The Lollapalooza guessing game

February 16, 2012

As with so many aspects of the musical Walmart on the Lake, Lollaplooza likes to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to trumpeting each August’s 130-band lineup.

The concert has maintained from the start of its reinvention as a Chicago-based “destination festival” seven years ago that people come to Grant Park because of the event, regardless of the particular acts on the bill. Then the promoters rant and rage at any reporter who dares to publish any of the acts they’ve booked in advance of their official lineup press release.

When this blogger broke the news of the lineup in 2008, Lollapalooza corporate figurehead Perry Farrell lashed out and called me “Pepe LePew.” The last few years, my Sound Opinions colleague Greg Kot had the scoops, and though they were more circumspect in public, the promoters were no less angry behind the scenes. Now, they’ve got a new public enemy number one: the person claiming to be “an anonymous Lollapalooza insider” behind the @LollaLeaks Twitter account.

Among the 2012 bookings claimed by the mystery Tweeter—which may or may not be true—are Korn, Missy Elliott, the reunited Garbage, Beyonce, Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers (again? Really?), the Killers (ditto), Beck, Sonic Youth, AWOLNATION and the Gaslight Anthem.

Reliable reporter or rumormonger, @LollaLeaks once again has incurred the wrath of Perry, as MTV.com noted yesterday: Farrell “vaguely compared @LollaLeaks to both a sex offender and a ‘red tick’ and finally delivered a punishing low blow, writing, ‘You must have a small penis.’ (Jim DeRogatis got off easy, it would seem.)”

One thing is for sure: This feud already has been more original and entertaining than about a third of the bands on the final bill are likely to be.

Meanwhile, the concert’s Austin, Texas-based promoters C3 Presents continue their quest for global festival domination. In addition to branching out to stage two Lollapaloozas in South America in Brazil and Chile and taking over Big Day Out in Australia, C3 recently announced an event called Orion Music + More to be headlined by Metallica at Bader Field in Atlantic City on June 23 and 24.

Also on that bill: Arctic Monkeys, Avenged Sevenfold, Modest Mouse, the Gaslight Anthem, Cage the Elephant, F*cked Up, Best Coast, Hot Snakes, Titus Andronicus, Gary Clark Jr., Lucero, Roky Erickson, the Black Angels, the Sword, A Place to Bury Strangers and Liturgy.

This won’t be the first time C3 tried to bring its new Lollapalooza model to the East Coast: A few years ago, it attempted to secure a locale there, first in the Garden State, and then near Philadelphia. Back then, it was sent ignominiously packing by competitive local promoters and uncooperative local officials—and gee, it’s hard not to wonder if the latter were less willing than Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois officials to give the promoters those tax breaks they claim to need.

In any event, even more intriguing than Metallicapalooza is an event that C3 has not publicized quite so much called Wanderlust—and here is the press release on that recently generated by its independent publicist. Now, doesn’t this sound like fun?

“Find someone who attended the original Lollapalooza in the early ’90s and most likely they haven’t been to a music festival since. Twenty years ago, they were a fresh-faced group of be-flanneled grunge-rockers, but after careers, kids and just growing up, the crowded, dirty festival scene stopped being so appealing. So where are they today?

“The people behind the original Lollapalooza scene have done some growing up. But they’re still in the festival game.

“Having held on to the alternative lifestyle ethics behind Lollapalooza, C3 Presents in partnership with Velour Music Group and Starr Hill have spent the past four years building a festival empire based on living well. Their Wanderlust Festival—a celebration of music, yoga and stunning natural scenery—spans three states (California, Vermont and Colorado) and, for the first time this year, two countries. Now in its fourth year, Wanderlust is the fastest growing festival in the U.S., reaching over 30,000 people in 2011 alone and [it] gives alternative 30 somethings a new reason to rock out…. consciously.

“Featuring wellness icons spanning a range of industries—from Shiva Rea and Deepak Chopra, to Moby and Common, to Adrian Grenier and even Google executives—Wanderlust Festival has been so successful that it's even opening its own yoga space/music venue this spring. I would love to offer you an inside look into the Wanderlust brand, the people behind it and how it has provided a transformative escape that keeps people coming back year over year….

“You can find out more about Wanderlust Festival here http://colorado.wanderlustfestival.com/home.”