The iconic Lollapalooza music festival is morphing into a free, four night YouTube broadcast from July 30-August 2 with live performances, headlining sets from previous fests and appearances by Michelle Obama and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — in conversations with festival co-founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell and LL Cool J.
The live music business continues to weather devastation waged by COVID-19. Social distancing has eliminated live shows and festivals, which have been rescheduled or gone virtual. The 30-year-old Chicago event will unveil a roster of more than 150 performances and appearances on Wednesday for Lolla2020, airing each night starting at 5 pm CT on its original dates.
Live performers include Alison Wonderland, Carnage, H.E.R., Kali Uchis, Kaskade, Louis the Child, NGHTMRE, Pink Sweat$, SAYMYNAME, Tank and the Bangas, The Neighbourhood, Vic Mensa, Yungblud and ZHU. Previous sets include Paul McCartney, Chance The Rapper, OutKast, and Arcade Fire celebrating the ten year anniversary of Grammy-winning album The Suburbsby (along with LCD Soundsystem, Metallica, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ellie Goulding, Run The Jewels, Lorde, Alabama Shakes and Tove Lo.)
Lolla2020, which is owned by Live Nation, said it will highlight causes important to the festival’s history, community and its Chicago home as well as partners including Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative and Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote.
Farrell will host friends and tastemakers including Lars Ulrich, Chuck D, Matt Pinfield and lead a special Kind Heaven Orchestra performance featuring Taylor Hawkins, a David Bowie tribute with pianist Mike Garson, and the first Porno for Pyros reunion in 24 years.
The Lolla2020 lineup also feature established and emerging local artists recorded at neighborhood venues in collaboration with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events including Jamila Woods, KAINA, Heavy Steppers with Jamal Smallz, Peter CottonTale, Rebirth Poetry Ensemble, Emon Fowler, Linda Sol and The Era Footwork Crew.
Sponsors include YouTube, Salesforce, PayPal, Venmo, Toyota, Red Bull, Bud Light, Taco Bell, Butterfinger and BMI. Salesforce, throught its Make Change, initiative will feature four sessions hosted by LL COOL J, including The Art of Breaking, The Art of MCing, The Art of Graffiti & Photography, and The Art of DJing. A PayPal Loves Chicago hub lets fans support local restaurants, photographers and artists impacted by the festival’s cancellation.
The Toyota Music Den will virtually showcase emerging artists and — in a hopeful nod — sponsor a sweepstakes for airfare and VIP tickets to the 2021 festival.