Lollapalooza Is Dead and I Don’t Feel Too Good Myself
Posted on June 22, 2004 Posted by John Scalzi
Seems like this year’s Lollapalooza done got itself canceled, thanks to low ticket sales, or, as the site’s self-pitying comment on the matter states it:
Even with what has been touted as the best line-up since its inception in 1991, with such eclectic and respected artists as Morrissey, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, and The Flaming Lips, among others, and the most competitive ticket prices in the marketplace for a tour this size, it was not enough to counter the weak economic state of this year’s summer touring season.
Oh, come on. I love me the Lollapalooza — I went to the first one and, uh, the fifth one, I think — but this year’s version was doomed from the start. Here’s a hint for all you future rock tour managers: If you get the bright idea to do a music package tour, don’t make it a two-day event filled with bands whose fans are in their 30s; you know, the people who now have families and lives and full-time jobs with benefits that they can’t blow off for two days running to stand in the middle of a friggin’ stadium with a cup of warm beer without getting fired.
I mean for God’s sake, look at this lineup: Morrissey. Wilco. PJ Harvey. The Flaming Lips. This isn’t a Lollapalooza, it’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on a Bus. The only people under 25 who would go this concert are indie record store clerks, and those few of that species who have survived iTunes can barely fill a bar for a weekend concert by Death Cab for Cutie.
I don’t want to run down my own generation here, but despite the Gen-X belief that as long as we remain ironic and detached we will never grow old, the fact is, we’re all grown-ups now. Kids. Mortgages. Jobs what got 401(k)s. We’re not a festival crowd anymore, and especially not when the festival takes up two days in the middle of the work week. I mean, just about the only person I know who could do it is me, and I have better things to do with my time than to hang around an amphitheater a couple days running.
I don’t want to stop listening to good music, mind you. I just don’t want to have to bake in grass (a phrase with more than one meaning) to do it. And I suspect I’m not alone on this one. Which does make me wonder what sort of drugs the Lollapalooza folks were taking when they decided to make this line-up a two day festival; whatever they were, it’s probably good to get blitzed on, but not so good to make coherent business plans with. These folks need to get with reality, or at least some with Gen-X people with kids and real jobs.
Whatever Everyone Else is Saying