Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Apr 21st 2010 4:00PM by Steve Baltin
Farrell also believes having a rising star is part of the Lollapalooza lore. "Back in the day, we used to pick headliners that were up-and-coming kids," he says. "They would headline, they had a big record, it was a breakthrough record, but you can't do that today, especially in the vein of rock. It's very difficult to see anybody breaking through playing rock within a year out of nowhere to headline. But we used to do it every year. Lady Gaga, this is the first time in 10 years -- maybe less, but for sure five -- of a new artist that could step in and say 'I'm a headliner.'"
Gaga also seems to have the persona and bravado to step into the kind of spotlight that comes with playing in front of tens of thousands of people, many of whom are not your fans, outdoors. In other words, she can handle the pressure of a festival, but it's not an easy thing to make the jump. From Sunny Day Real Estate to Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch, artists backstage at last weekend's Coachella said playing festivals is a whole different ballgame than any other show. So we asked Farrell why festivals are so different from a regular gig.
"First of all, it's a commitment that you commit yourself to relaxing and being at a festival. That's from the audience's perspective, so that's what [Ian McCulloch] doesn't get because he doesn't go to them," Farrell says. "But the audience gets to commit themselves to relaxing, enjoying themselves, not working, and in the midst of it all that, taking in and listening to music while socializing, whereas when you go to a concert you're not really socializing on a massive scale anyway. Here, the size of the gathering itself causes the gathering to be important because why are so many people gathering."
Farrell says as an artist, you can do whatever you want with that massive crowd. "You can make use of that time and take advantage of that time to spread a message, cause a movement or do nothing. You can stand for nothing," he says. "That's okay -- you can stand for relaxation and great escapism and that's just as good."