Yup, it’s that time of the year again where people go crazy for music festivals with one of the biggest being Lollapalooza. The set list is out, most of the tickets are sold out, and people are already making hotel reservations. Everyone’s happy….except me. Though I usually join in on the excitement by thinking about all the great artists coming to the city, keep in mind I’ve never been to a single Lolla show, this festival has been the cause of much heartache for me. First, it was 2010 when Green Day headlined. That was the year that I could finally see the band, but I didn’t have enough money for the festival. I finally saw them this year; I thought the heartache was over. But they did it again; they crossed a line and got one of the most legendary bands that I’ve been waiting to see almost as long as I’ve been waiting to see Green Day: The Cure.
I fell in love with The Cure around high school when my brother introduced me to them. There’s something charismatic and charming about Robert Smith. Ask any Curehead and they’ll tell you the same. Ever since I became a rabid fan, I’ve been wanting to see them, but of course bad timing and financial hardships got in the way. I didn’t think they would be coming to North America this year because they were touring South America; they’ll be here next year I thought. Then Lollaplaooza came and fucked it up. I’m not going to lie to you friends, I teared up when I read the confirmed set list. But what’s the big deal, you may be thinking. If you’re that passionate, go! I wish it were that easy.
I love the idea of the festival. It’s perfect for any music fan; you get some of the biggest acts in music over three days in one city. But one thing that really puts a damper on the festival is the price. Over the years, they have tried to make it better by having early bird specials and stuff like that, but by the time you’re ready to buy them, it’s all sold out. What’s even worse is that it’s not just fans of one certain band at this show. You have different fans, which isn’t bad. What makes it bad is that you’ll have these people, let’s call them hipsters, who will just go see the other bands just to say they were there. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about people seeing major headline acts, but not really being fans. They just decided to go. Maybe for some people it doesn’t matter, but personally I prefer to be in an arena with other fans of this band we all want to see. I’ve had chances to see bands I don’t care about, but I always pass it up; save it for someone who actually wants to see them. I’d rather someone actually enjoy the show, than to go for stupid concert cred.
Another thing, the festival is just a huge disadvantage to music fans with little money. I already mentioned the price. Pretty much if you miss those specials, you’re looking to spend about 200 bucks for ONE ticket. It’s even more fucked up because tickets will start selling even before the line up is announced. By the time they make the official announcement there are already a bunch of tickets gone. What really screws it up is the festival clause. In a nutshell, it bans artists from performing in or around the city 3-6 months prior to the concert and 3-6 months after. This means if a band wanted to do a smaller club show for the people who can’t make it, they can’t. And with certain bands, like The Cure, you never know when they’ll be back on tour again. The last time they toured North America was 2008! And it doesn’t help that Smith keeps threatening to end the band every year. One day it’ll actually happen; I don’t want to miss this band like I did with The White Stripes.
Seeing Smith and Co is one my goals, but I can’t bring myself to attend the festival when I know I’ll most likely be miserable. I don’t find the idea of standing in mud, with tons of people pushing up against me, and barely seeing Smith’s hair very charming. And with the prices, the clauses,and the merchandise, it just seems like the festival lost some of what made it seem magical in its early years. So no matter how much I want to say Fuck it, let’s go, I won’t be seeing one of my favorite bands this year. It still hurts a little whenever I hear one of their songs. The fact that they’ll be in my city this summer and I can’t be there sucks. To Cure fans going this year, have a great fucking time. To Lolla, all I have to say is Fuck you.