Live Nation is upping its European festival game next year with new events in the French and Spanish capitals
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Organisers have hailed the successful first Lolla Paris as "a local initiative, produced by a French company" in response to criticism from ex-culture minister Jack Lang
By Jon Chapple on 25 Jul 2017
The first edition of Lollapalooza Paris, which took place last weekend, has been hailed as a success by promoter Live Nation France, which has praised the festival as a triumph of “local initiative” in the face of criticism by former culture minister Jack Lang.
Lang – a veteran Socialist party politician who served as France’s minister of culture from 1981–86 and 1988–92 – on Saturday attacked the new festival, announced in October, as part of an “invasion of the musical life of France by American multinationals”.
According to Lang, Live Nation is threatening France’s domestic, often public subsidised, festival scene with the “extension of its empire” across the country. (The company’s most recent French acquisition was Nous Productions last August.)
He also took a swipe at AEG, which is believed to be going into partnership with Matthieu Pigasse’s LNEI Live on Rock en Seine, saying the rival promoter is “already scandalously present in [Paris] with AccorHotels Arena”.
“We would have been delighted to welcome Mr Lang to the festival, so that he realises that it is a local initiative, produced by a French company called Live Nation France”
Live Nation France issued a statement in response to Lang’s attack, with deputy GM Matthias Leullier saying he “would have been delighted to welcome Mr Lang to the festival, so that he realises that it is a local initiative, produced by a French company called Live Nation France”. Leullier also notes Live Nation France has 65 permanent employees and hired 1,500 people for Lollapalooza, all of which “are paid, and not by public subsidies.”
According to Le Figaro, no fewer than 110,000 people attended Lollapalooza Paris 2017, held at the Longchamp racecourse – the home of Download Paris, also a Live Nation production – on 22 and 23 July. Headliners were Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, Lana Del Rey, London Grammar and DJ Snake.
Lollapalooza, revived in Chicago by Live Nation’s C3 Presents in 2005, is now staged in five other cities worldwide: Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Paris and Chilean capital Santiago.
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