A new documentary series about Perry Farrell's alt. rock festival Lollapalooza is in the works

Perry Farrell at Lollapalooza 2016
(Image credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage)

A new three-part documentary series about the origins, development and cultural impact of the Lollapalooza festival has been given the green light.

Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza will examine the history of the celebrated 'alternative' music festival, which was launched in 1991 by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, the band's manager Ted Gardner, and booking agents Don Muller and Marc Geiger.

Largely inspired by Reading festival, the initial Lollapolooza line-up featured Jane's Addiction as headliners, with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, Ice T and Body Count, Living Colour and Fishbone among the supporting cast.

In the wake of the 'grunge explosion', the 1992 event was headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, with Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, MInistry, Ice Cube, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Lush in support, plus Rage Against The Machine and Tool on the second stage.

Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Sonic Youth and - somewhat controversially - Metallica were among the other headline acts in the '90s.

Lollapalooza is now an international brand, with stagings in Europe and South America. The line-up for this summer's US festival, scheduled for August 3-6 in Grant Park, Chicago, has yet to be announced.

“When Lolla was launched in 1991, the concert industry felt like a boring car ride that was running out of gas,” Perry Farrell says in a statement. “We pumped new life into the live music experience and set the foundation for the youth’s counter culture to become important and exciting again. Now more than three decades young, I am happy to have this opportunity to give people an inside look at the festival’s contribution to music history.”

Lolla: The Story of Lollapalooza will be directed by Michael John Warren, who previously helmed the Nicki Minaj documentary My Time Again.

“As a naive teenager trapped in the doldrums of Suburbia, U.S.A, I attended the first-ever Lollapalooza, and it totally blew my mind,” says Warren. “It was dangerous, beautiful and instantly widened my perspective. So, it’s an honor to be entrusted to tell the true story of one of the most astonishing cultural touchstones in the last half-century.”

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.