DocumentaryMusic History

Finally! A documentary on the history of Lollapalooza

When Lollapalooza was first announced in the spring of 1991, most people figured it would be a bust. Who was going to pay good money to see a bunch of alternative freaks?

Sales for the Toronto show were so soft that inaugural year that the promoter gave me a big, fat stack of tickets with instructions to hand them out to anyone who had the slightest possibility of going. In the end, though, that first version of the tour did well enough for it to return for 1992–and things were much, much different.

Between the end of the first tour and the start of the second one, alternative music exploded. Pearl Jam blew up with Ten. Nirvana released Nevermind. The Chili Peppers came out with Blood Sugar Sex Magick (the same day as Nevermind!) Soundgarden had Badmotorfinger. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. By the summer of 1992, we were talking about the Alternative Nation and the Lollapalooza Generation.

There’s finally going to be a documentary on the entire experience. Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza (directed by Michael John Warren for Paramount+) will look at the festival’s entire history, from its beginnings as a Jane’s Addiction farewell tour to a cultural institution that plays in several places around the world each year.

Co-founder Perry Farrell says this: “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 the youth’s 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.”

The list of acts who have played Lollapalooza is staggering: Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Ramones, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage, Ministry, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Sonic Youth, Hole, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Dinosaur Jr., Jesus and Mary Chain, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Verve, George Clinton, Green Day, Nick Cave, Cypress Hill, Elastica, Beck, Pavement, Wu-Tang, Audioslave, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, The Killers, Pixies–the full list contains hundreds of bands.

There’s no word on a release date yet, but since this is officially sanctioned by the Lollapalooza organization, it should be very interesting.

More here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38150 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.