Lollapalooza promoters investigated
Chicago music critic Jim DeRogatis says sources tell him that Attorney General Lisa Madigan is looking into Lolla’s requirement that bands playing the big gig can’t play any nearby shows for months before or after the festival.
Chicago music clubs have been complaining for at least the last couple of years about Lolla’s restrictions on bands. Artists, ranging from headliners to opening acts, have to agree that they won’t play other nearby shows unless Lolla blesses the gigs as afterparties.
In some cases, contracts say bands cannot play other Midwest shows six months before or three months after Lolla. A contract can prohibit a band or artist from playing a 300-mile radius, which means markets as far away as Detroit, Indianapolis, Iowa City, Madison or Milwaukee are screwed by a single Lolla contract, DeRogatis reports.
DeRogatis, a blogger for Vocalo.org and a former Sun-Times critic, has been grilling the suits at Lolla for years, pressing them on their restrictive policies. The response has been that this is common industry practice. But DeRogatis points out that Lolla is one of the most restrictive concert promoters when it comes to allowing bands to play other venues.
My guess is we’re going to see some loosening up on the restrictions. It’s unfortunate that a festival that seemed so original and free-spirited in its original incarnation became so big business and greedy.