For the first time since its revival in 2003, Lollapalooza was a sell-out. Staged at Chicago’s Grant Park, the three-day festival reached its 75,000-person daily capacity, with a total audience of 225,000 for the August 1-3 weekend.
Tickets for Day 1 and Day 2 were the first to sell out, with Day 3 following shortly after. On Friday, August 1, organizers predicted a sell-out when the only tickets still available were one-day $80 passes for Sunday, August 3.
With over 120 acts featured on eight stages, Lollapalooza 2008 anchored its lineup with powerhouse headliners Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails and Kanye West.
Ticket prices ranged from the $80 single-day pass to a $205 regular three-day pass. Concertgoers could also purchase VIP passes for the three-day festival, which offered restricted access to air-conditioned tents and other benefits.
Stage sponsors this year included social networking giant MySpace, as well as AT&T, Bud Light, PlayStation, Citi and BMI. Additional sponsors for the event included Blackstone Winery, f.y.e., Glaceau, Small Paul, Sweet Leaf Tea, and Southern Comfort.
Lollapalooza began in 1991 as a farewell tour for founder Perry Farrell’s band, Jane’s Addiction. The tour gained recognition for its eclectic lineup, which included Ice-T, Nine Inch Nails and Siouxsie & the Banshees. The concert then ran annually through 1997, when interest in the summer festival began to wane and a headline act could not be booked.
In 2003, Farrell tried to revive the festival, with only marginal success. Ticket sales lagged the following year, forcing organizers to cancel the 2004 festival.
But a re-imagining of Lollapalooza saved the franchise in 2005, when the festival changed formats from a cross-country tour to a two-day “destination festival” stationed in Chicago. Since then, Lollapalooza has generated over $2.3 million to help Parkways Foundation accelerate and sustain park projects — like new playgrounds, youth programs, greening and educational initiatives — throughout the city of Chicago.