The music press immediately jumped on the story and within a couple of days, Lollapalooza 2002 looked to be a road ready done-deal.

Is it? Not likely – at least, not at this early date. Talent, logistics and financing are some of the most important factors that need to be nailed down and these things don’t just automatically fall in line behind a good idea.

And then there’s the most obvious question: Will Lollapalooza – the groundbreaking behemoth that ushered in the era of festival tours – work in 2002? The easy answer: It depends on the bands.

Way back in 1991 when the tour first started, it was cool, new concept. With white-hot Jane’s Addiction topping the bill, Lollapalooza brought together Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie & The Banshees, and Ice-T on the main stage. It was an audacious move and it worked remarkably well. The inaugural outing also had a then-novel second stage and a “life-style” area – both de rigueur on the festival circuit today.

That first tour ran for 23 shows, grossed close to $9 million, and averaged 92 percent capacity. The numbers were fantastic and they got even better the next year when the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and The Jesus and Mary Chain were featured performers.

Lollapalooza 1992 grossed $19.1 million over 36 shows with 97 percent of tickets sold, and that’s where the tour peaked. The following two years were very successful but the concept seemed to lose steam after ‘94.

The tour got back to its alternative roots with Sonic Youth, Hole, Beck, Cypress Hill, and Pavement in 1995. With 75 percent of the tickets sold, it was still a pretty good year and it’s easy to see why Lollapalooza continued for two more summers.

By the time the final tour was over in 1997, the writing was on the wall. Korn, Snoop Dogg, James, Tricky, and The Prodigy brought in a bit more than $7.6 million with 25 shows. The warm months were saturated with eclectic festival tours, production costs had skyrocketed and it was much harder to maintain Farrell’s vision of community through music.

In the years since, a number of festival tours have tried to pick up where Lollapalooza left off, packaging bands from a variety of genres with big cult fanbases. The results have been mixed, at best. Look at last summer’s Area: One tour for example. The mix of hip-hop and electronica looked great on paper but the outing didn’t fare well at the box office.

The festival tours that have survived and prospered since Lollapalooza’s heyday – the Warped Tour and Ozzfest are good examples – know and cater to their audience. And it’s a rather specific audience.

Maybe the time is right for Lollapalooza to return. The vision behind it certainly has been missed. With the right bands on the bill, perhaps the tour that started it all can show a rather jaded done-that-and-paid-too-much-for-it public how it’s done.