Lollapalooza’s 2014 lineup is a fascinating case study for music festivals in 2014. Long gone is Perry Farrell’s initial, grunge-fueled creation of the mid-90s, where Body Count inspired mosh pits and Pavement was pelted with mud balls. Now, yuppies can watch Skrillex play from the comfort of their cabanas and ambulances sit outside Perry’s, waiting for the inevitable overdose. Back in 1996, fans were critical of Lollapalooza’s booking of mainstream rock band Metallica. In 2014, Kings of Leon are playing.
Since taking up permanent residence in Chicago’s Grant Park nine years ago, Lollapalooza has embraced the idea of being America’s biggest and most corporate music festival. This year’s lineup is a reflection of instant sellouts, the rising popularity of EDM, the continued demise of rock ‘n’ roll, and the vastly barren landscape of acts still considered a unique “get”. There’s no money in booking Sleater-Kinney or The Replacements; however, the kids will come see Calvin Harris and Krewella.
Lollapalooza’s 2014 lineup is not bad, it’s just not for you. (Though, considering it’s completely sold out, maybe it is.) And more likely than not, that’ll continue to be the case for the years to come, as the festival veers more toward the path of Ultra Music Festival than Coachella. There’s still a lot to appreciate about this year’s lineup, you just have to dig a little deeper, work a little harder. But, after all, isn’t that what being a diehard is all about?
In the pages that follow, join us as we look at this year’s biggest highlights, surprises, omissions, and least interesting bookings. Feel free to share your comments below.
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