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Festive Occasions

May 11, 1997|Steve Hochman

With Prodigy, Orbital, the Orb and Tricky on board, Lollapalooza does have an advantage in the electronica sweepstakes. Those acts were all to have been on the much-discussed Chaotica techno tour, an event that has now been put "on hold," according to organizers.

"It's very cool that Lollapalooza got those acts," says KROQ's Worden, who believes that their dance music is served well by being presented in the context of a broader show.

But even with that, one promoter is concerned by the lack of a proven concert draw on the Lollapalooza bill.

"There's no meat here," he says. "Only edge."

The summer's other most prominent festivals--the Grateful Dead-derived Furthur, hip-hop caravan Smokin' Grooves and Ozzy Osbourne's OzzFest--are seen as even bigger question marks than Lollapalooza.

Some comments:

* Furthur (with the Black Crowes, Bob Weir's Ratdog, Mickey Hart, Bruce Hornsby): Last year's debut served, in the words of one promoter, as "a wake" for Jerry Garcia. With the lineup largely featuring returning acts, there's doubt about its ability to build any momentum.

* Smokin' Grooves (George Clinton, Cypress Hill, Erykah Badu, the Roots): "Badu is hot as a pistol," says one promoter. "Cypress Hill is not so much."

* OzzFest (Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Pantera, Marilyn Manson on some dates): "Not selling well many places yet," says Rolling Stone's Kemp. "But it's a powerful lineup of metal bands."

All in all, though, the promoters are not particularly excited about any of these shows.

Says one, "My favorite festivals of the summer will be Jimmy Buffett and Fleetwood Mac."

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