Ted Gardner, co-founder of Lollapalooza, has passed away at the age of 74.

Ted Gardner, the revered artist manager who was also co-founder of Lollapalooza’s iconic festival, has now passed away at 74. 


Anton Newcombe (frontman of The Brian Jonestown Massacre), confirmed his death by tweeting the news on Wednesday, December 29. At the time of writing, no cause of his death has been established. However, Newcombe stated that Gardner was. “surrounded by his loving family”He died in his final days. 

Gardner was the manager of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, alongside Queens Of The Stone Age and Rival Schools, since 2004. Martyn LeNoble, a Porno For Pyros bassist, described Gardner as a music industry mogul. “a tough man with a good heart”, who was well-respected for his ambition and strong will.

Gardner’s started his storied career in music in 1977, when, in tandem with Mushroom Records co-founders Michael Gudinski and Ray Evans, he spearheaded operations at the Melbourne venue Bottom Line. Three years later, Gardner moved north and found a home at Sydney’s Nucleus Agency, working closely with acts like Matt Finish and Midnight Oil.

He was instrumental in launching the careers of Men At Work, new-wave music legends, and helping to promote their 1981 debut. ‘Business As Usual’. A year after the group’s US breakthrough in ’82, Gardner himself trekked over to the States, signing on as Frank Zappa’s production manager in 1984. He’d soon become a staple of the American touring scene, managing stints for bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, Crowded House, New Order and Jane’s Addiction.

1989 saw Jane’s Addiction bring Gardner onboard as their full-time manager, and in 1991, he, band members Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins, as well as booking agents Don Muller and Marc Geiger, kickstarted the bourgeoning Lollapalooza festival. 

Lollapalooza continues to be one of the world’s biggest and most anticipated music festivals, and though its primary event still reigns supreme at Grant Park, Chicago, the brand has since expanded to Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Sweden and France. 

In 2007, Gardner moved back to Australia and founded Cross Section, a label and management agency. He also managed acts such as Rose Tattoo, Nathan Cavaleri, and Cog drummer Lucius Borich.

Below are tributes to Gardner.


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