Among those who are so grateful to Ariana Grande right now: the nation’s festival bookers, who, facing a shortage of contemporary rock heavyweights, are increasingly looking to pop superstars as headliner. Multiple sources tell Variety that Grande has been booked for Lollapalooza, set to take place in Chicago’s Grant Park August 1-4, on top of her already announced slot at Coachella in April.
The Lollapalooza lineup isn’t traditionally announced until the third week of March, so any official confirmation of Grande’s appearance may be weeks or even months away.
Lest anyone suspect that Lollapalooza is merely borrowing a cue from Coachella in securing Grande as headliner, sources tell Variety that her booking at the Chicago festival has been in the works for several months. Discussions about it also took place much earlier than they did for the California fest, where published reports indicated that her camp got the official invite only days before the lineup was announced, as a replacement for Kanye West, whose staging demands grew too great. So if anything, Coachella may have been following Lollapalooza’s lead in realizing that Grande makes a perfectly suitable choice for a festival that’s no longer strictly tied to its alt-rock roots in 2019.
Grande enjoys a level of critical cred that a lot of her superstar pop contemporaries don’t, thanks to gushing reviews for her recent album “Sweetener,” above and beyond the fact that the post-album single “thank u, next” has been the ubiquitous signature musical event of the last six months.
While the Lollapalooza development hasn’t been officially announced, some other festival-related Grande news did go public Monday. Her camp officially announced that she is rescheduling some dates on her arena tour as a result of the sudden Coachella booking.
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