Lollapalooza adds third day, stretches out


February 14, 2006


In the second year of its third incarnation as a "destination festival" drawing alternative rock fans from across the country, Lollapalooza has announced it is expanding to a third day and branching out to occupy a larger portion of Grant Park.

As reported Jan. 30 in the Sun-Times, this year's Lollapalooza will take place Aug. 4-6. On Monday, concert organizer Capital Sports & Entertainment of Austin, Texas, announced it not only will occupy Hutchinson Field, as it did for two days last summer, but will extend north past Buckingham Fountain -- which will remain open to the public through the concert -- to the additional site of Butler Field, location of the Petrillo Music Shell and home of Taste of Chicago and other city music fests.

The new and bigger plans call for a total of eight stages and 130 bands, according to the promoters. Information on ticket sales and the list of performers won't be announced until mid-March, but sources said psychedelic popsters the Flaming Lips are one act that is considering taking part, and persistent rumors continue about another, reunited Chicago alt-rock heroes the Smashing Pumpkins. Neither is confirmed.

Lollapalooza initially was launched by former Jane's Addiction leader Perry Farrell in 1991 as a touring daylong alternative rock festival. It went on hiatus from 1998 to 2002, returned again as a national tour in 2003, but was canceled because of poor tickets sales in 2004.

The new Chicago-centered Lollapalooza was deemed a success in 2005, however, drawing 30,000 fans each day to Grant Park and raising $400,000 for parks improvements. A portion of the proceeds this year once again will benefit the Park District, promoters and city officials said.

Bob O'Neill, a spokesman for the citizens' watchdog group the Grant Park Conservancy, said money raised by last year's concert is enabling a restoration of Hutchinson Field set to begin this spring.

"Lollapalooza this year will mean even more funds for Chicago's parks," including the creation of the proposed Solti Gardens in Grant Park," O'Neill said. "This is music to our ears."