Another Summer in Chicago (as opposed to Summer anywhere else, where you can count on some sort of summer weather that makes sense) means another Lollapalooza at Grant Park. Regardless of Chicago is full of festivals, from super-specific ethnic-meat-on-a-stick street fests to craft fairs to moon bounce-and-mariachi block parties to really-big-almost-not-exactly-legal raves, from the kitchen sink all-encompassing punk rock celebration Riot Fest to the EDM beach blowout Wavefront to DIY showcases like CLITfest, the Black and Brown Punk Fest, and this year’s inaugural Rotted Tooth Fest. Of all the music fests, Lollapalooza is the biggest. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but as someone who attends a lot of these events, it’s neat to see how Lollapalooza makes the absolute most of every dollar. Depending on how you opt in, as a one-day ticket holder, as a VIP, as an artist, as a member of the media, as a volunteer, as an employee, Lollapalooza (and their organizer C3 Presents) does everything it can to give you the most bang for your buck (or your labor, or your promotional assistance). Your Lollapalooza experience can be a mainstream rock show full of respectable dinosaur bands, an excuse to see all of the up-and-coming Chicago underground-but-not-for-long geniuses like YAWN, The Orwells, Supreme Cuts, and Chance the Rapper. Your Lollapalooza could be a day of wandering and letting different types of music wash over you or it can be a day of taking molly and dry humping on a beach blanket under the flashing lights of the Perry’s Stage.
One of the coolest things about it, is that even with an event that costs millions of dollars and looks like it, it’s still a festival devoted to music and art and musicians, and there can still be surprises. There were good surprises like a set by Dog Blood, consisting of Skrillex and Boyz Noize, and completely annoying surprises like Death Grips not showing up at all. In between, there was the unfortunate case of Supreme Cuts having a complete equipment malfunction, which led to the lemonade-from-lemons situation of their friends The-Drum throwing down with Jody, GTW, and Kit. Another mixed bag was the festival’s underestimation of Chance the Rapper. His set was amazing and completely packed, but at the same time he was entirely too popular for the side stage they put him on. I heard a good set, but pushing my way as close to the fence as I could, I never saw more than an elbow.
While we made time to check out childhood heroes like Nine Inch Nails, New Order, and The Cure. Our main goal was to capture the people having a good time. Check out the full set of photos below, and if you’re interested in ordering prints or hi-res files, click here.
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