Lollapalooza has always been one of the jewels in Chicago’s crown, but this year was extra special. Headliners for each night of the three-day festival covered every possible music lover’s tastes, from Paul McCartney to Metallica to Florence and the Machine. This Music We Love is dedicated to the good, bad and ugly of this legendary Lollapalooza lineup.
The good was in the dazzling lineup– tickets for McCartney’s set went for hundreds of dollars above the listed price when we checked a few days before the festival. Sir Paul did not disappoint those lucky enough to score a spot on the lawn in Grant Park, as he played for an impressive two hours. His fireworks display delighted the crowd and truly made Friday night an evening to remember. We especially love his deference to Chicago’s local music scene, demonstrated when he brought Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes on stage for “Get Back”. McCartney’s time on stage undoubtedly fulfilled many fans’ musical bucket lists.
The bad was Sunday’s weather evacuation, when a brief lightening storm caused officials to clear the park. With over 300,000 attendees this year, the scene was chaotic and claustrophobic. The storm was over as quickly as it began, but the intersections around Grant Park were so clogged with festival-goers that re-entry was a slow process. The rain did offer a refreshing respite from the heat however, and when we finally got back to Lollapalooza we were full of renewed energy. We made it to the Sprint stage right in time to dance our butts off for Marina and the Diamonds‘ energetic set.
The ugly was the record amount of arrests and injuries that happened Friday. Rapper Travi$ Scott began his set by encouraging the crowd to jump over security barricades in front, and they were happy to oblige. The Lollapalooza security team were anything but happy. Travi$ Scott ended his set after three songs (bummer), left the festival on foot, and was later arrested for disorderly conduct. No one was injured during the set, but seven people were later arrested and 85 required urgent medical transport. Travi$ Scott’s interaction with the crowd was not so much a true “ugly” moment of Lollapalooza– it was mostly a truly rock-and-roll gesture that would have blown over at a smaller festival.
Lollapalooza was everything we hoped for and more: sweaty, magical, and full of the unexpected. We will probably recover right in time for Lollapalooza 2016!