The long-established alternative American rock music festival Lollapalooza may be getting an Israeli accent. The sprawling festival, which was inaugurated in 1991 and since 2004 has taken place at Grant Park in Chicago with some of the biggest names in modern rock and hip-hop, is expanding to Tel Aviv.
“Lollapalooza Israel will be the first-ever large-scale international music festival in the country and will provide the same world-class experience that fans across the globe have come to expect, beginning with the location,” said a statement released over the weekend by the organizers of the festival, including Jane’s Addiction and Lollapalooza front man Perry Farrell.
The statement went on to say, “Tel Aviv is widely recognized as an international culture capital and is known across the world for its art, architecture, and bustling nightlife.”
The festival will take place from August 20 to 22, 2013 at Hayarkon Park, with local management being handled by NMC United and Plug Productions Generator, a leading production and concert promotion company.
Israel’s addition to the Lollapalooza circuit marks only the third country to which the festival has been exported, following Chile in 2011 and Brazil earlier this year. The decision to hold the festival in Israel is likely due, in part, to Farrell’s affection for the country. Jane’s Addiction performed here last year, and Farrell (born Peretz Bernstein) has visited many times.
“I know the people there know all about the international music community, they know all the musicians. But why aren’t they getting a festival? It just took somebody with the right mindset to say let’s stretch out and do it,” he said in a promotional video announcing the Tel Aviv festival.
During last year’s visit for the Jane Addiction’s show, Farrell met with promoters and toured various prospective sites, including the Dead Sea, but it was Tel Aviv that struck his eye and aesthetics.
“I’m like, there’s no way in hell I’m going to drag my international community of friends to the Dead Sea. It was like a 109, you know what I mean?” said Farrell, in a separate interview with The Wall Street Journal, adding that Tel Aviv offered the right combination of good food, beaches and no city curfew which would curtail the music.
“A lot of other festivals have it out in the wilderness and it’s fun and it’s nice but the accommodations suck and the food is even worse,” he said. “Wherever we go, you have close proximity to your hotel and there’s always clubs.
In the promotional video, he added, “In Tel Aviv, you have all the hotels right on the beach, and man, let me tell you, it’s sexy. There’s no curfew, so talk about an after party! When the party at Hayarkon Park lets out, you can be right on to the next one. And they [Israelis] love to dance. And they have their parties right on the beach. You can be in the water, rocking out.”
With Tel Aviv as the location, the organizers also won’t have to deal with the issues plaguing this year’s festival taking place this weekend in Chicago, featuring Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Alabama Shakes among others, where severe storms forced the festival to shut down for over three hours. Farrell said that representatives of NMC and Plug are in attendance at Lollapalooza this weekend to learn about the festival’s production and for the festival organizers to learn about the specific requests and requirements to stage the three-day, 50-artists show in Tel Aviv.