My Next Read: “Lollapalooza: The Uncensored Story of Alternative Rock’s Wildest Festival” by Richard Bienstock and Tom Beaujour

The definitive, no-holds-barred oral history of 1990s alt-rock festival Lollapalooza―told by the musicians, roadies, and industry insiders who lived it. From the New York Times bestselling authors of Nothin’ But A Good Time.

In Lollapalooza: The Uncensored Story of Alternative Rock’s Wildest Festival, New York Times bestselling authors Richard Bienstock and Tom Beaujour tell the no-holds-barred history of the iconic music festival. Through hundreds of new interviews with artists, tour founders, festival organizers, promoters, publicists, sideshow freaks, stage crews, record label execs, reporters, roadies and more, Lollapalooza chronicles the tour’s pioneering 1991-1997 run, and, in the process, alternative rock’s rise – as well as the reverberations that led to a massive shift in the music industry and the culture at large.

Lollapalooza features original interviews with some of the biggest names in music, including Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Ice-T, Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, Patti Smith, Alice in Chains, Metallica and many more.

Conceived by Farrell as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction, Lollapalooza’s inaugural outing across the U.S. in the summer of 1991 helped to coalesce an ideology and aesthetic that not only washed over popular music but seeped into fashion, film, television, literature, food, politics and more. Throughout the decade, Lollapalooza offered a vast and diverse ensemble of bands, breaking barriers of genre and uniting alternative rock, heavy metal, punk, hip-hop, industrial, goth, avant-garde, spoken word, electronic dance music and other styles under one big tent, and setting the template for the modern American music festival and the scores of other contemporary destination fests that are now an integral part of how audiences experience live music.

Unorthodox not just in music, Lollapalooza also spotlighted visual arts, nonprofit organizations, political outfits and even the occasional freak show, offering a tantalizing cocktail of culture, art, and activism that, taken together, defined the alternative mindset that dominated the 1990s. Echoes of its impact reverberate strongly today – cemented by annual sell-outs at destination events all over the world, an estimation of 400,000 attendees at the flagship Chicago fest each summer, and a spot among the world’s largest and longest-running music festivals.

A nostalgic look back at 1990s music and culture, Lollapalooza traces the festival’s groundbreaking origins, following the tour as it progresses through the decade, and documenting the action onstage, backstage, and behind-the-scenes in detailed and uncensored and sometimes shocking first-person accounts. This is the story of Lollapalooza and the 1990s alternative rock revolution.