MUMBAI — Drawing greater than 60,000 music followers over two days, with 40 artists acting on 4 phases unfold throughout 50 acres, the inaugural version of Lollapalooza India this weekend conquered the mantle of the biggest multi-genre competition ever held in India.
Within the nation’s exponentially rising reside music scene, Lollapalooza was considerably late to the occasion, arriving greater than a decade after multi-genre properties such because the Bacardi NH7 Weekender and Vh1 Supersonic. That meant viewers expectations for a global model like Lollapalooza have been considerably increased, particularly as a result of ticket costs (between $70 and $90 for advance buy) have been virtually double these for its homegrown Indian counterparts.
To Indian music followers it felt like a super-sized Weekender, with among the former programming and manufacturing workforce members working for Lollapalooza. The primary distinction: enormous phases with amped-up sound and lightweight manufacturing. Lolla’s crowd of roughly 30,000 per days additionally topped Supersonic’s newest version in 2020, which pulled in about 20,000 over two days; and final November’s Weekender, which drew rather less than 20,000 per day over three days, in response to individuals who work with the festivals.
Indian promoter BookMyShow — which previously produced stand-alone live shows by Justin Bieber and U2 at a cricket stadium within the outskirts of the town — staged the primary installment of Lollapalooza India on the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, located within the coronary heart of Mumbai on a slender street that often witnesses site visitors snarls.
For lots of the home acts — which made up 60% of the line-up — Lollapalooza was the most important occasion they’ve performed of their profession so far. The competition featured headliners Imagine Dragons, The Strokes, Diplo, Cigarettes After Intercourse and Indian hip-hop star Divine, with debut India performances from Chinese language pop star Jackson Wang and U.Okay. indie rock trio The Wombats.
Watching the performances, Lollapalooza felt loads like a competition within the U.S. or Europe. However it additionally suffered from the identical issues that plague different Indian festivals. Sound-related points hindered some units. Attendees misplaced mobile phone service in the direction of the night. Bottlenecks on the finish meant those that drove to the venue wanted over an hour to go away, regardless of BookMyShow having inspired the usage of public transport by not offering on-site parking.
Lollapalooza India will even be remembered for the rampant reselling that happened previous to the competition, over WhatsApp teams and thru messages shared on posts from the competition’s official Instagram web page. Nearly all of resellers weren’t scalpers, however relatively prospects who purchased early fowl tickets in August and have been disenchanted by the line-up when it was revealed in November, in response to one poll on Twitter.
The roster had been rumored to incorporate such names as Metallica, Pearl Jam and Green Day, who had performed the 2022 editions within the U.S., South America and Europe, in addition to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arctic Monkeys, who’re touring Asia proper now. BookMyShow, which co-produced the competition together with Perry Farrell and C3 Presents, neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, fueling hypothesis that a minimum of a few of these names is likely to be on the invoice. (Billboard reached out to BookMyShow for touch upon Monday in regards to the rampant reselling and fan points with the ultimate lineup however has not heard again but.)
The Indian version included a bunch of acts, comparable to metallic band Bloodywood, pop ensemble Straightforward Wanderlings, various rock group The F16s and pop-rock outfit The Yellow Diary who’ve already carried out at a number of festivals this season — as nicely artists like Divine and singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, who’ve just lately gone on nationwide excursions.
The backlash posed some attention-grabbing questions: Is it honest sport for competition promoters to promote tickets earlier than the line-up is introduced? What number of of its headliners does a world competition have to duplicate to reside as much as its “worldwide” status? Does India have sufficient festival-worthy acts to maintain the variety of festivals being staged?
Regardless of a persistently rising listenership for worldwide music on audio-streaming companies, promoters in India have but to resolve logistical and infrastructure challenges. The economics of bringing million-dollar worldwide artists to the nation for a one-off present are far trickier than reserving them for multi-city dates throughout Europe and South America, different continents to which Lollapalooza has expanded. That is coupled with the extreme lack of venues for occasions the magnitude of Lollapalooza in cities comparable to Mumbai the place there are few huge open grounds.
Among the many most talked about units have been these by Think about Dragons, The Strokes, Greta Van Fleet and Canadian-Punjabi hip-hop star A.P. Dhillon (who some criticized for relying closely on a backing observe).
From the variety of revelers that flocked to their phases, it was evident India has a fervent following for acts as wide-ranging as dream-pop band Cigarettes After Intercourse and former Okay-pop idol Jackson Wang, to digital music producer Madeon and indie pop group Japanese Breakfast.
Whereas the organizers might need performed it comparatively protected with the Indian line-up, most native artists drew sizable crowds, with Divine and Kuhad attracting hundreds in a testomony to their present celebrity standing. Farrell, in the meantime, was seen strolling across the competition website and being stopped for selfies by followers.
A considerable proportion of the attendees comprised first-time competition goers, together with Mumbai residents who didn’t need to take the trouble of touring to neighboring metropolis Pune the place Weekender and Supersonic are held.
After initially debuting in 1991 as a farewell tour for Farrell, the singer of Jane’s Addiction, Lollapalooza has been an annual multi-genre occasion in Chicago’s Grant Park since 2005, after Farrell and William Morris partnered with Austin-based Capital Sports activities Leisure (now C3 Presents). The competition expanded to South America — Santiago, Chile; São Paulo and Buenos Aires — and to Berlin, Paris and Stockholm. In 2014, Dwell Nation purchased a controlling curiosity in C3.
As they get set to work on the 2024 version of Lollapalooza India — C3 Presents associate Charlie Walker told Billboard in July that they “don’t go anyplace with the expectation of not happening endlessly” — the organizers have loads of suggestions to think about when planning its return.