In 1991, Lollapalooza was created as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction. Unlike music festivals before its time, Lollapalooza began as a touring festival that visited venues across the United States and Canada. 25 years later, Lollapalooza has taken place in cities across the world, including Buenos Aires, Argentina, Berlin, Germany, and of course, the site of the flagship festival since 2005, Chicago, IL.
Lollapalooza kicks off its 25th year anniversary edition today, and with over 170 musical acts set to perform, there will be no shortage of music for the 400,000 who will be at Grant Park for the four day occasion. Must see acts include Radiohead, Haim, Major Lazer, Chance the Rapper, LCD Soundsystem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and of course, the band who helped start it all, Jane’s Addiction.
In celebration of 25 years of Lollapalooza, let’s take a look at some of the festival’s top (err, most memorable) moments over the years.
Pavement, West Virginia, and Mud
On one of the hottest days of Lollapalooza in 1995, indie rock band Pavement hit the stage mid-afternoon in West Virginia to perform in-front of a drunk, stoned crowd, who had recently been hosed down to help combat the heat. The result? A bunch of rowdy kids covered in mud listening to a band that they didn’t know or like. Before you knew it, mud and rocks were being hurled at the stage and band co-founder Scott Kannberg was flipping off and mooning everyone in attendance.
Last Call to See the Ramones
In August 1996, the Ramones, one of the most influential punk bands of all time called it quits. However, not before they toured across the country as part of Lollapalooza that summer, giving fans one final chance to see the band perform in concert.
Though Lollapalooza ran annually from 1991 until 1997, there would be no festival again until 2003. Lollapalooza’s comeback was less than stellar, and it was once again cancelled in 2004 thanks to low ticket sales. Festival organizers knew major changes needed to be implemented to make Lollapalooza the hit that it had been a decade earlier. It was decided that the festival become stationary and take place at Grant Park in Chicago. Its inaugural year in its current format was a success, with groups such as Weezer, The Killers, and Billy Idol taking the stage for over 65,000 attendees.
Rage Against The Machine Gets Rowdy
A year following their triumphant comeback, Rage Against the Machine made an appearance at Lollapalooza in 2008. Kicking off their set with politically charged songs such as “Testify” and “Bulls on Parade,” the crowd became so rowdy that the group was forced to stop their performance three separate times in an attempt to calm everyone down.
Daftpunk’s 2007 Performance
One of the most talked about performances at Lollapalooza was by a well-known electronic French duo known professionally as Daft Punk. Featuring their signature helmets and a light show for the ages, the group performed a 90-minute set, remixing their own work to the tune of 60,000 dancing fans. After their performance, most of the stages speakers were blown.