Going Lolla for Lollapalooza


Lollapalooza, the renowned three-day music festival kicked off Friday, August 2 and came to a bittersweet end Sunday, August 4. This year was marked as the biggest attendance yet, with a whopping 300,000 people and nearly 150 bands, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Clouds lingered over Grant Park early Friday morning, but a few raindrops would not stop the crowds from rocking. Glitter and actual rain poured down for Icona Pop and uncountable bunches of flower crowns swayed for Lana Del Rey. Despite their sound mishap, Imagine Dragons recovered well with the crowd’s anticipation. The Killers’ closing performance welcomed New Order’s Bernard Sumner for a cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay.”

Saturday welcomed sun and the crowd’s second wind. The diverse lineup included rap from Kendrick Lamar, folk from The Lumineers, pop from Ellie Goulding and even some country from Eric Church.

“At Lolla, I felt like everyone just had a special bond, a place of no judgement. That’s what I love about alternative music: alternative people,” Alyssa Alfano (11) said.

Saturday’s headliners went out with a bang, with a farewell from The Postal Service. The Chicago shows, one being an after-show, would be the band’s last. Mumford & Sons also got the crowd’s attention by telling them to “shut up” in order to hear the band, which was gathered around a single mic.

The never-ending weekend was coming to a close, but Sunday’s promising lineup did not disappoint, including sets from Jake Bugg, The Mowgli’s, Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J, The Vaccines and Grizzly Bear. Sights that “you just had to be there” for Sunday included a man in a wheelchair crowd surfing during Kendrick Lamar and a streaker getting tackled mid-set during Vampire Weekend.

Closing such an event could be no easy task, yet Phoenix came to impress. Singer Thomas Mars ended his performance with a classic crowd surf. The Cure offered a different sound, which was more relaxed and classic. Even the crowd had a different feel as older adults sang along to the sad throwbacks.

“[Lollapalooza] was definitely an amazing experience. It’s great to see that so many people from around the country and even the world can come together and enjoy all of these amazing bands,” Emma Nelson (10) said.

Every summer new and old faces return to this weekend in Chicago. Once someone gets a taste of Lolla, it’s an annual addiction.