Projekt Revolution's Origins:
Projekt Revolution is a summer tour organized by the rap-rock band Linkin Park that began in 2002. Working under the mandate of bringing the worlds of rock and hip-hop together for one concert series, Projekt Revolution started small, encompassing only four bands, but has since evolved into a larger event that now tours both the United States and Europe. Linkin Park are the one constant for each tour, with other acts over the years including Jay-Z, Cypress Hill, Korn, Snoop Dogg, Chris Cornell and 10 Years.
The First Tour (2002):
When Projekt Revolution kicked off its inaugural U.S. tour in 2002, the lineup consisted of Linkin Park, Cypress Hill, DJ Z-Trip and Adema, a healthy mix of hard rock and rap groups, with both Cypress Hill and Linkin Park demonstrating their ability to bridge the two genres. Unlike subsequent tours, the first Projekt Revolution took place in the winter, running from January through the end of February.
Projekt Revolution Gets Ill ... Literally (2003):
The following year’s tour was planned to run through the month of April, but organizers had to reschedule some dates, including its opening night in Rochester, New York, when Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington suffered a throat infection. As a result, three shows were moved to July. Because of the rescheduled dates, there were different groups that performed for each section of Projekt Revolution 2003, including Mudvayne, Xzibit and Jurassic 5. The 2003 tour played fewer cities, focusing less on the West Coast and more on the East Coast and Midwest.
The Tour Adds a Second Stage (2004):
Projekt Revolution 2004 saw the addition of the Revolution Stage, a second stage that featured niche rock and hip-hop acts. Since 2004, the tour has included both stages, allowing for a larger and more diverse list of artists to perform. That year’s edition also began the tradition of touring during the lucrative summer months, and with over 30 dates in the U.S., it was also the longest tour in Projekt Revolution’s history to that point. The Main Stage consisted of Linkin Park, Korn, Snoop Dogg, the Used and Less Than Jake. The Revolution Stage featured, among others, Ghostface Killah and Funeral for a Friend.
With the tour gaining in size and stature, it was perhaps surprising that no subsequent Projekt Revolution festivals occurred in 2005 and 2006. The absence can be attributed to the members of Linkin Park concentrating on side projects, such as singer Mike Shinoda’s one-man group Fort Minor. Additionally, the band reconvened in the studio in 2006 to record their third album, Minutes to Midnight, with touring taking a backseat to completing the CD.
Projekt Revolution Returns ... Without the Rap (2007):
A week before Minutes to Midnight was released in May 2007, Linkin Park announced the relaunch of Projekt Revolution. Starting at the end of July and running until early September, Projekt Revolution 2007 focused heavily on metal and alternative rock, offering only one hip-hop act, the little-known Styles of Beyond, on the Revolution Stage. Meanwhile, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday and other rock bands dominated the Main Stage. This shift in musical priorities brought criticism from some, who accused Projekt Revolution of abandoning its original mission of catering to both rock and rap audiences.
Expanding to Europe (2008):
Projekt Revolution 2007 also marked the festival’s first trip to Canada, setting the stage for next year’s more global ambitions. For the 2008 tour, Linkin Park announced that the festival would do four European dates in June that would cover Germany and the United Kingdom. Inviting Jay-Z and N.E.R.D. to participate helped restore the show’s balance between rock and hip-hop groups, although the subsequent American dates continued to lean toward hard rock, including sets from Chris Cornell, Atreyu, Ashes Divide and 10 Years.