CHICAGO Lollapalooza, the giant rock festival celebrating its 20th anniversary with three days of music starting on Friday in Chicago, is set to expand to its second South American event next year in Sao Paulo.
"If we can rub elbows with the Brazilians, who knows what Lollapalooza will be like. They have a long, storied history of partying," said Perry Farrell, who founded the festival in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band, Jane's Addiction.
Farrell's band broke up after the first Lollapalooza, before reuniting at least three times, while the festival lived on as cross-country U.S. tour until being canceled in 1998.
Six years ago, it was reborn as a weekend-long concert at Grant Park in Chicago featuring hundreds of bands, and last year it expanded to Santiago, Chile.
The festival will be held next year March 31 to April 1 at O'Higgins Park in Santiago and then April 7-8 at the Jockey Club in Sao Paulo before the summertime concert moves back to the northern hemisphere August 3-5, 2012 in Chicago.
Ninety thousand fans are expected to attend each day of the festival this weekend in the Windy City, where Coldplay, Eminem and the Foo Fighters, the group fronted former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, headline the event.
"Lollapalooza is a pilgrimage to music itself that these young people come to see groups that they might not have heard of, or that they've heard and are in love with," Farrell told Reuters from his office backstage at the park in Chicago.
Regular-priced three-day passes for the concert, which is sold out, cost $215 and Farrell said it was one of the biggest bangs for your buck, with 140 artists set to perform.
"Economically, the value per dollar, there's never been such a bargain," he said.
Jane's Addiction, which rose to stardom in Los Angeles with two classic alternative rock albums and enjoyed hits such as "Jane Says" and "Been Caught Stealing," is not performing this weekend in Chicago.
Farrell, 52, will instead play on the so-called Kidzapalooza stage, along with his former bandmate Peter DiStefano of Porno for Pyros. He will also DJ at his namesake dance music tent, Perry's Stage.
Indeed, several of the artists Farrell cited as buzz bands for this year's event -- Girl Talk, Afrojack and deadmau5 -- all play fast-tempo dance music.
"I see dance music as the punk rock of our day, of this generation," Farrell said. "The energy in the room is as fierce and compelling as any punk rock show that I've been to."
Farrell said he has no interest in returning Lollapalooza to its roots as a touring festival that stops at amphitheaters across the United States. He is committed to hosting the event in Chicago until 2018.
"The festival cannot be in screwed-in, fixed-in seats -- that's not a festival," he said. "The idea of playing in an amphitheater will not fly."
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)