Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997 and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, but poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be cancelled.
In 2010 it was announced that Lollapalooza would debut outside the United States, with a branch of the festival staged in Chile's capital Santiago on April 2–3, 2011 where they partnered up with Santiago-based company Lotus. In 2011, the company Geo Events confirmed the Brazilian version of the event, which was held at the Jockey Club in São Paulo on 7 and 8 April 2012. In September 2013, Buenos Aires was selected as the third Lollapalooza in South America, starting on April 2014, and in November 2014, the first European Lollapalooza was announced, which was held at the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.
The word—sometimes alternatively spelled and pronounced as lollapalootza or lalapaloosa—or "lallapaloosa" (P.G. Wodehouse, "Heart of a Goof") dates from a late 19th-/early 20th-century American idiomatic phrase meaning "an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance." Its earliest known use was in 1896. In time the term also came to refer to a large lollipop. Farrell, searching for a name for his festival, liked the euphonious quality of the by-then-antiquated term upon hearing it in a Three Stooges short film. Paying homage to the term's double meaning, a character in the festival's original logo holds one of the lollipops.
The word has also caused a slang suffix to appear in event-planning circles as well as in news and opinion shows that is used synonymously with other suffixes like "a-go-go", "o-rama", etc. The suffix "(a)palooza" is often used to imply (often in hyperbolic language) that an entire event or crowd was made over that term, e.g.: "Parks"-apalooza, popular Chicago sushi restaurant "Roll"-apalooza, etc.