Lollapalooza Rolls Into Trouble

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A innocently-intentioned publicity stunt has turned into a press fiasco for the organizers of this summer’s Lollapalooza festival, as their “Palooza Papers,” which were given out last week at a press conference a few feet from a playground at Chicago’s Washington Park, have angered some city officials.

The custom-packaged rolling papers, which are commonly used for smoking marijuana but can also be used for tobacco, advertised the music festival as “fully baked rock and roll.” The Chicago Sun-Times pointed out that the online site Wikipedia defines the term “baked” as “intoxicated from marijuana use.”

This year’s Lollapalooza festival, scheduled for August 4-6 at the city’s Grant Park, will feature over 120 acts, with headliners including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco, The Flaming Lips and Kanye West.

Chicago Park District Superintendent Timothy Mitchell said he was unaware of the rolling papers that were set up on a press table. After being asked about them, the startled Mitchell ordered them removed, according to the paper.

Later, both Mitchell and Lollapalooza organizers called the offer of rolling papers in a city park a mistake. The press conference, while in Washington Park and promoted by the park district, was organized on-site by Lollapalooza’s public relations firm, Fresh and Clean Media.

Lollapalooza producer Charlie Jones was first shocked at the response to the advertising pieces. “Is there something wrong with them?” he asked the paper. He said they were created as part of an ad campaign and first handed out at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX.

Later, Jones phoned the Sun-Times with a mea culpa, calling the rolling papers “a horrible mistake.”

“It’s not the way we want to be represented,” said Jones, adding that the papers were created as “a joke.” Lollapalooza is “very family friendly …This is not what we’re about.”

Both concert officials and Supt. Mitchell said the papers will not be distributed at this summer’s festival.

The press conference had been scheduled so city officials could accept $400,000 from last year’s concert proceeds that the district will use to improve neighborhood parks. This year’s festival is expected to bring in $600,000 for the park district. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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