Lollapalooza Founder Perry Farrell Hates EDM: 'Sometimes I Cringe at My Own Festival'

Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction
Christie Goodwin/Redferns

Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction performs on stage at O2 Forum Kentish Town on June 13, 2016 in London, England.  

Lollapalooza started as a haven for fringe dwellers and alt lovers. It seemed an edgy move in the late 2000s when the Chicago-based festival dedicated its side stage Perry's to an all-electronic dance lineup.

Named after the event's founder and alt rock legend Perry Farrell, it seemed to imply that Farrell himself wanted to lead a charge into a brand new world, like he was calling the inevitable EDM explosion that was soon to follow.

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Farrell has a history of getting behind the decks himself, and he does call himself a house music lover. Maybe he was trying to push for dance culture back then, but apparently, not so much anymore. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Farrell opens up on 25 years with the event, and it turns out his dissatisfaction with mainstream dance culture has left quite a sour taste in his mouth:

"When they said they wanted to name a stage after me (when the festival relaunched in 2005), I was honored," he says. "I like the adulation. But now you say, 'Perry, what's going on with your area here?' Believe me, I've got questions myself. I hate EDM. I want to vomit it out of my nostrils. I can't stand what it did to what I love, which is house music, which was meditative, psychedelic — it took you on a journey. … I sometimes cringe at my own festival."

But Farrell also recognizes that EDM is something the Lolla audience wants: "You'd have to do away with pop to escape it, and if you want to do a festival you can't do away with pop."

Which is why he says he's looking toward a new venture in what he calls "scene-making": "The only way to change things is by changing things myself. At my new project, there will be great house music. I hope I will keep EDM at the door. They will be turned away."

Read the full story via the Chicago Tribune.


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