AUSTIN, Texas — Last year, Perry Farrell was just looking to re-establish the good name of his Lollapalooza festival. This year, with a successful run at Chicago's Grant Park already under his glittery belt, he was clearly looking to go for style points.
So you can understand why — as he strode into the press room of the posh Four Seasons Hotel to announce the lineup for Lollapalooza 2006 (to the strains of the theme from "Good Times") — he was wearing not just Fred Astaire's suit jacket, but also a giant smile. After all, he's put together a group of artists with style to spare.
Kanye West, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Death Cab For Cutie and Queens of the Stone Age are among the more than 70 acts tapped to perform at this year's Lollapalooza, returning to Chicago August 4-6 (see "Lollapalooza Returning As A Three-Day Festival").
"It's a kick-ass lineup. We know you're going to have a sloppy good time," Farrell said. "We made a concerted effort to book more hip-hop this year, and to mix it with a bunch of other amazing things too. And what we've ended up with is a beautiful, amazing thing."
This year's "beautiful, amazing thing" is an eclectic mix of hip-hop (West is joined on the bill by Common, British grime MC Lady Sovereign and Gnarls Barkley — the collaboration between Cee-Lo and producer Danger Mouse), rock (the Flaming Lips, the Shins, Jack White's Raconteurs, Panic! At the Disco) and, um, jam bands (Blues Traveler, the Disco Biscuits).
More artists will be announced in the coming weeks, with organizers promising a grand total of more than 130 acts on 8 stages.
Last year's Lolla — billed as a return to basics after an ambitious, coast-to-coast touring fest was canceled due to poor ticket sales in 2004 — was a tremendous success, packing more than 65,000 fans into Grant Park, despite brutal heat and swirling dust storms (see "Lollapalooza Thrives In Withering Heat With Killers, Weezer, Pixies"). And though much of the concert industry was shocked by that success, Farrell said he knew it would happen all along.
"We knew going in last year that it was going to be a challenge, but we pounded away and ended up with something great. But I knew that the formula we had would work, and it did," Farrell said. "And now, the goal this year is to build on it. I like the idea of always expanding, of adding new wings. We don't want anyone to come to this year's Lollapalooza and be like 'Oh, I've seen this already.' "
Tickets for Lollapalooza are now on sale through Lollapalooza.com. A three-day pass costs $130.