Farrell and me

Thursday night I got the opportunity to chat up former Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell. Farrell was in town promoting Galapalooza, an annual fundraiser held the night before Lolla (this year, it’s July 31st; tickets are $350) benefiting Chicago Park District partner the Parkways Foundation. This year’s Galapalooza is expected to draw about 1,000 people, mostly VIP Lolla attendees. And yes, Farrell will be there, too.

Farrell and I sat down for a tête à tête in the James Club about 6 p.m.; he was coming off a long night of partying at various Chicago hot spots and had a bloody mary in hand. Though he might have been a bit sleep deprived, he was gracious and relatively down-to-earth—or as down-to-earth as one of the country’s most influential and fashion-forward rock stars can be.

Where did you go out last night?
We went to Schubas for dinner, then Y Bar, then RiNo. I was getting my groove on there. My favorite part was hanging out in the kitchen.

How was Chicago chosen as Lollapalooza’s permanent home?
We looked at different cities, available spaces, traffic, airports. Chicago is the heartland. Many roads lead to Chicago, and it’s laid out so well, with great architecture, great nightlife, food, hotels.

How does Lollapalooza compare to other big music festivals?
This is a carbon-neutral festival. It’s one of the greenest festivals in the country, if not the world, in the greenest city in the world. A portion of the proceeds from Lolla goes back to the city, and a portion goes to the artists. [Farrell couldn’t tell us specifics on how much.]

Tell me about Galapalooza.
It’s the big kick-off gala for Lollapalooza. This year we have Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings performing. [Last year it was Spoon and Paolo Nutini.]

As for Lolla’s lineup, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails are expected to headline the event in Grant Park Aug. 1-3, according to industry sources. Farrell said he may return to Chicago in April to announce the rest of the bands.

What other bands would you like to see perform at the fest? Post your comments below.


Photograph: Courtesy of Sarah Preston