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At The Movies

A Lollapalooza Documentary Is In The Works

Perry Farrell's festival made its debut in 1991.

Perry Farrell

A new three-part documentary series on the history of the Lollapalooza tour and now-festival has been greenlit and is being fast-tracked for production. The series will made available via the Paramount+ streaming service, though no confirmed release date has been announced yet.

Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza will be directed by Michael John Warren, and in a statement, Jane's Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell said, “When Lolla was launched in 1991, the concert industry felt like a boring car ride that was running out of gas. We pumped new life into the live music experience and set the foundation for youth counterculture to become important and exciting again. Now more than three decades young, I am happy to have this opportunity to give people an inside look at the festival’s contribution to music history.”

Warren also added a statement, saying “As a naive teenager trapped in the doldrums of Suburbia, U.S.A, I attended the first-ever Lollapalooza, and it totally blew my mind. It was dangerous, beautiful and instantly widened my perspective. So, it’s an honor to be entrusted to tell the true story of one of the most astonishing cultural touchstones in the last half-century.”

A cornerstone of alternative entertainment in the 90s, Farrell envisioned Lollapaloza after performing with Jane's Addiction at the massive Reading Festival in the UK, having realized there was nothing of that space, size and scope in the United States. The inaugural Lollapalooza Festival took place in the summer of 1991, stopping in 26 cities across the US and featuring Jane's Addiction, Ice-T and Body Count, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Fishbone, and Nine Inch Nails. The following year, at the berth of the grunge explosion, the festival was headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, Ministry, Lush, and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

By the end of the century, the car of Farrell's own invention had unfortunately lost gas of its own, the commitment to being cutting edge and non-commercial year after year proving too much to fulfill. The 1996 festival was received with scathing cynicism by fans when Metallica was announced as headliners that year, and after the 1997 festival—which featured headliners Tool and Korn—Lollapalooza packed up the tent and faded away with the decade.

Lollapalooza remained defunct until 2003, when it attempted another run, this time featuring Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, and again Jane's Addiction. But the tour was a bust, and the planned 2004 festival was immediately scrapped.

Again, Lollapalooza disappeared for years, that is until Farrell provided an influx of genius, guiding the evolution of Lollapalooza as a tour into a single-weekend festival, now held every year in Chicago's Grant Park. Today, Lollapalooza is a global brand, with festivals held annually in Latin America and Europe, and most recently in India.

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