Concert producers: “If we didn’t become Lollapalooza, we would go back 20 years, we would become part of the B circuit of recitals” – La Tercera

At least for fans of live music, of the events with simultaneous scenarios and with figures of all caliber coming from different latitudes, no good news came yesterday. The Municipal Council of the Mayor’s Office of Santiago determined that the continuity of the Lollapalooza Festival in Parque O’Higgins will be decided through a citizen consultation, without specifying dates, terms or methodology of the process, four months after the show, already announced for on March 18, 19 and 20, 2022.

In a telematic vote in which the ten councilors of Santiago and the Mayor Irací Hassler (PC), who abstained from casting her voteIt was determined by eight votes in favor and one abstention that the fate of the show on the premises will be determined under this modality.

Of course, as established, the organizers, the Lotus production company, will be asked to previously present a care plan for the place, to report that it has all the permits in order and that it has complied with all the procedures and payments corresponding to the town hall.

“It seems very relevant to me that today the councilors point out that it should be the citizenship directly that can define this. More democracy is always better. It has been very relevant to be able to listen to different elements, and also demand the corresponding elements from the municipality, ”Mayor Hassler commented during the session.

The news was received as a blow not only by the promoters of the event, but also by the entire entertainment industry: The unprecedented scenario that the franchise faces since it arrived in the country in 2011, it is said, could be read as a bad sign for foreign businessmen and representatives of artists who negotiate with Chilean companies, especially given the good health that for decades has shown the market, receiving without major setbacks practically all the stars of music and in all imaginable formats.

Image of the latest version in Chicago. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar File)

In fact, the musician Perry Farrell and the American producer C3 -who head the show from North America- chose Santiago in 2011 as the place where Lolla would debut abroad precisely because of the stability shown by the national billboard.

Jorge Ramírez, general manager of the Association of Entertainment and Culture Production Companies (AGEPEC) –the entity that brings together almost all the relevant producers who organize shows in the country- He says that indeed the current scenario and an eventual cancellation of Lollapalooza for not being able to occupy O’Higgins Park could precipitate a hard blow and an uncomfortable noise for other multitudinous experiences that want to land in the capital in the coming years.

In fact, at least two high-profile festivals on the global circuit want to settle here as of 2022; one of them is the Brazilian Rock in Rio, which already has a contract to be able to debut on these sides, with a possible date for 2023.

“Transferring this responsibility to the public (deciding to organize a festival) only shows the inability to make administrative decisions on the part of our authorities. It is a very not very serious sign of how Chile is acting in these terms ”, determines Ramírez.

Then place a point: Lollapalooza 2022 is finally Lollapalooza 2020. It would be done that year, but the pandemic forced him to several postponements that finally led to the date announced until today. Therefore, according to Ramírez, the parameters approved for its realization have already been seen and endorsed by a mayor’s office, the previous one, that of Felipe Alessandri, so it would correspond to a “postponed” event that already had the pertinent regulations and that it should not go through a second review. Or at least, because of the questions that besiege him today.

“This is an event re-scheduled by the pandemic, postponed, so it should be carried out as defined, as already discussed and resolved. You cannot change the rules of the game olympically and from one moment to the next, just like nothing. It is not done with a common tenant, I do not see why it would have to be done with this show. The international license was granted for an instance under certain conditions and that must be respected ”.

In a global look, his analysis hardens: “What is happening is a devastating blow to the credibility of Chile that can set it back 20 years in the advance we have had in the field of concerts. We can become a problematic plaza, as there are others, because you stop giving certainties and only deliver inconsistencies. You become part of a circuit B. You are undermining the few opportunities that exist today for people of culture ”.

Concert producers If we didnt become Lollapalooza we would go
The Strokes

In this sense, in the classic triangulation that mega-events in South America have held since the early 90s, Brazil and Argentina have so far not presented problems with their respective 2022 editions of the meeting and have even communicated to their main artists: Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus y The Strokes.

They will be the same ones that will be in Santiago, but that have not yet been announced due to the contingency and the short circuit with the Municipality: not having O’Higgins Park insured has not given them the possibility of informing about the lineup full of what will be seen next year.

There is another knot there to solve. The artists are already tied up and signed -Black Pumas, IDLES, among many others are also joining them-, so if everything is canceled, a series of points to be discussed for Lotus could be generated regarding contracts and amounts of advances.

Within the industry, and within the production company itself, it is also said that there is little room to move to another place in case the citizen consultation throws bad news for them. First, the times are limited and approve another place it would mean scheduling technical visits by international managers who could only just begin to analyze the viability of alternative venues.

It would also mean accommodating already defined logistics to other spaces that have a different distribution and dynamics, which would not give time to be able to adapt to a new stronghold with different characteristics. “It is almost impossible to go elsewhere,” it is heard.

The governor of the Metropolitan Region himself, Claudio Orrego – who has tried to mediate between Lotus and the mayor’s office in recent days – acknowledged this yesterday to this medium: the Lotus firm has told him that there is no concrete plan B in case the park cannot be used for next year.

“The organizers have told us that given the possibility of looking for an alternative venue, they unfortunately could not because of the date that is above. I also raised that with the mayor, saying that if this is going to be the last year (of Lollapalooza in O’Higgins Park), so be it and then we will all look for a new place to organize this event for 2023. But discontinue such an important cultural and artistic event for Chile and the region would be terrible news for the city ”, he assured.

Jorge Ramírez, also a producer of great concerts and responsible, among others for the frequent visits of Ricky Martin or Raphael, adds: “They do not give the time for a plan B when the logistics are already approved and when they have been working for so long with the same model. All this requires agreements and advance, it is a very big operation ”.

The only place that can appear with a little more options is the Cerrillos Bicentennial Park.

1636654012 66 Concert producers If we didnt become Lollapalooza we would go
Line 6 Metro. Images of Cerrillos Bicentennial Park Photo Andres Perez GENERAL VIEWS

Reasons? It has already hosted other festivals by the Lotus production company itself, such as the 2015 Santiago Gets Louder (System of a Down, Faith no More, Deftones) and the Sónar of that same year (The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip); it has good connectivity from Line 6 of the metro; it has 50 hectares against the 82 of O’Higgins; and it has also been used for family events related to the National Holidays or gastronomic celebrations.

Its larger dimensions make it a good space in the eyes of local producers., since its seven stages and all the other instances that surround it could be accommodated with a certain fluidity, without the platforms -especially the main ones- being torpedoed or bumping into sound. It could also be installed in an indoor space that functions as the Movistar Arena, destined from the origins of the Santiago event to the electronic party.

Other redoubts are at a disadvantage and have not had as much enthusiasm in case Lollapaloza has to move, such as the Club Hípico -very open, scarce of trees and grass, a stony and unfriendly terrain- or the Padre Hurtado park. The stadiums are ruled out until now: the multiplicity of stages does not allow them to be built on a field with a circular shape and a narrower perimeter.

Today Lollapalooza faces the biggest puzzle of its history in the country. The Lotus production company until the end of this note has declined to express itself on the subject.

In the industry they see everything from a pessimistic perspective and fear for the consequences for the next billboard, just in days when there is talk of reactivation. “You can’t go around doing a query for everything, that’s why we choose the authorities. You cannot submit to a popular vote to find out if we cross with a red light or a green light. That is the point of what is happening today and it is what must be solved ”, Ramírez concludes.

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Concert producers: “If we didn’t become Lollapalooza, we would go back 20 years, we would become part of the B circuit of recitals” – La Tercera