Ted Gardner, Lollapalooza Co-Founder and Rock Manager, Dies at 74

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Gardner launched Lollapalooza in 1991 with Perry Farrell and managed massive acts like Tool, Jane’s Addiction, and the Verve

Lollapalooza 2012
Lollapalooza 2012 (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images).

Ted Gardner, rock manager and co-founder of Chicago music festival Lollapalooza, has died, Billboard reports. While no cause of death was given, it’s reported that Gardner died on December 28 of last year. He was 74 years old.

Long before Lollapalooza’s opening day in the summer of 1991, Gardner worked as a tour manager, first with bands in his native Australia. He toured with local outfit Men at Work in the early 1980s and worked with a number of rock groups from the decade—Crowded House, Echo and the Bunnymen, and New Order among them.

By the late ’80s, Gardner was managing Jane’s Addiction full-time. In the following years, he would go on to work with massive rock acts like Tool, the Verve, and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as the more niche psych rock outfit the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

In 1991, Gardner and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell launched Lollapalooza, the multi-day, multi-stage music event that helped shape the modern festival template. Though it went on hiatus in 1997, the festival has been running annually since 2005, with the exception of the COVID-19-related cancellation of its 2020 installment.

In 2007, Gardner started his own company Cross Section Management alongside Scott Mesiti. They also helmed a corresponding record label.

A number of artists have paid tribute to Gardner on social media, including Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins. “RIP Ted Gardner,” he wrote. “Our good times will live forever. Love to you on your journey.”

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