Weeks of speculation became reality Friday, when Ted Gardner, cofounder of the eight-year-old touring alternative rock festival, confirmed to E! Online that the event is off for 1998.
Declining in recent years thanks to the proliferation of similar tours, the festival was torpedoed in January when Gardner's founding partner, Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros frontman Perry Farrell, announced that the reformed Jane's wouldn't be headlining this year's event, as had been expected.
The pull-out by the group--whose own "Relapse" tour was sunk by guitarist Dave Navarro's real-life relapse--made it difficult for Gardner and company to find a suitable replacement. Headliner requests to Marilyn Manson, Green Day and Garbage were all turned down because of prior commitments.
"It's a timing issue," Gardner says. "People are releasing records when we wanted to put the tour out. We started late in negotiating with bands, and we just couldn't put together a solid package. It would have been detrimental to both Lollapalooza and the artists involved to take it out." He added that the tour will be back in '99.
While Lolla lost its luster this year, the third annual Tibetan Freedom Concert has lined up a mega event. Beck, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Blues Traveler, A Tribe Called Quest, Sean Lennon, Tracy Chapman and Wyclef Jean of the Fugees will join the always-there Beastie Boys, who cofounded the event.
The show will go down June 13-14 at Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium, with proceeds earmarked for the pro-Dalai Lama Milarepa Fund.
It's the biggest summer concert of the summer, according to Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert-industry trade Pollstar. Notable is R.E.M.'s first appearance without retired drummer Bill Berry.
Asked if the success of the Tibetan Freedom Concert hurt Lollapalooza's ability to recruit name acts, Bongiovanni said the two are like apples and oranges.
"It's difficult to compare a one-time benefit show to touring event like Lollapalooza, because they're really different," he explains.
"You have one concert with a decided political agenda. Look at R.E.M. It's the only show they're going to do this year. And they're motivated not by a desire to play RFK Stadium, but by the politics of the event."