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HomeEntertainmentPerry Farrell Talks About His Attempt to Revive Lollapalooza in 2004

Perry Farrell Talks About His Attempt to Revive Lollapalooza in 2004


Shortly before it became a destination festival in Chicago, a Lollapalooza tour was cancelled due to poor ticket sales, nearly causing Farrell to sell the name to Rick Rubin

The upcoming Paramount+ + documentary Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza traces the story of Perry Farrell‘s alternative music extravaganza from its roots in 1991 as a Jane’s Addiction farewell tour all the way through its role today as one of the largest festivals on the planet. The three-part special, which features interviews with Farrell, Chance the Rapper, Flea, Trent Reznor, Ice-T, Tom Morello, Lars Ulrich, and Vernon Reid premieres May 21.

In this exclusive clip, Lollapalooza founders Perry Farrell and Marc Geiger talk about their efforts to revive the festival in 2004 as a tour featuring Morrissey, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Pixies, and the Flaming Lips. But this was a good decade past the alternative rock revolution, and it was canceled due to anemic ticket sales. “We made some bad mistakes trying to revive something that shouldn’t have been revived,” Geiger says. “It fell on its face…We’d been through so much and the ups and downs, and trying to stay on edge where there just isn’t an edge anymore.”


The collapse of the 2004 incarnation of Lollapalooza left Farrell shattered. “I didn’t know what I was going to do, and I was very embarrassed,” he says. “I was hurting for money. I don’t know why, but Rick Rubin decided to make an offer to me to buy the name for like a million dollars. I won’t tell you exactly how I put it, but I said no.”

The following year, Farrell teamed up with C3 Presents to reimagine Lollapalooza as a multi-day destination festival in Chicago’s Grant Park. It’s been there practically every year since, and there are now yearly Lollapalooza events all across Europe and South America. The Chicago event this year features Tyler, the Creator, the Killers, Hozier, Blink-182, and SZA. And had Farrell buckled under the financial pressure of 2004 and sold the name to Rubin, it’s quite possible none of this would have happened.


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