Radiohead is the first name on the bill. They're also the most exciting band on it considering they haven’t toured the US (or anywhere) in a very long time. They played Lolla last in 2008, just after “In Rainbows” came out. The big question now is: Will Radiohead release their anticipated new album before taking the Lolla stage in July? If not, will they at least play some new songs?
Red Hot Chili Peppers are no strangers to Lollapalooza. When Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell founded the festival 25 years ago, RHCP were at the top of their game. Their first appearance was at the second Lolla, in 1992, the year after their classic album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was released. So it makes perfect sense they’d be invited back to do what they do best and do it on a very familiar stage.
It’s always nice to see a rapper on top of the Lollapalooza bill. This year that rapper is J. Cole. The Dreamville boss, whose most recent release is 2014’s “Forrest Hills Drive,” is known for bringing people together, and that’s exactly what he’ll be doing at Lolla.
2. Other Big Names
Some of the other noteworthy stars who’ll shine bright at Lollapalooza 2016 are the prolific rapper Future, Diplo’s Major Lazer, singer Lana Del Rey, Lolla founder Farrell’s 90s rock juggernaut Jane’s Addiction, Brit dance-poppers Disclosure, weird-pop artist Grimes, country boss Chris Stapleton, and EDM stars Martin Garrix and Hardwell.
3. Fine Print
Down near the bottom and up a bit in the middle of Lollapalooza’s massive lineup poster, you’ll find some interesting rising artists not to miss. For instance, indie/punk-rockers Potty Mouth, recent Ty Dolla $ign collaborator Race Banyon, Chicago rapper Saba, Philly rockers Modern Baseball, and Toronto rapper Jazz Cartier. Also San Francisco rock band Third Eye Blind, responsible for hits like “Jumper” and “Semi-Charmed Life,” will be there.
It is a bit surprising that, since this is Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary, the only veteran bands that could’ve played back at the festival’s founding who are also on this year's bill are RHCP, Radiohead and Jane’s Addiction. It’d be neat to see some of the great bands that played the fest in its early years — like Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, Pearl Jam, Jesus & Mary Chain, Soundgarden, Dinosaur Jr and Tool — make an appearance.
Twenty-five years is a long time for a music festival to exist — we should pause to think about that. But we also can’t help but wonder whether Lollapalooza will still exist in 25 more years. And, if so, who will be the big headliners then from among today’s crop of hot younger artists? Rihanna? Bieber? 21 Pilots? The 1975? We'll find out in 25 years.