In the beginning, a musician named Perry Farrell had an idea: build a music festival where all of his favorite artists could play. After years of contemplating and months of planning. the idea became a reality, and Perry and Co. took their festival on tour across the country. However after years of traveling, the concept itself wasn’t enough to gain a consistent profit. At it’s core, Perry knew what was wrong. Lollapalooza needed a home.
Chicago is now in it’s 9th year as hosts of the legendary Lollapalooza, so we figured now would be as great a time as ever to point out a few statistical points of interest.
It comes as no surprise: EDM is our bread and butter. The industry is not going anywhere anytime soon, but trends are starting to form that could provide insight into where we’re headed as a genre . We buckled down, did some heavy research (Wikipedia), and analyzed the incremental growth of electronic dance music acts playing at Lolla over the past nine years. To specify, the acts we consider EDM are any artists that play little to no live instruments on stage; and use primarily a laptop, mixing boards or turntables (ie DJ’s), and various synthesizers. You make disagree on certain artists that we included or left out, so this is your personal disclaimer.
Without further ado, our (extensive, and very, very advanced) statistical analysis:
# of EDM Artists at Lollapalooza by Year (2005-2013)
2005- 2 (DJ Z Trip, Derrick Carter)
2007- 1 (Daft Punk)
2008- 9 (Willy Joy, Zebo, Smalltown DJs, DJ Mel, Flosstradamus, DJ AM (RIP), Millon $ Mano (Kanye’s tour DJ), Momjeans (Danny Masterson), Girl Talk)
2009- 17 (DJ Pasha, DJ Mel, The Bloody Beetroots (DJ Set), A-Trak, Simian Mobile Disco (DJ Set), Crookers, Kaskade, Animal Collective (DJ Set), Hercules and Love Affair (DJ Set), LA Riots, Diplo, Bassnectar, The Hood Internet, The Glitch Mob, Boys Noize, MSTRKRFT, deadmau5)
2010- 19 (2ManyDJs, Caspa, Erol Alkan, Tiga, Peanut Butter Wolf, Wolfgang Gartner, Joachim Garraud, Kaskade, Rusko, DJ Mel, Team Bayside High, Felix Cartal, Nervo, Dirty South, Flosstradamus, Felix da Housecat, Digitalism (DJ Set), The Unknown Facez (Hardstyle DJ Set)
2011- 18 (deadmau5, Girl Talk, Pretty Lights, The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Afrojack, Modeselektor, Skrillex, PerryEtty vs. Chris Cox, Chuckie, The Glitch Mob, Busy P, Joachim Garraud, Super Mash Bros, 12th Planet, Daedelus, Feed Me, Savoy, Midnight Conspiracy)
2012- 24 (Avicii, Justice, Die Antwoord, DJ Zebo, SBTRKT, Young Bloods, The White Panda, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Zedd, Madeon, Porter Robinson, NERO, Bassnectar, Star Slinger, Paper Diamond, Skream & Benga, Calvin Harris, Doctor P, Big Gigantic, Zeds Dead, Kaskade, Kid Color, DJ Nihal, Nadastrom)
2013- 17 (Keys N Krates, Disclosure, Monsta, Dillon Francis, Modestep, Flux Pavilion, Steve Aoki, GRiZ, Baauer, Adventure Club, Dada Life, Steven Angello, Dog Blood, Major Lazer, Knife Party, Kill the Noise, Alvin Risk)
Quite the lineup. Imagine if all of these lineups were combined into one epic festival. Call it Molly-pa-looza.
Hey! Watch your mouth. There are ladies present. That lady’s my mom.
After performing months of rigorous evaluative tactics in our underground bunker, here are the facts:
-DJ Z Trip and Derrick Carter were the so-called Founding Fathers of EDM at Lollapalooza. We thank them for their their unspoken courage and valiant effort.
-After thanking DJ Z Trip and Derrick Carter, we blame them for the goose egg in ’06.
-In 2007, Daft Punk single handedly brought EDM to Lollapalooza. For proof, see below.
-Daft Punk’s legendary show in ’07 changed the way Chicagoans viewed EDM. So in 2008, Perry Farrell created an all EDM stage and ironically named it, Perry’s Stage. (From 2007 to 2008, there was a +900% increase in EDM acts.)
-In 2012, EDM acts at Lollapalooza hit an all time high at 24. Which makes sense since many claim that 2012 was the year EDM took over the U.S.. Oh, and did I mention that Avicii headlined the main stage? Not to mention the fact that Perry had to re-design and relocate the (un-narcissistic) Perry’s Stage in order to hold a much larger audience.
-This year, the number of EDM acts falls to only 17. The wise can only wonder: could 2012 go down as EDM’s popularity peak in the United States? Yea, I know. It’s a long shot. But we love theorizing! It’s the nerd in us. While the number of EDM acts may have decreased, the quality of those said acts makes the $450 ticket almost worth buying. That or go the after show route. EDM is meant to be heard indoors. Contain the bass. And you pay less to see who you specifically want to see. Not to mention it’s cheaper.
