Perry Farrell is a dreamer. And for the longest time, the Lollapalooza co-founder and Jane’s Addiction singer has had a vision of packing up his iconic alternative-rock festival and taking it overseas.
In April, for the first time in the event’s nearly 20-year history, he will finally get his wish when Lollapalooza touches down for two days in Santiago, Chile. Though a lineup has not yet been announced for the April 2 and 3 gigs, Farrell promises that the Lollapalooza International shows at the downtown O’Higgins Park will live up to the platinum standard of the now-destination fest, which has taken place on the Chicago lakefront since 2005.
“There are a series of prerequisites when selecting a destination. Number one is space. It must be open and lovely; scalable up to 100,000 patrons,” Farrell said in a release announcing the gigs, which will feature a mix of international talent and homegrown Chilean artists. “Second is the proximity to the city. We provide the entertainment. The city provides the culture, hotels, restaurants and clubs. Then, most important are the people. The people of Santiago have a passion for contemporary music and lead international lifestyles. Perfect.”
Farrell described O’Higgins as a scenic location with a gentle-sloping grass viewing area that has a view of the Andes Mountains in the distance, as well as a “large round discotheque that houses up to 10,000 people.” The recreational area is also adjacent to an amusement park with a roller coaster.
Working with a local promoter, Farrell said he intends to not only include indigenous Chilean artists, but to also explore a “musical foreign exchange” by bringing in some acts from Chicago as well.
As for how he’s going to draw a large audience to the first-ever Lolla outside of the U.S., Farrell said he expects it will be no problem. “We are confident a massive music audience is awaiting us in Santiago,” he maintained. “What we are very interested to learn is how widely spread the demographic will be. In Chicago we have hipsters as well as young parents with children in attendance. It is one of the few places in the world where a generation gap doesn’t exist.”
In the meantime, fans of the domestic version of the festival can start making their plans for the 2011 edition, which will take place August 5-7 in Chicago. It will be a challenge to top the list of stars from the 2010 Lollapalooza , which included Lady Gaga, Green Day, Soundgarden, Arcade Fire, MGMT, Phoenix, the Strokes and the Black Keys.