Lolla Leaks
Thoughts On Souvenir Tickets…

Hey there, random Lollapalooza fan!  I didn’t expect to use this blog at all after making the first post, but I did some thinking tonight and decided that this would be a good time.  I might do other Lollapalooza-related musings on here, too.  I’m not sure.  Anyway…

Like a lot of you, I spent the past few days parked in front of my computer from 9-5 with my finger on F5 in an attempt to get souvenir tickets.  Like a lot of you, I mastered the art of doing absolutely nothing at work while refreshing and refreshing and refreshing.  Like a lot of you, I didn’t get them. 

This ended a five-year streak of getting those wonderful Golden Tickets, an event that was just as much a part of the Lolla experience for me as the festival itself.  After trying to get through the Frontgate page for about twenty minutes, I realized it wasn’t happening.  I slouched at my desk, a defeated man.  As I got in touch with my family and friends who were trying to help me out, I learned that they came up empty-handed, too.  I would be paying full price for Lollapalooza for the first time, and I was pissed off.

Not “THESE WENT ON SALE DURING MY SOCCER PRACTICE I’M GONNA SUE YOUUUUUUU!!!!!1!!!!!” pissed off, like a lot of people on the Facebook and Twitter pages, but very upset.  I went to Harold’s for some sorrow chicken (the best kind) and went back to my apartment to catch up on some TV and feel sorry for myself.  But while I was laying in bed, chicken in hand, watching The Simpsons, I started to think about my first souvenir ticket buying experience. 

I was a freshman in college and R.E.M. was looking like a possible headliner for Lollapalooza 2008.  Those of you who know me already know that I’m an R.E.M. obsessive, so you can only imagine 18-year-old me freaking out about the chance to see them play outside in downtown Chicago.  My friend Michael and I decided we were going to try to go to Lollapalooza that year to see them, and it would all start with lurking on the forums. 

People weren’t welcoming.  But, to be fair, I wasn’t familiar with the fest or a lot of indie music at the time.  Even though the internet is an amazing resource for finding music, I had mostly stuck to older alternative (R.E.M., The Smiths, Talking Heads) with a few newer artists (Wilco, Tegan & Sara, Bloc Party) thrown in there.  I grew up in a fairly small town and never really had the opportunity to go to a lot of shows growing up.  Sure, Champaign got some decent stuff, but other than that, you would end up driving two hours to St. Louis (or three to Chicago) and scheduling your entire day around it.  Your $20 ticket plus gas, food, and parking added up. 

I lucked out and scored a ticket right before my American Government class that Friday.  What happened after that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The lineup didn’t include R.E.M., but it did have Wilco (my second favorite band of all time), Radiohead (Michael’s favorite band of all time), and other favorites like Okkervil River, Broken Social Scene, and (at the time, god help me) The Ting Tings.  After a certain point on the lineup, I knew absolutely none of the bands.  This led to a ton of research, where I spent a night in my living room listening to a song from every band on the lineup I didn’t know.  Suddenly I was discovering bands like The Weakerthans, Nicole Atkins, Brazilian Girls, and White Lies that I should have been listening to a long time ago.  (The former had to cancel that year, unfortunately)  Those bands introduced me to other bands, and my musical knowledge expanded exponentially. 

I’ll ramble about the fest itself some other time, but it was great.  Random encounters with great musicians, getting my heart broken, falling in love with Chicago, wearing my bracelet for almost a year afterward… It was all part of an amazing teenage experience that set me on this trajectory where I’m living in Chicago, getting ready to attend my sixth Lollapalooza, and wasting tons of time on the message board (I’ve since achieved “Supreme Being” status, with over 8,000 posts).

Getting that souvenir ticket introduced teenage me to new bands, new friends, and opened my eyes to city life.  I really hope there’s some kid who is super pumped about seeing Mumford and Sons this year who will have his or her mind blown by The Cure and discover someone like Wild Cub or Tegan & Sara.  Maybe he or she will meet some cool people on the Lollaboard or move to Chicago.  And if him (or her) getting that souvenir ticket this year means I didn’t get mine, I’m pretty alright with that.  You should be, too.

