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Lollapalooza Canceled; Organizers Cite Poor Ticket Sales

Three weeks prior to kickoff, Lollapalooza has been canceled.

Organizers cited poor ticket sales as the reason the 31-date, 16-city trek was called off. This year’s lineup was set to include Morrissey, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, the Flaming Lips and the String Cheese Incident.

“My heart aches along with the bands and all of our employees, whose hard work developed one of the most exciting and important tours that this nation was to see,” read a statement from Lollapalooza co-founder Perry Farrell. “My heart is broken.”

The decision to scrap Lollapalooza was made Monday evening (June 21), when organizers and promoters realized they stood to lose several million dollars. In all markets except New York, advance ticket sales were below estimates.

“On the average, the losses, had ticket sales not dramatically picked up – which they showed no indication of doing – the people involved faced losses in the mid-to-high six figures on a per-show basis,” said the William Morris Agency’s Marc Geiger, another Lollapalooza co-founder.

Fans who purchased tickets will be given refunds.

Geiger said Lollapalooza’s plight is indicative of a summer touring season on the slide.

“Lollapalooza is not alone in this,” he said. “Everyone from the Dead to Dave Matthews to Norah Jones is suffering. There’s not one explanation for this. It might be that ticket prices are too high, which doesn’t account for Lollapalooza, because our tickets were priced between $15 and $25. Maybe it’s the sundry add-ons [like service charges] that up the cost? Maybe gas prices are too high? Just like the record industry is suffering, the concert business is not exempt.

“After people get through this summer season,” he added, “there’s going to be a lot of fixing that needs to be done in the concert industry.”

Early on in its 13-year history, Lollapalooza built a reputation for eclectic lineups, but as the years wore on it became more well known for having trouble getting off the ground. After 1997’s outing with Korn, Tool and Snoop Dogg, the tour lied dormant until last year, when it returned with a lineup that featured Jane’s Addiction, Queens of the Stone Age and Audioslave.

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