Lilith Fair Returns, And MTV News Was There The First Time Around

It sometimes seems like we’re living in a time warp here at MTV News. Today alone featured visits from old-school hip-hopper KRS-One and a visit to the set of the new video by Alice in Chains. Here’s one more flashback to those strange days of the late 1990s: According to Billboard, Lilith Fair will return in 2010. For those unaware, Lilith Fair was an all-female touring festival created by Canadian songbird Sarah McLachlan in 1997. It was originally designed as counter-programming to the glut of touring festivals (Lollapalooza, Ozzfest, Warped) that seemed to cater specifically to a male audience. According to the report, the festival will hit 18 cities all over North America next year.

In the festival’s three original years, there was a rotating lineup of performers who hopped on and off the tour for various legs of the summer, with McLachlan headlining every night of the festival. The original lineup in ’97 was headlined by the Indigo Girls, Fiona Apple, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Joan Osborne and Paula Cole. When the festival returned in 1998, McLachlan recruited a slightly more eclectic batch of performers, including Erykah Badu, Sinéad O’Connor, K’s Choice and Missy Elliott.

MTV News was on the scene when McLachlan and a host of other performers held a press conference to announce the 1998 version of the festival. Check out this package from the MTV News vault, which came from the April 17, 1998 episode of “MTV News 1515,” a week-ending digest show that covered the biggest stories happening in music and pop culture. Watch for the all-star jam of the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” and see if you can identify all of the artists featured at the press conference (even I, a ’90s aficionado, couldn’t place two of them). To the time machine!


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