How One Insanely Popular Music Festival Is Keeping You From Seeing Your Favorite Bands

Radius clauses are neither new nor news. Every major festival imposes them, rightfully, to keep their big-money acts from playing local shows that could harm ticket sales. If, say, Skrillex were to play Chicago’s 3,500-seat Congress Theater for $25 a pop the day after Lolla, the festival might lose out on a handful of $100 passes. Multiply that by 130 bands, and festival promoters C3 Presents have a problem. That’s where the radius clause comes in — it preserves demand by capping supply.

While most festivals enforce restrictions of a few weeks for the cities in which they operate, Lollapalooza’s embargo — anywhere from 90 to 270 days and 90 to 300 miles — is theoretically broad enough to keep Chicago up-and-comer Chance the Rapper from performing in his hometown for nine months this year. It’s bad for the artists and for the fans.