Earlier this month, we learned that Ariana Grande — along with Childish Gambino and Tame Impala — would headline this year’s Coachella Festival. And it looks like that won’t be the only major American festival that Grande headlines this year. Variety reports that, according to “multiple sources,” Grande will also be the lead draw at the big Chicago festival this summer.
The circumstances of the two festivals are vastly different. Those same sources are telling Variety that Lollapalooza is not merely jumping on Coachella’s decision. Apparently, the Lollapalooza people were in talks with Grande long before the Coachella bookers were. TMZ recently reported that Grande was a last-minute booking for Coachella; those sources are saying that negotiations with Kanye West fell apart when he demanded to have an enormous dome built for himself in the middle of the Coachella grounds. Lollapalooza looks like a more conventional booking decision, not an example of bookers scrambling for a replacement.
But this does indicate another shift in American festival culture. It’s not that Lollapalooza has never booked a straight-up pop act before. Last year, main headliners included Bruno Mars and the Weeknd, as well as Jack White and Arctic Monkeys. Right now, we don’t know how the rest of the Lollapalooza lineup will look; the festival usually doesn’t unveil its bill until March. (It should be noted, too, that Grande’s spot at Lollapalooza is not official yet; the list of Coachella headliners that circulated a few months ahead of time turned out to be premature and wrong.) But someone put it out there that Grande would play Lolla. They want to get people excited about it. And if you want to get people excited to spend money on festival tickets, it seems that, as of right now, Ariana Grande is your best bet.