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Lilith Fair Hits the Road Again in 2010

Kelly Clarkson, Mary J Blige, Ke$ha and others top revamped fest’s bill

rsiwebadmin Apr 10, 2010
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Tim Monsenfelder/Getty Images Entertainment

When Sarah McLachlan launched the all-women Lilith Fair in 1997, it was competing with six other travelling music festivals: Lollapalooza, Ozzfest, Warped, H.O.R.D.E., Smokin’ Grooves and Furthur. When Lilith returns this summer for a 28-date trek through amphitheatres, with headliners Mary J Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, McLachlan and others, only Warped remains on the road. “It’s a good time for a travelling festival for exactly that reason ”“ there aren’t any out there,” says McLachlan. “The travelling festivals lost their lustre, their excitement. I’m sure people will say, ”˜Oh, God, [Lilith] is coming back again.’ But whatever. I’ll enjoy it.”

The new Lilith is similar to the Nineties original ”“ showcasing artists from indie rock (Tegan and Sara), country (Loretta Lynn, Sugarland), R&B (Erykah Badu) and pop (Ke$ha). “This is what the original Lilith tour was trying to be, but you didn’t have as big of a cross section, as far as R&B and folk and rock,” Crow, a headliner then and now, tells Rolling Stone. “It’s so exciting to see such a massively diverse group of women.”

The tour, which has yet to release a full schedule or ticket prices, will showcase 11 artists per city according to a rotating schedule, with McLachlan playing every date. (The July 17 show in Chicago, for example, will feature Clarkson, Blige, Cat Power and Heart.) Kevin Lyman, who produces the Warped Tour, predicts strong sales: “The line-up’s pretty good,” he says. “There’s a little bit of that history with Lilith there, but there are so many young artists that are part of that tour.”

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Lilith Fair grossed over $65 million from 1997 to 1999, more than any other pop or rock festival during those years, according to Pollstar. “We did it for three years, and we were all pretty exhausted by the end of it,” McLachlan says. “All of a sudden, 10 years passed. We kind of started to miss it. The nostalgia level was so great.”

Additional reporting by David Browne

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