Is Lollapalooza’s line up worth $190?

04.21.09 8 years ago

Chris Pizzello/AP

Fittingly so, Jane’s Addiction will headline Lollapalooza, which takes place Aug. 7-9 at Grant Park in Chicago. As many of you recall, Jane’s Addiction founder Perry Ferrell founded Lollapalooza in 1991. It was a touring festival in those days instead of a three-day stop in one city and it set the precedent for many such festivals that followed included Warped and Ozzfest.

This year’s line up positions Lollapalooza solidly between the cool, alternative hipness of Coachella and the rock/jam feel of Bonnaroo. Among the 85 artists on the bill are Depeche Mode, the Killers, Tool, Kings of Leon, Lou Reed, Beastie Boys and Ben Harper and the Relentless7.

Also playing is the usual assortment of critical alternative rock darlings: Vampire Weekend, the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio, Animal Collective, Of Montreal, Silversun Pickups, Band of Horses and Neko Case.

Lollapalooza is also a little country and a little rap. Country artists coming to the Windy City include alternative-leaning Robert Earl Keen and Eric Church. Rappers Snoop Dogg and hot newcomer Asher Roth are also playing the three-day festival.

At some point, to be quite honest, my eyes start to blur and all the festival line ups look the same because they all overlap in some form of fashion. For example, the big draw on the main stage Saturday night at the just concluded Coachella was the Killers. Other artists on both bills include Cage the Elephant, Crystal Castles, Band of Horses, Lykke Li, Fleet Foxes, Ida Maria, Thievery Corporation and a few others.

Bonnaroo, which is two months earlier than Lollapalooza, shares many of the same artists including Ben Harper, Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Band of Horses, Neko Case, Andrew Bird, Hockey, the Decemberists, Robert Earl Keen, Crystal Castles and some others.
Three-day passes are on sale now and are $190. For those of you who aren’t quite aware there’s a recession going on, you can buy the Lolla Lounge VIP Pass for $850. That gets you air conditioned restrooms (that’s worth the extra moolah right there, access to VIP lounges, a spot on the raised viewing platforms adjacent to the main stages, lunch and dinner buffets and other stuff. We’re sure it comes with a cool laminate to show your friends).

So is the festival worth $190? It offers almost 50 fewer acts than Coachella (for which three-day passes were $259) and the four-day, 112-act Bonnaroo (tickets are $249.50). The price is extremely appealing and boils down to about $2.50 per act. Of course you’re not going to see everyone on the bill or full sets by most of the artists, but Lollapalooza is smack dab in the middle of Chicago, which counts for a lot in terms of extremely easy access in and out. It’s not like Bonnaroo, which is in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee with very few creature comforts, or Coachella, which is hot as blazes and also in the middle of nowhere.  What Lollapalooza lacks in start power (I’d give the line up a B), it makes up for by being in the Windy City.

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