jane's Addiction. The summer festival brought together seven alternative rock acts and their respective loyal followings for afternoon and evening concerts at large outdoor venues across the United States. Likened to 1969's Woodstock festival, Lollapalooza expanded each year, with acts playing several stages simultaneously and with circus tents set up on the grounds to house such "sideshow" attractions as tattooing and body-piercing vendors, voter registration tables, free Internet surfing, presentations by proponents of marijuana legalization, exotic foods, and the requisite (and profitable) Lollapalooza merchandising booths. In subsequent years, the show included as many as 19 bands that played on as many as three stages.

The tour was canceled in 1998, reportedly so Lollapalooza planners could regroup and ensure that the next edition of the tour was better integrated. Critics generally agreed that each new tour seemed less coherent and that the quality of the acts as a packaged whole suffered, with disparate fringe bands taking the place of 1991's relatively mainstream selection of alternative rock groups. The commercial success of Lollapalooza encouraged the creation of other outdoor rock festivals, including the less esoteric H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) festival (est. 1992) and the gynocentric Lilith Fair (est. 1997), named for Adam's apocryphal first wife, which featured all-female acts.

—Tilney Marsh

Further Reading:

Romanowski, Patricia, et al., editors. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. New York, Rolling Stone Press, 1995.

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