Dubbed the concert that changed the world, Lollapalooza toured summer stages for six years in the 1990s with a tripped-out mix of sights and sounds.
One by one, imitators joined the fray. Ozzfest. Horde. Vans Warped. These festivals followed a blueprint almost identical to Lollapalooza's _ the year's biggest acts featured in multistage, daylong events.
After being gone since 1997, Lollapalooza returns this year. (It opened Saturday in Noblesville, Ind. The closest show to the Tampa Bay area is Aug. 5 in West Palm Beach.) But many in music wonder if it can regain its place in a crowded summer concert market.
"I do realize that there are a lot of other people out there coming through the country these days," said Perry Farrell, the festival's 44-year-old co-founder and lead singer for Jane's Addiction. "But this is new and improved Lollapalooza."
With Audioslave, Incubus, and Jurassic 5 performing, Jane's Addiction will take top billing at this year's festival to promote a new album, its first since Ritual De Lo Habitual in 1990.
Aware of the difficulty in returning after so many years away, Farrell said Lollapalooza promoters set out to alter the festival's look, sound, and feel by morphing into a "fully wired" gig with corporate backing.
Sponsored by Verizon Wireless and XBox, concertgoers can use cell phones to interact with giant plasma screens scattering the grounds, or escape to a tent where XBox has set up 140 game consoles.
"It's kind of like being in a video game, but the grounds of Lollapalooza are the video game," Farrell said.
But much has changed since Lollapalooza _ a name Farrell said he took from the Three Stooges _ first swirled a mix of music into one marketable package in 1991.
With never-before-seen lineups that scoffed at genre, hundreds of thousands of flannel-clad Generation Xers swarmed to Lollapalooza, one of the first festivals where hip-hop stars and rockers shared a stage.
Metallica, Soundgarden, Tricky, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg are all alumni.
Today's concertgoers are the younger siblings to those original fans, and they're interested in an experience _ Spin magazine once labeled Lollapalooza "the No. 1 concert to change the world" _ much more than good music.
"At one time, it really had a well-established brand name that meant something to the concert audience," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a concert trade magazine. "That's basically gone at this point. Six years is an eternity if you're appealing to teenagers."
During Lollapalooza's twilight, attendance rose and fell as other concerts took a piece of the summer.
In 1997, Farrell broke from the tour before it had finished the summer. He said the rise of other festivals had splintered the pool of artists, just as it did his audience of faithful.
Promoters say ticket sales for dates on this year's 30-stop tour are mixed, but overall very healthy. They have not released the numbers for any ticket sales.
Whether a fan base now nearing 30 will return to the festival or dismiss its new identity is hard to tell.
Farrell said he's confident in his brainchild's successful return, despite competing tours.
"The world is what it is and people are going to go out there and try to make a living," Farrell said. "I didn't want to present the same mundane idea."
LOLLAPALOOZA NOW: Kari Streib, 16, smiles after winning a mud wrestling match for tickets to Saturday's show in Noblesville, Ind.
Fans thrill to Metallica's set during Lollapalooza's 1996 stop in Pecatonica, Ill. The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg are also tour alumni.