Students head to Lollapalooza

Maxine Whitely, Contributing Writer

Lollapalooza (noun): “An extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.” This definition encompasses Lollapalooza perfectly. It is not a place for the weak or the germaphobic, but rather suited for a special audience—anybody from hip, trendy, sparsely dressed teens and young adults to middle-aged men and women looking for their next rock concert. Taking place in the heart of Chicago, Illinois in Grant Park, this three-day music festival features almost every genre imaginable. With an average of 300,000 festivalgoers—and growing every year—is the music the only thing drawing such an immense crowd? What is the truth behind these ever-popular music festivals?

While the festival took place early this past August, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds were congested with expertly filtered photos of the festival. But news of a weather-induced evacuation swirled back at home. Maddy Williams ‘14, a junior at Blake who attended Lollapalooza for the first time this past summer, reveals, “On the third day we had to be evacuated because there was such severe weather. We came back in a few hours and some of the bands were cancelled, which was upsetting.” Not only was this upsetting for all the fans but also, quite surprising, as all music festival tickets read that the event will go on, “rain or shine.” Williams also divulged that the audience was much different than expected. She says, “I was expecting it to be really crazy and full of hipsters. But really, it was mostly half-naked people and people in morph suits.” Though the attire was unforeseen, Williams notes that the copious amounts of drugs and alcohol were predictable. If considering going to a music festival, know that there will always be drugs and alcohol around. All obstacles aside, Williams says the music was the best part, “My favorites were The Weekend, Black Sabbath, Childish Gambino, and Jack White.” Ali Cohen ‘14, who went alongside Williams this summer, agrees. “The music, just raw on its own was my favorite part about the concert. My favorite artists were The Shins, The Givers, Florence + the Machine, and Of Monsters and Men. Everyone was really good.” Cohen loved the music, but there were a few things that she wasn’t too keen on during her experience. She says, “There were 300,000 people in three days this year, and it was a little much when you were there for three hours.” When asked if she would go again, Cohen replies, “I would go but only for one day. Three days for twelve hours a day got to be a little much.”

Although the conditions at Lollapalooza aren’t as glamorous as Instagram pictures suggest, it is worth a try for the music alone. Just remember, bring sunscreen and a lot of Purell.