Post-punk revival icons The Strokes and electro-pop-rock act Imagine Dragons will be the headliners for the inaugural Indian edition of the Lollapalooza music festival, due to be held in Mumbai on 28-29 January. Other acts set to perform at the two-day event include star producers Diplo and Zhu, arena rock throwbacks Greta Van Fleet, dreamy indie-pop exponents Cigarettes After Sex and Japanese Breakfast, and desi rap stars A.P. Dhillon and Divine.
There’s also a lot of exciting homegrown talent on the lineup for the seminal American music festival, which will feature 40 artists performing across four stages at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse Grounds in Mumbai. Folksy balladeer Prateek Kuhad and Bolly-metal band Bloodywood are both set to play, alongside indie acts Sandunes, Aswekeepsearching The F16s, Parimal Shais and Bombay Brass.
Lollapalooza began in 1991 as a farewell tour for co-founder Perry Farrell’s trail-blazing alt-rock band Jane’s Addiction, modelled on the popular Reading festival in the UK. Thanks to an eclectic lineup of alternative all-stars—just as Nirvana were preparing to blow open the doors to the mainstream in explosive style—the tour was a smashing success and Farrell ended up turning Lollapalooza into a touring music festival that showcased the best of the emerging Alternative Nation.
Thirty-one years—and a couple of format changes—later, Lollapalooza is a global music festival which takes place in seven locations across three different continents. The Indian edition will be the festival’s eighth outpost, and its first in Asia. Many things have changed over the years, including a shift from alternative-led curation to a more diverse range of genres, including EDM, hip hop, pop and techno. But the festival still leans into its alternative origins and ethos.
“Lollapalooza India checks all the boxes of being a globally consumable music festival and is market-specific as well, with this edition being specially created for India,” says Ashish Hemrajani, founder and CEO of BookMyShow, who the promoter and co-producer of the festival’s Indian edition, working alongside Perry Farrell and C3 Presents. “We are thrilled to take this first step towards both, putting India on the global map of live entertainment and also offer an equal global opportunity to amazing Indian artists.”
Over the past decade, we have seen the mushrooming of Indian music festivals, many of whom claim to provide a world-class experience on a par with global festivals. With Lollapalooza entering the Indian market, those claims will soon be put to the test. For their part, the festival organisers insist that they view India as a market that is ready and ripe for a legacy global music festival, and that they are here for the long haul.
“Apart from creating a fantastic experience for festival-goers, we are also focusing our energy on ensuring our sustainability, technological and content goals are met,” says Hemrajani. “For the future, we are working towards making Lollapalooza India synonymous with one of the best and biggest annual global festivals around the world and we hope to see an Indian artist headline one of the Lollapalooza global stages soon in another country!”
Full lineup and tickets available at www.lollaindia.com, tickets start at ₹8,999.
Bhanuj Kappal is a Mumbai-based writer.