Lollapalooza, like every other big music festival, probably caught your attention by its big brand name as well as the big name headliners. Being able to see Steve Angello, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Flux Pavilion, Major Lazer, and all the other big names playing in one place is an amazing aspect of festivals of this caliber.
My only problem with this is that people show up later in the day and only go to see the headliners, which is a waste of money and a chance to find new, amazing music. People spend $200 plus for a weekend of music but only see a couple shows. You pay for 30 hours of music and many people fail to utilize half of that. So get out of bed, hassle your friends, plan ahead, and if anything else, meet up with people inside the gates. I do understand that many people have to work Friday and showing up early is impossible, so I’ll give you a pass there.
Keys N Krates– 1-145 Perry’s stage
This group comes at you with funky trap beats accentuated by the live performances of the drummer, keyboards, and turntables. Being able to see where the music is actually coming from adds to the dynamic of their amazing tunes. Being a live band also allows them to cover other tunes and add their funky soul to it, such as The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. This set is a must for some early, first day jamming. Recently signed to Steve Aoki’s, Dim Mak Records, expect to see and hear a lot more from this group.
Icona Pop– 145-230 Lake Shore Stage
If all you know about these two lovely ladies is their huge summer, girl-power anthem, I Love It. Check out their live set and it will change your mind. These two Swedes not only sing on their tracks, they make the beats as well. Even more so, they live mix their songs at their shows while singing and dancing around with beers in hand. While still being poppy, they incorporate bass-heavy elements throughout the entire show and play with the original beat of I love It. Being able to switch it up and genre bend makes Icona Pop’s live set worthwhile.
Monsta– 315-415 Perry’s Stage
If you don’t think you can handle Dubstep when the sun is still up, think again. If anyone can make Dubstep pretty, it’s this guy. Monsta’s vocal heavy and melodic style allows you to sing along, sway, or if it’s your style, go crazy. This set is right before Dillon Francis and a perfect intro into Dillon’s bouncy, dub-heavy, Moombahton, crazy time. If anything, get to this stage early, get a good spot, and experience what I can only describe as pretty Dubstep.
Cherub-12-1245 Perry’s Stage
This elctro-pop duo from Nashville first met my ears when a friend played a song of theirs that instantly infected my brain. I couldn’t stop listening or playing it at every social gathering I attended. Doses and Mimosas is a song that can literally be played at any time of the day and will make you want to dance. Their live sets fulfill the same need to dance. The two members play guitar, keyboard, live mix, and sing, all of which makes their set very original with an amazing sound. Along with their original jams, they cover other songs such as Calvin Harris’ Feel So Close To You and a mash-up of Daft Punk songs that make you question which version you like better. It’s pronounced chair-ub if you want to feel like you have known about them for longer than this article.
Cole Plante-1-2 Perry’s Stage
To be honest, I had never heard of Cole Plante before doing research for this piece but now, I am definitely a fan. This 16 year-old, high school junior to be, has accomplished more than many DJ’s two or three times his age. He has played sets at some of the biggest clubs all across the country as well as toured with IDentity Music Festival. At 14, he was the youngest person to perform at Rain Nightclub in Las Vegas, opening for legendary DJ, Paul Okenfold. His fast paced, electro-house style will sure to have you moving early in the day and his exceptional skills will have this young, up and comer playing main stage, headlining sets sooner than you can imagine.
GRiZ-3:15-4:15 Perry’s Stage
If there is one thing to describe Griz as, it is genre-mixing. He brings a mix of soul, funk, groove, bounce, and dubstep. His songs rarely last less than 6 minutes and take you on a musical journey up, down, and sideways. Not only does he produce his beats, he plays saxophone that adds a kind of sexy that only a saxophone can. He also regularly features guitar/bassist Muzzy on his tracks, whom provides bass lines that rival the 1970’s Funkadelic era.
Stratus-12-12:45 Perry’s Stage
While some people may say that noon on the last day of Lolla is probably going to be best spent in bed while trying to find motivation to make it in the gates by 4, I say, FUCK THAT! Get out of bed and get your ass in gear. This Chicago native and recent signee to Skrillex’s OWSLA Records bass music is sure to get you amped up and ready to go for the final day of fun.
Alvin Risk 1-1:45 Perry’s Stage
That’s right, two OWSLA artists in a row. If Stratus doesn’t destroy the speakers with his bass, Alvin Risk is sure to take out the stage with his lasers. Alvin Risk incorporates beautiful vocals to counteract all of the bass and pew pew sounds to create a great mix of highs and lows. He also has an amazing range of remixing ability as he has done remixes for Skrillex, Kaskade, The Prodigy, and FUN.
Lolla is making a statement as the last day’s lineup is the most intense Sunday Funday you have ever experienced. If you show up early to see up and coming OWSLA artists, make it through the middle of the day with Kill The Noise and Dog Blood and then try to stay until the end for Knife Party.