The “Lots-A-Big-Losers” festival is still running??!?!

Kanye, Chili Peppers Head Lollapalooza ’06
Three is the magic number for Lollapalooza ’06.
As the alternative generation’s standard-bearer for touring festivals parks itself in Chicago’s Grant Park as a standalone affair for the second year in a row, Lollapalooza is expanding from two days to three, and adding a special emphasis on hip-hop.
To that end, organizers announced Thursday rap superstar Kanye West will headline this year’s blow-out event being held Aug. 4 6, along with an eclectic group of performers that includes tour veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers, Windy City rockers Wilco, indie faves Death Cab for Cutie, stoner rock gods Queens of the Stone Age and Ween, Hassidic reggae sensation Matisyahu, the Shins, and Jack White’s new band, the Raconteurs, among many others.
“It’s a kickass lineup. We know you’re going to have a sloppy good time,” Perry Farrell, the former Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lolla’s founder and leading visionary, said Thursday at a press conference in Austin, Texas. “We made a concerted effort to book more hip-hop this year, and to mix it with a bunch of other amazing things too. And what we’ve ended up with is a beautiful, amazing thing.”
Hip-hop’s always been a welcome addition to Lollapalooza. The inaugural fest back in ’91 boasted Ice-T while subsequent editions saw artists such as Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg representing. This year, however, Farrell and company are undeniably raising rap’s profile by bringing in a variety of hip-hop heavyweights along with West to showcase the genre’s diversity.
Joining the “Gold Digger” artist will be socially conscious rapper Common, 19-year-old British MC Lady Sovereign, Gnarls Barkley, a collaboration of famed artist-producer Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, hip-hop combo Blackalicious, and Lyrics Born, with more to come.
After the dismal summer of 2004, when organizers were forced to scrap Lollapalooza as a two-day traveling road show due to sluggish ticket sales, Farrell sold the Lolla brand to Austin-based Capital Sports & Entertainment, which stages the annual Austin City Limits Festival in September, with the idea of giving his baby a serious makeover.
That led to Lollapalooza ’05 putting down stakes in Chicago with the intention of being a one-stop destination for music lovers as well as compete with the likes of major music festivals Bonnaroo and Coachella which, after ripping a page from the Woodstock-Lolla playbook, have become runaway successes over the last four years.
More than 65,000 fans braved a sweltering heat in the 69-acre Grant Park to see a reunited Pixies, Primus, the Arcade Fire and Weezer, among other bands, over two days and help initiate what could be the beginnings of a Second City tradition.
Hence, Farrell’s desire to add a third day.
“I knew the formula we had would work, and it did,” MTV quoted Farrell as saying. “And now, the goal this year is to build on it.”
Other big names among the 130 or so bands on the bill include the Flaming Lips, Sleater-Kinney, Ryan Adams, the Disco Biscuits, Aqualung, the Frames, Nada Surf, Calexico, the Reverend Horton Heat, Nickel Creek, Feist, Blues Traveller, Thievery Corporation and Poi Dog Pondering.
As in previous years, expect the usual funky activities, from a text message scavenger hunt first introduced by Farrell at Lolla ’03 and a fashion show from local Chicago designers to a special play area for the youngsters featuring family-oriented musicians, deejays, drum circles and kiddie yoga.
A three-day Lollapalooza pass costs $130 and is now on sale at–not a bad deal considering the price of a decent seat at a Rolling Stones show.