As <A HREF="http://www.billboard.com/bb/biz/newsroom/touring_venues/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=2073851">first tipped here</A> in January, Lollapalooza will return in July with a two-day format

As first tipped here in January, Lollapalooza will return in July with a two-day format and a more diverse musical lineup. Confirmed acts include Morrissey, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth and String Cheese Incident. Tour founder Perry Farrell will also be involved as a DJ or host, although his band Jane's Addiction is not expected to be on the bill.

A press conference to announce details is set for Monday (March 29).

"The only theme to the whole thing is eclectic music not driven by the commercial marketplace," says Marc Geiger, the agent for Lollapalooza at the William Morris Agency, one of the founders of the festival.

"Lollapalooza is different from year to year, if you look at it historically," says Geiger. "Some years it was more indie, some years more dark."

Two days means more bands, Geiger points out. "There are just too many great bands, and the one-day rock festival with 13 acts format has been co-opted by the radio shows," he says.

"What we're doing is more akin to the great European festivals that originally inspired Lollapalooza, as well as [events like] Coachella and Bonnaroo. The two-day format will once again differentiate Lollapalooza from what everybody else is doing."

The pioneering rock festival returned after a five-year absence in 2003 and grossed $13.7 million from 25 shows reported to Billboard. The lineup featured Jane's Addiction, Queens Of The Stone Age, Incubus, Audioslave, the Donnas and A Perfect Circle, among others. High production costs led to the cancellation of two shows at nontraditional venues, but most dates performed relatively well.

So, with the 2003 outing somewhat less than a home run, why come back with a two-day fest? "This year has nothing to do with last year," says Geiger, who did not work on the '03 Lollapalooza. "We're moving forward and offering more value. Ticket prices are looking to come significantly down from last year."

Sources say promoters are getting two days for the price of one; Geiger would not confirm this. He also declined to comment on who the promoters will be. Last year, Clear Channel Entertainment promoted the majority of dates.

Farrell launched Lollapalooza in 1991, with a lineup of Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Ice-T/Body Count, Living Colour, Butthole Surfers and Rollins Band. The tour's best year was 1994, when it reported more than $21 million in grosses. The last year before the hiatus, 1997, was its weakest, with $7.4 million reported from 24 shows with Snoop Dogg, Korn, Tool, Tricky and others.

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