Perry Farrell Explains Origin Of Lollapalooza Name


The 2012 Lollapalooza festival is underway at Chicago’s Grant Park, going down from Friday (August 3) to Sunday (August 5). It’s the iconic festival’s 20th anniversary, whose name has had as much of an impact on popular culture as its actual show.

The “-palooza” suffix of the name has become one of most popular over the last quarter-century since it launched in 1991. By 1996, there’d been a “Homerpalooza” episode of “The Simpsons,” as pointed out by And by 1998, Nickelodeon was dubbing a Sid & Marty Krofft marathon “Puf-a-Palooza.”

Where did the name come from? Founder Perry Farrell recently explained, via an interview discussing the 20-year mark.

“Back in the day, people had paper dictionaries,” he explained. “As a songwriter, I used to read the dictionary a lot…If I was hard up for a word, I would start thumbing through and sometimes it would trigger an idea for a song or a lyric. And laying on my back reading the dictionary, I came across ‘lollapalooza,’ which said ‘something or something great and/or wonderful.’ Then the second definition of it was ‘a giant swirling lollipop.’ And I thought about all the amazing, wonderful people I would bring together — not just the artists, but the people themselves, the patrons, the people that listen to it, the punk rockers or post-punk rockers, and the rappers and all these wild people — Gibby Haynes and Ice T and Henry Rollins, man, smashing them all together. I thought, ‘This is the perfect name.’

“Now, I had heard the expression once before. I don’t know what Three Stooges episode it was, but I did hear Moe say, ‘That’s a lollapalooza!'”

For more on Lollapalooza, visit

1 comment
  1. I think any discussion should include the “Lalapalooza Sundae” which was a huge 10 or 12 scoop multi flavor sundae which was served for years at a regional chain of ice cream shops here in Minneapolis metro area: The name of the business was/is Bridgemans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.