Perry Farrell on 25 Years of Lollapalooza and What’s Next

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Perry Farrell by Brian Lowe
Perry Farrell by Brian Lowe (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Jane’s Addiction frontman and all-around Renaissance man Perry Farrell dropped by the station for an interview celebrating the 25th anniversary of the festival he founded, Lollapalooza.

Ever the rock star, he was decked out in leather and a neck tie and sat down with Music Director Jason Bentley to talk about the genesis of the fest.

Essentially it was designed as a fond farewell to Jane’s Addiction (that was when they broke up the first time). Perry’s idea was to recreate the casual social gatherings his peers hosted around that time, where musicians turned each other on to new bands.

Lollapalooza was the first festival to expand to multiple days, to introduce a second stage, to blend art and activism, to put electronic dance music artists on the main stage, and to expand internationally.

The festival now takes place in Chicago once a year. The 2016 festival will feature 170 bands in Grant Park, July 28-July 31.

He also hinted at his latest venture – in LAS VEGAS. He called it a “farm league for Lollapalooza.”

Below are some of Perry’s favorite bookings from over the years.

Listen to his conversation with Jason Bentley here.

Perry’s Top Picks – Lollapalooza version


Jane’s Addiction — “Been Caught Stealing”
Siouxsie and the Banshees — “Israel”
Beastie Boys — “Sure Shot”
Rage vs the Machine — “Killing in the Name Of”

CHICAGO (since 2005)

Radiohead — “15 Steps”
Kendrick Lamar — “Poetic Justice”


Zhu — “Faded”
Kiiara — “Gold”
Leon Bridges — “Coming Home”
Die Antwoord — “Ugly Boy”
Last Shadow Puppets — “Bad Habits”
Major Lazer — “Lean On”