CoS Exclusive FeaturesFestival CoverageHot

Lollapalooza’s 2013 Lineup: One Day Later

on March 29, 2013, 10:04am
view all

lolla leak lineup fake maybe

Michael Roffman and I first met on the Lollapalooza message board back in 2007 and came up with the idea to launch a website that catered to music festival news and rumors. At the time, the music festival boom was just beginning, inspired by a jam festival’s decision to book Radiohead. 80,000 people went to Bonnaroo that year — a defining moment for an industry ravaged by Napster and Limewire. People were still willing to pay good money for music, just as long as there were a few potent headliners, a reunion or two, and some of those “indie bands.” The following year Coachella booked Rage Against the Machine, Bonnaroo reunited The Police, and Lollapalooza got Daft Punk. It’s been a rat race ever since, with the major festivals met with increasing expectations, all while new festivals pop up by the dozen.

Last week on Twitter I had my first ever rant, spurred on by an article in Chicago’s Red Eye lambasting the repetitiveness and unoriginality of Lollapalooza’s four leaked headliners (The Killers, Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons, and Phoenix). I posed this question: five years ago, what did we think Lollapalooza would look like in 2013? Truth be told, there’s really no environment for an aspiring rock band to grow into a formidable headliner on the level of Radiohead or The White Stripes — not unless said band wants to be barraged with accusations of selling out or being inauthentic. At least that’s how Mumford and Sons and Kings of Leon succeeded in becoming headliners to the dismay of the nerds and critics reading this site. The alternative, of course, is repeated headliners, tired reunions, and headliners who probably aren’t headliners.

Needless to say, it must be a lot more difficult to book a festival in 2013 than it was in 2007. That’s why this year’s Lollapalooza lineup should be lauded. Faced with such expectations and increased competition (there are about eight European festivals that take place the same weekend), Perry Farrell and C3 Presents pieced together a lineup featuring three unique grabs (The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, QOTSA), three members of indie royalty (Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, The Postal Service), and even something for the mainstream (Mumfords). The mid-tier of the lineup is also impressive (The National, Hot Chip, and Death Grips?!?!?), especially by Lolla’s historically low standards.

Booking a music festival is not easy. Lower your expectations and maybe just maybe this lineup will get the credit it rightfully deserves.

-Alex Young

view all

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

April 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I’m still parsing it, but even making the “they need to make money on it so that’s why it’s booked this way” argument doesn’t really hold water when most every other major festival has better line-ups, including big headliners.

And who repeats headliners this often this early in their lifespan?

Garrett Nutgrass
April 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

COS pretty much always avoid mentioning EDM unless they absolutely have to. You guys hate it don’t you?

Michael Roffman
April 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

Yep. We spend all our waking hours thinking about how much we loathe Skrillex or Tiesto. I make PBJ sandwiches with my hatred of Avicii.

Oosha Cardwell
March 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I still say meh to this years lineup

March 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm

If Jesse Ware is on the bill it’s gotta be worth it

March 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Can’t wait for The Killers

March 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

So you’re saying this is good if I lower my expectations? Not sure I should have to do that considering Lollapalooza has had Radiohead, Kanye West, NIN, Rage Against the Machine, and Wilco all in the same year and Soundgarden, Arcade Fire, and The Strokes all in the same year. I’m not saying every year can be a murderer’s row like 2008 and 2010, but Lolla is the premiere festival of that weekend. I don’t think because there are 8 other festivals that I should have to expect less from Lollapalooza, especially with WME behind them. If you’re looking at it purely from a booker’s perspective, they’ve done a fine job, but that would apply every year. It still matters who the actual acts are, and yes, this year they have several obvious, “boring” ones (save The Cure, NIN, and PS). I hate to say that, but that’s really how it comes across. Lolla does not hold a candle to Coachella or Bonnaroo this year. Having said all that, there are still acts I’d like to see, such is the nature of festival lineups. As a side note, The Cure is not a unique get as they’re also the #1 act at Osheaga that weekend.

David Shapiro
March 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

oh wow, they’re headlining another fest in another country. Then doing nothing else in the US… oh yeah that doesn’t sound rare to me.

March 31, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Never said it wasn’t “rare”, but it absolutely isn’t unique, as the article states (it is one of their good bookings, as I said before). Unique means there’s no other like it, and they’re headlining another festival as the #1 act the same weekend. In fact, Lolla’s first two acts are the first two acts at Osheaga.

B. M.H.
April 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

they’ll announce further US headline dates shortly.

March 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

NIN played in 2008, not 2009. You might want to fix that

Dan R
March 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm

I think I’m the most bummed about the lack of Earl Sweatshirt and Tame Impala…I missed Tame when they came through Chicago recently, and I’m still bitter about it. Thought for sure they would be on the lineup after announcing numerous festival appearances. I hear a lot about a weak mid-tier, but I think it’s solid. Sure, I’ve seen a lot of these bands live, as I’m sure many of you have, but for the most part they put on great live performances. Band of Horses, Hot Chip, Local Natives, Two Door, Beach House, Matt & Kim, Alt-J, Foals, DIIV, Cat Power, Unknown Mortal Ochestra, Frightened Rabbit, Grizzly Bear….I mean seriously, what do you guys want that would make you happy? Not everyone can play every festival.

March 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Tame Impala played last year, unless their set was cancelled due to the storm

Dan R
March 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Ah, that would make sense then. I hadn’t discovered them yet, unfortunately. It’s hard to keep up sometimes.

March 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

This is the most impressive set of headliners of any major festival this year. In the past I agree, that the mid-tier has been a little weak, but it is much improved over years past. Postal Service is making the rounds but still a huge get, Roo didn’t get them. Queens of the Stoneage have been on everyone’s wish list for a few years and Lolla pulled it off. The National always puts on a great show.
As far as EDM, there isnt enough big names to continually fill the main stages at major festivals without really stretching someone’s name and talent to do so.

I am really excited about this lineup, although I am likely only going to be able to go on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully the Cure or NIN play those nights.

Karst De Jong
March 29, 2013 at 4:45 am

You woud expect headliners that can draw in a crowd, and they have done that. Then you need a 2nd tier that can keep things interesting, and I think they partly succeeded in that. Lana Del Rey and New Order will draw that in no doubt. They are possibly playing it a little safe with that one. No real Flaming Lips type act. In third tier you want to see some cool buzzbands and they have Palma Violets and Haim who I’d expect to see there.

March 29, 2013 at 12:58 am

I would have listed Eric Church and lack of EDM billed in their top 10 as surprises for the festival. Jessie Ware is a good notable to be listed since she is only doing Coachella as her other festival in the states.

March 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

It doesn’t look like any EDM acts will be gracing the mainstages, like Avicii & Justice did last year. Neither crowd was particularly huge, but I thought it worked well.

March 29, 2013 at 9:03 am

They had a nice electronic stage though last year and maybe moving the way of Coachella in having an EDM tent and only exceptionally large acts will be on the mainstage.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,845 other followers