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Lollapalooza Scraps Opener

Production problems official explanation for cancellation

Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza Festival cancelled its planned July
3rd kickoff in Ionia, Michigan, yesterday, and will not reschedule
the date. Returning this year after a five-year absence, the tour
— featuring Farrell’s Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Queens of the
Stone Age, Incubus, the Donnas and more than fifteen other bands —
is now scheduled to open July 5th in Noblesville, Indiana.

From the festival’s side, the explanation for the cancellation
is technical and logistical: Jane’s Addiction’s set couldn’t fit on
the stage in Ionia. A spokeswoman for the festival, which will hit
twenty-nine cities before wrapping up in Seattle August 23rd, said
ticket sales weren’t a factor in the cancellation, despite early
reports that the festival wasn’t selling well. Earlier this spring,
Lollapalooza co-producer Adam Schneider told Rolling Stone
that some Midwestern dates had sold slowly. “But it’s not where you
start a race,” he said, “it’s where you finish.” Four thousand
tickets had reportedly been sold for the Ionia stop.

But Lionel Haskins, manager of the Ionia County Fairgrounds,
where Lollapalooza had been scheduled to stop, doesn’t buy that
explanation. First, the fairgrounds has two venues for concerts —
the grandstand, which has its own stage, and the infield, a general
admission area that can accommodate more people but has no stage of
its own. Lollapalooza was booked in the infield by Touring Pro, an
independent agency, and was responsible for its own staging.
“They’re making it sound like our stage was a factor,” Haskins
says. “But they were never planning on using it anyhow. They bring
in their own stage.”

Second, according to Haskins, a crowd of 4,000 isn’t nearly big
enough to fill the infield — where Metallica played in the
mid-Nineties to around 25,000. “Even in the grandstand,” he says,
“4,000 is not a lot of people. In the Eighties we had around 12,500
there for Def Leppard and New Kids on the Block.”

According to Haskins, Lollapalooza’s planned July 18th stop in
Detroit significantly cut into ticket sales in Ionia. “We’re
halfway between Grand Rapids and Lansing,” he explains. “They
didn’t advertise [the Ionia] show in Lansing at all to protect the
Detroit show. Why they would give the Lansing market to Detroit I
don’t know. We’re really disappointed it got cancelled. It hurts
the reputation of the Fair.”

Refunds for the cancelled Ionia stop are available at the point
of purchase only.

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