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Lollapalooza Really Sells Out

| Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WEB_Banner_LollaEmily Hoffmann | The Observer

Selling-out to sellout? Lollapalooza’s 2014 lineup was announced last Wednesday, featuring 130 bands that will play August 1-3 during the festival’s 10th year in Chicago’s Grant Park. The lineup was met with both teen girls buying flower crowns online while simultaneously tweeting their “This lineup is so great, I can’t even” approval and the cynics wishing the festival would go back to its “glory days” as the grungy rock festival it was in the 90s.

The fact is that music festivals are expanding — both in genres and popularity. The lineup features alternative, indie, rap and electronic groups. With this wide range of music comes a wide range of those interested in attending.

Lollapalooza will feature EDM favorites Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Zedd, making the sighting of neon-clad, furry leg warmer-wearing Ultra-esque folk inevitable. The festival is also featuring bands near and dear to Coachella fans’ hearts, including Portugal the Man, Head & the Heart and Bombay Bicycle Club, therefore enticing those in maxi skirts, crochet and fringe to come along for the ride in their Airstreams. Rappers are also inherent to this year’s lineup, featuring artists such as Childish Gambino, Eminem, Chance the Rapper and Outkast, and diversify the festival’s draw while solidifying the aforementioned goers who like these artists in a somewhat “ironic” fashion.

Although we may be seeing a decrease in the rock music scene at festivals, there has been a prevalent shift towards electronic and rap influences. It would not be unheard of to wander from The Avett Brothers over to see Iggy Azaela, stopping to listen to Krewella’s set on the way.

The infusion of alternative and electronic music into the mainstream over the past years has spiked interest in music festivals to an all-time high. The lines between pop, indie and electronic music are becoming more blurred (although “Blurred Lines” does not fit this trend as it is definitively a pop song and an awful one at that).

Lorde is an example of an artist who has recently collided indie and pop music with success, despite her lyrically expressed doubts, and has subsequently become music scene royalty. She will be taking her dark, bewitching performance style to the main stage at Lollapalooza.

With the spike in popularity music festivals have seen in the past few years, they are able to book obscene amounts of acts people want to see. There has been an expanse in the amount, diversity and popularity of bands featured at festivals.

Festivals were a place to wander around during the day to hear some unknown bands that may make it big in the next few years and grant you a claim to “being hip.” At night you could head over to the main stage to catch a few headliners that were staples on your iPod nano. However, with lineups like the one Lollapalooza just released, your mainstream tastes can be satisfied all day, and you may find it difficult to pull away from these well-known bands to scope out the yet-to-be-discovered talents.

The headliner’s at this year’s festival includes Kings of Leon, Calvin Harris, Eminem, Skrillex, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and OutKast. Five of the six have already played the festival, with Kings of Leon headlining in 2009 and Eminem in 2011. OutKast has never played the festival before, and this summer marks the decade-long awaited reunion of Big Boi and Andre 3000.

Although the headliners don’t stand out from other festivals, or even previous Lollapalooza festivals, the packed lineup is diverse enough to appeal to many different tastes — proven true by the fact that it has sold already sold out all 100,000 tickets.

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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