Take care and see you in August,

Bryn (aka LollaLeaks)

@brynrich
brynwrich@gmail.com

The Big Reveal

Ready for the big news?

As you’ve likely noticed, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth has announced a date in Copenhagen for August 6, 2012.  You probably think this makes them unlikely for an appearance at Lollapalooza a few days prior.  Luckily, I have an explanation for this whole thing…

I’ve been fucking with you this whole time.

I started @LollaLeaks as a bit of an experiment.  Could one “anonymous” person throw a random lineup on the internet and get people to believe it?  I figured I’d fool a few people, maybe make a local blog or something…  Never did I imagine I would end up feuding with Perry Farrell (Dave Navarro chimed in at one point, too) and have my fake “leaks” reported on by several very reputable blogs and news outlets. (Several reporters even attempted to contact me for more info through Twitter)  After one week of posting, I had 2,000 followers who retweeted my every post, came to me with questions, and lashed out at me when I posted about acts they didn’t like.  It was the single most bizarre moment of my tweeting life. 

Part of me does feel bad.  I’m sure I got some of your hopes about a lineup that I, for one, would love to see happen.  But, at the same time, it’s hard for me to sympathize with people who take information from an anonymous stranger seriously.  Anyone can start a blog/Twitter account and post lies.  I’m proof of that.  The fact that so many of you believed me and shared that information is a little startling, to be honest with you.  Why not wait for credible sources that have evidence to back up their claims?  While I totally understand the excitement leading up to an awesome fest like Lolla, you guys (especially journalists) should know better.  Anyway, I’d like to address a few people…

Perry Farrell:
I honestly meant no harm with this account.  I respect you and the festival more than you can ever realize, and I have created some great memories there.  In all honesty, you can’t say this wasn’t fun.  Plus, no publicity is bad publicity!  All of this attention is proof of the excitement surrounding what you do.  I harbor no ill feelings towards you after our testy Twitter exchange (I assure you, however, I have a very average sized penis) and wish you and Lolla the best.  See you in August!

@TheLollaLeaker:
I don’t know you.  It frustrated me that you kept trying to act like we were working together on these leaks when I know you’re just as fake as me.  I know that sounds a little harsh, but it’s true.  While it may be tempting, be careful who you try to associate yourself with.  Your credibility is shot now.  Sorry. (Not really).

Lollapalooza Facebook People:
Thank you for promoting my Twitter feed.  Within hours of my first post, I gained followers from the posters on this page.  This whole experiment wouldn’t have been possible without you.  (Also, Daft Punk/David Bowie won’t be at Lollapalooza anytime soon.  You don’t need to be an insider to know that.)

Lollapalooza Message Board People:
This was an entertaining bunch.  Everyone was accusing each other of being @LollaLeaks, speculating whether or not it was real (most of you knew I was full of shit), and even getting into serious discussions about whether or not a band like Korn could really play at Lollapalooza in 2012.  Thanks for the laughs. 

Journalists
The highlight of this whole experience was watching the news stories snowball, each one carrying fake details into the next.  Even though my account was clearly brand new, many said I had predicted the lineup the year before.  Others attributed bands I never mentioned to my leaked lineup.  Most of you avoided reporting the lineup, deciding instead to focus on the Perry Farrell/Lolla Leaks feud, but a few of you reported my lineup as fact.  Please, for everyone’s sake, don’t be lazy.  Don’t get caught up in internet frenzies.  Someday it might involve something important and can really hurt someone.

So, in short, I would just like to thank you for the fun over the past few weeks and remind you to take everything from anonymous posters with a grain of salt.  Festivals can be pretty easy to predict, and some people will take advantage of that and run year-long blogs or create mysterious message board profiles to convince you that they have insider information.  Just wait until you hear it from a good, reputable source.  It’ll be worth it.  I promise.

If you want to yell at me, congratulate me for trolling so well, or anything else (Like offer me a job in your marketing department if you’re C3 Presents or talk about the whole hoax if you’re a journalist who doesn’t hate me), feel free to e-mail me at lollaleaks@gmail.com.  I’ll try to respond to as many as I can.  Depending on the responses, I might even give out my personal Twitter info.  We’ll see.

Take care and have fun at Lolla,

-LL