Before Grant Park opens its gates to festival goers for Lollapalooza 2011, music fans around Chicago will have had the chance to catch some of the event’s performers on a smaller stage.
Over the course of August 3-6, festival organizers have booked nearly 30 club concerts throughout the Windy City. The official Lollapalooza Aftershows will feature acts also slated to perform during the August 5-7 festival weekend.
Public ticket sales to the Lollapalooza Aftershows go on sale tomorrow, June 24, at 10 a.m. (Central). Face values for the individual concerts vary from club to club, but most venues and events have tickets priced at $25 or less.
Most of the Aftershows are after-hours, with doors opening around 9 or 10 p.m. at most clubs. Full details for each event are available on Do312.com, a social networking site dedicated to Chicago-area events.
Some of the artists featured on the Lollapalooza Aftershows calendar include Death From Above 1979 (August 4 at Metro / Smart Bar), Afrojack with festival founder Perry Farrell (August 5 at MID), Tinie Tempah (August 5 at Subterranean), and Arctic Monkeys (August 6 at House of Blues).
Cold War Kids will kick everything off August 3 at Metro / Smart Bar with the earliest scheduled Aftershow. It is currently the only show booked for August 3, and also carries an earlier door time — 6 p.m. — than the following days’ events.
The Lollapalooza Aftershows give festival-goers and non-attendees alike to get a sneak peak at Lollapalooza artists outside of the festival grounds. But more importantly to area business owners, the official performances funnel some vital summer business off-site and into area clubs.
The drain on the local entertainment business caused by Lollapalooza came to a head in 2010, when local club owners’ complaints resulted in some legal controversy for the festival.
Like many music festivals, Lollapalooza requires its artists to sign exclusivity clauses, sometimes dubbed “radius” clauses due to the restrictions placed on where and when an artist can perform after booking with the festival.
Though it has become a standard part of the business, Lollapalooza’s exclusivity clause did come under fire during the 2010 season, when blogger Jim DeRogatis broke the news that the Illinois Attorney General was investigating the festival and its promoter, C3 Presents, for potential anti-trust violations stemming from its exclusivity clause.
The festival’s booking agreement reportedly prohibits artists from performing within a 300-mile radius of the festival up to 180 days before Lollapalooza and 90 days after, similar to the radius constraints placed by C3 Presents’ Austin City Limits Festival and other major U.S. music festivals, like Bonnaroo, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In published interviews, Lollapalooza’s organizers claimed to have never denied an artist request to play elsewhere, and stated that they were open to all reasonable requests. However, some Chicago-area business owners argued that the exclusivity clause caused business to dry up in the months immediately before and after the early August festival.
“There’s no doubt about it: If Lollapalooza wasn’t there, there would be more shows at places like Metro and the House of Blues and the Vic Theatre and probably, for that matter, Reggie’s,” said House of Blues talent booker Michael Yerke in a 2008 interview with DeRogatis.
“On the other hand, we have a good relationship with [Lollapalooza], and we do a couple of the after shows,” Yerke continued. “At least we’re getting a couple of shows during that weekend, where if we didn’t have a relationship with them, we’d probably have no shows at all!”
Lollapalooza has offered both official and unofficial aftershows at least as far back as 2008. Reports of the 2010 anti-trust investigation surfaced a few months before Lollapalooza 2010, but had no noticeable impact on attendance that year. The Illinois Attorney General’s office has not filed any complaints on the matter in the year since it arose.
(Details are subject to change.)