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L.A. prefers big names for fest

June 04, 2003|Richard Cromelin | Times Staff Writer

Monday's postponement of the All Tomorrow's Parties rock festival from mid-June to late September was attributed to slow ticket sales, but even as organizers try to beef up the bill, the founder of the eclectic showcase is concerned about the concept's viability here.

"Maybe the people of Los Angeles are just not ready for ATP," Barry Hogan said Tuesday. "I know for a fact that if that bill was on in England, it would sell out instantly. But we realize now that we just have to come back with something far stronger."

Hogan founded ATP in London five years ago, naming such acts as Mogwai and Autechre as "curators" who would select the performers. The first U.S. version was held at UCLA in 2001, with rock band Sonic Youth in charge.

After that success. All Tomorrow's Parties drew wider attention last year when "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening was named curator of the 2003 event. His first coup was the announcement that Captain Beefheart's famed Magic Band would reform for the festival.

The rest of the lineup consisted mainly of cult favorites from the rock and hip-hop worlds, including the Boredoms, Daniel Johnston, Yo la Tengo and the Fall. The shows were scheduled for June 20 to 22 at the Hollywood Palladium, Henry Fonda Theatre and the Palace.

An ATP-sponsored show by Nick Cave at the Palladium June 18 will be held as planned. Purchased tickets will be honored at the new dates, Sept. 26 to 28.

Hogan said that many of the scheduled acts, including the Magic band, will still appear.

"What we need to do is make it more attractive for more people to come along," Hogan said. "I'm still wondering, does the concept of the curator cross over in Los Angeles? I know it worked perfectly in the U.K. and people focused on that quite a lot, but I think out here it's all about, 'Who have you got on the bill and is it something I want to go and see?'

"It's frustrating because the whole idea of ATP is not about who the bands are, it's more a case of opening yourself up to exploring new music."

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