NEW YORK — Looking back on this month’s Lollapalooza in Chicago has only made founder Perry Farrell more intent on taking the festival to the next level.
“[The show] was sensational,” Farrell reflected on Monday night. He cited the curfew-breaking, two-hour set from Pearl Jam, complete with an unexpected fireworks display from another event nearby, as one of the weekend’s highlights (see “Pearl Jam Electrify; Amy Winehouse, Lupe Fiasco, Kings Of Leon Also Help Cap Lollapalooza” ). “We had an amazing time. It always goes way too fast for the amount of action that’s happening there over the course of three days.”
The revived festival’s success is fueling Farrell’s hopes to move future festivals not only beyond Chicago, but overseas for the first time as well.
“Before I die, I’d love to see Lollapalooza travel around the world,” said Farrell, who also performed at the festival with his band, Satellite Party. Not that he’s burning any bridges in Chicago. The singer said he has only “love and adoration” for the city and its people, who have helped him to re-establish the festival, and he was quick to note that Chicago will be Lolla’s home for some time to come (in 2006, Farrell and the city signed a deal that keeps Lollapalooza there through 2011). But Farrell wants to stay true to the roots of the early Lollapalooza festivals, and has his sights set on hitting the road.
“It’s just that Europe has never seen Lollapalooza or experienced it,” he said. “And people around the country often ask if it will ever come back [to their towns]. So, for their sake, I’d like to see those wheels start to turn again and travel.”
Farrell has mentioned this dream before , and he still won’t say which specific location he’s got his eye on — although London; Paris; Berlin; and Madrid, Spain, all ranked high on his list. “I can’t say which one first, because then other people are going to feel like I don’t love them as much,” he explained diplomatically.
When Lollapalooza enjoyed its early run as the premier touring festival of the ’90s, Farrell never tried to take the show across the pond. But the tour founder now says that the underlying message of Lollapalooza is universal, and he soon hopes to prove that.
“I feel that the stage is where the modern musicians thrive, where they should be and really where they belong,” he said. “I think people also belong outdoors, enjoying themselves and having a vacation, relaxing and enjoying music. There’s where it all culminates and comes together.”
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