Festival legend Lollapalooza lands in Colombia

Martha del Pilar Moreno

Martha del Pilar Moreno

Finally, it is here, the greatest alternative music festival will arrive in Colombia. Born at the dawn of the nineties and alternative music, Lollapalooza was created at first as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction with acts ranging from post-punk to industrial metal. Eventually, the festival earned a life of its own beyond its origin, becoming a force of nature. Conceived as a North American festival, Lollapalooza has reached out other destinations in South America and Europe, proving that despite originating in the nineties, its relevance reverberates to this day.

Time for a bit of history. Why is it such a big deal for a festival such as this was created in the first place? Jane’s Addiction is one of the bands that personifies what alternative was in the nineties. Eclectic to the extreme, Jane’s Addiction founder Perry Farrell saw the opportunity to give a proper farewell to his band in the shape of a festival that hosted not only musical outcasts at the time, but also a wide range of culture. At the time, there was a similar festival that blended all genres of music regardless of its popularity known as A Gathering of the Tribes. In this festival, music was a major part; however, other acts such as comedians and Native-American dance companies were also welcome in such event. For the out-of-the-box mind of Farrell, this kind of festival would represent the perfect way for Jane’s Addiction fans to bid their farewell to this alternative act, and so, Lollapalooza was born.

For those of us that do not know the origin of the word, it makes sense that it literally means something extraordinarily impressive, or an outstanding example. Coined some time in 1896 and popularised at 1930’s, it became to mean something or someone unusual. Of course, the word fitted perfectly with Farrell’s vision.

After the first festival, which toured most of North America, it gained prominence among the growing culture of Grunge and alternative music. Focusing on non-mainstream acts rather than well-known bands, based solely on the alternative and eclectic nature of the festival; the festival flourished with this main rule. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Smashing Pumpkins, Body Count, Cypress Hill, Ramones, Rage Against the Machine, among others, rejoiced in the mix of genres. But with the rise and fall of alternative music, the festival followed the same pattern, and by 1998 the festival called it quits for the time being.

Coincidently, with the reunion of Jane’s Addiction and the re-emerging of alternative music, Lollapalooza found a niche once again. However, touring proved not to be as well received as in the nineties. Therefore, the once touring festival became a stationary event held in Chicago, United States. Perhaps it is this sedentary behaviour that allowed the festival to grow regarding participating acts (70 acts). From then onwards, Lollapalooza has been a successful event, so successful that it decided to broaden their horizon by incorporating venues around the world to their family. The first to be added was Santiago de Chile, Chile in 2010; Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2011; Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013; and Berlin, Germany in 2014. Each city was added mostly for their emerging as culture hotspot.

In Colombia, the desire to have this kind of experience has eaten up several musical fans. After all, Lollapalooza is a legend but the wait is over. In December 2015, it was announced that the festival will take place for the first time in Bogotá on the 17th and 18th of September 2016, which was a joy for many people in this country. Expectations are high regarding lineup, for other South American stages of the tour have had mainly diverse ensembles with acts that have never set foot in Colombia. As for now, all information regarding lineups has been kept secret, but tickets are already on sale, with Early Birds tickets which cost 490,000 COP (142 US Dollars). If you show a blind faith in the festival, you will be rewarded as prices will rise after lineups are known. Go and buy your ticket as fast as you can.

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