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Perry Farrell Rips EDM, Defends Dancing Girls

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With Lollapalooza approaching its 25th anniversary next week in Chicago’s Grant Park, founder Perry Farrell took some time to reflect upon how it has grown into one of the country’s biggest destination festivals. In doing so, he expressed his dissatisfaction with one of its major draws, the EDM stage, which, ironically, is named after him.

Speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Farrell said, “When they said they wanted to name a stage after me (when the festival relaunched in 2005), I was honored.” I like the adulation. But now you say, ‘Perry, what’s going on with your area here?’ Believe me, I’ve got questions myself. I hate EDM. I want to vomit it out of my nostrils. I can’t stand what it did to what I love, which is house music, which was meditative, psychedelic — it took you on a journey. … I sometimes cringe at my own festival.”

The first Lollapalooza, in 1991, began as a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction. As Farrell’s partner Marc Geiger noted, the idea was to bring together “a subculture of music fans who felt alienated because mass media was telling them to listen to something they didn’t want.” But now, Geiger added, “When you book 170 acts per festival and don’t want to repeat yourself, you run out of greatness and you start compromising.”

Farrell said that the growth of Lollapalooza beyond his scope has caused him to begin a new project, which won’t be launched for about 18 months, but, like the original, will be informed by his sensibilities. “It will be music-centric,” he said, “I’m going to make a new scene, a new place, a different feel. Music will be at the heart of it, but it will be a completely new experience. That’s all I can tell you. … At my new project, there will be great house music. I hope I will keep EDM at the door. They will be turned away.”

As some DJs have taken Farrell to task on Twitter, he has responded by noting the difference between his favorite house acts and those who have been responsible for EDM’s boom in recent years. We’ve embedded some of his tweets below.

But as he’s looking towards the future, he still has a foot in his past. He’s currently touring with Jane’s Addiction celebrating the 25th anniversary of Ritual de lo Habitual, which concludes, probably not coincidentally, at Lollapalooza next Saturday (July 30). However, the tour has gotten some controversy for a portion of their show where scantily clad women, who also serve as dancers, fly over the stage (see the video above). After a concert this week, somebody, according to the Boston Globe, commented on Facebook, “I understand all of the conversations about empowerment and reclaiming one’s body through dancing, but last night was misogynistic, objectification at its worst.” The evening also featured Farrell’s wife, Etty Lau, doing a striptease and simulating sex with her husband.

In response, Farrell retweeted the Globe link with a picture of three of the women behind him and added, “JA (Do not miss) 8 scantily clad sexpots!”

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