Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997 and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, but poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be canceled.
In 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency partnered with Austin, Texas–based company Capital Sports Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and retooled it into its current format as a weekend destination festival in Grant Park, Chicago. In 2014, Live Nation Entertainment bought a controlling interest in C3 Presents.
In 2010 it was announced that Lollapalooza would debut outside the United States, with a branch of the festival staged in Chile's capital Santiago on April 2–3, 2011 where they partnered up with Santiago-based company Lotus. In 2011, the company Geo Events confirmed the Brazilian version of the event, which was held at the Jockey Club in São Paulo on 7 and 8 April 2012. In September 2013, Buenos Aires was selected as the third Lollapalooza in South America, starting on April 2014, and in November 2014, the first European Lollapalooza was announced, which was held at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. In 2014, Perry handpicked and debuted a new artist to emerge as the face of the festival. The artist, collectively known as The Future Bones, or Juan Marco, rebranded the festival with funky characters and a colorful palette, inherently representing the culture of the music and festival-goers today.
The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people over a two or three day period. Lollapalooza has featured a diverse range of bands and artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West, Jane's Addiction, Lana Del Rey, Wiz Khalifa, The Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, Eminem, MGMT, Coldplay, Stone Temple Pilots, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Pearl Jam, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Atlas Genius, Dev, Rollins Band, Kid Cudi, Imagine Dragons, Babes in Toyland, Beastie Boys, Kings of Leon, Foster The People, The Cure, Of Monsters and Men, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Killers, The National, Living Colour, Rage Against the Machine, We the Kings, Paramore, Green Day, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, X Japan, Audioslave, Soundgarden, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cage the Elephant, Alice in Chains, Björk, Lorde, Tool, The Black Keys, deadmau5, Hole, Body Count, Ice-T, Queens of the Stone Age, Cupcakke, The Drums, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris, Thenewno2, Fishbone, Lady Gaga, Lucius, Betty Who, Butthole Surfers, Grouplove, Marina And The Diamonds, Haley Reinhart, Scramble Campbell, Zara Larsson, and Radiohead.
The word—sometimes alternatively spelled and pronounced as lollapalootza or lalapaloosa—or "lallapaloosa" (P.G. Wodehouse, "Heart of a Goof") dates from a late 19th-/early 20th-century American idiomatic phrase meaning "an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance." Its earliest known use was in 1896. In time the term also came to refer to a large lollipop. Farrell, searching for a name for his festival, liked the euphonious quality of the by-then-antiquated term upon hearing it in a Three Stooges short film. Paying homage to the term's double meaning, a character in the festival's original logo holds one of the lollipops.
The word has also caused a slang suffix to appear in event-planning circles as well as in news and opinion shows that is used synonymously with other suffixes like "a-go-go", "o-rama", etc. The suffix "(a)palooza" is often used to imply (often in hyperbolic language) that an entire event or crowd was made over that term, e.g.: "Parks"-apalooza, "Nipple"-palooza, etc.