Lollapalooza came to a close on Sunday in Grant Park with a lineup that included Chicago’s Horsegirl, Beach Bunny, Green Day, and J-Hope’s End of the Night — the latter being the first K-pop title of a major American music festival. It also ended with Mayor Lori Lightfoot announcing the stage that contract talks with the city had been resolved, with Lula remaining on the lakefront for another decade.
All in all, the four days of Chicago’s biggest music festival were so eventful that you wish you had seen them on the main stage by Metallica And the Dua Lipaand less for 2022. Despite high rates of COVID-19 locally, Lollapalooza did not require masking or vaccination to enter, similar to the Chicago and Illinois public health departments.
Throughout the long weekend, an agreement between Chicago and Texas-based C3 Presents, a division of Live Nation, was expected to be announced. The Tribune reported that the city’s entertainment tax was central to the negotiations.
Sunday night, festival founder Perry Farrell took the Bud Light Seltzer stage ahead of J-Hope to say he’s proud to have Lollapalooza back in the park. Then he introduced Lightfoot, who greeted the audience with a rock star “Hello Chicago!”
She then announced that Lollapalooza’s contract “by decree” would run: “For ten! More! Years!” She raised a banner that read 2032 at the bottom.
Earlier in the day, Jim Wright and a group of Chicagoans were watching Horsegirl on the north end of Grant Park, standing on the asphalt at the Tito Theatre. They’ve heard about the young Chicago band but have never seen them live before. “It would be interesting to see them later in a smaller place” – with more intimacy and less hot sun, he said.
Lollapalooza had a total impact on Chicago’s economy of $305.1 million last year, according to a study by research firm AngelouEconomics commissioned by C3. It also paid $7.8 million in rents and fees in 2021 to the Chicago Park District, and “directly and indirectly employed 16,804 workers,” the report said.
According to attendance figures provided on Sunday, Lollapalooza was not sold on Thursday but sold out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a crowd of 100,000.
With the Chicago skyline shining behind the Bud Light Stage, rapper Erika Banks made crowds raucous. “I’m going to be honest with all of you, I’m getting ready with you so hard that my wig is about to go off,” festival-goers chanted as Banks basked alongside her crowd.
Fans walked into the crowd already dancing as Banks asked if she could “bring the girls to the stage” or not.
“Yes you can, this is the Erica Banks Show,” a male voice announced on stage. The rapper spotted a group of girls brought to the stage to dance with her for her latest song – “Buss it,” the strip club anthem that fueled many TikTok trends after its release.
“Whenever my girls are on stage, I need the crowd to cheer them up. So I need the crowd to shout, and throw that (expletive),” cried Banks. The crowd cheered Banks and her impromptu dancers in the background to a song that began with a sample of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.”
On stage at CoinBase, R&B singer and rapper Audrey Nuna had audiences rocking along in unison with the song “Molars.” Nonna said, “I have a tattoo on my leg, so I wrote the next song about teeth and feelings.”
Nonna followed her with a performance of the singles “Souffle” and “Blossom”, ending the final song by declaring, “Shout out to my grandmother for having this song with me.” At the end of ‘Blossom’, Nonna’s grandmother can be heard speaking in Korean – Nonna has previously stated that her work was inspired by her grandmother.
Despite never having heard of Nuna’s music, Bianca Lopez, who has been attending Lollapalooza for the first time since the pandemic, said she could call herself a fan of the group’s end.
“I was here with my friends who came here kind of early because they wanted to camp (before J-Hope). It shows the audience loves diverse artists and I think we should diversify Lula a little bit more, like more Latin artists, more Asian artists,” Lopez said.
Manuel Osario, who attended Nonna’s performance with Lopez, noted a less chaotic Lollapalooza experience this year.
“It’s definitely a lot more cold this year. I feel like I’m pre-pandemic, it was really hectic in terms of the number of people and how phased the interactions were. I just remember a few years ago when 21 Savage came in, we weren’t totally up front and it was Also, how many people you can’t even breathe. And now I feel like people are giving you your space unless you’re up front.”
However, on Saturday Mounting fans in front of platforms Chopped tracks from both Chicago rappers Lil’ Dork and Big Sean. Artists and directors at Solana x Perry Theater and T-Mobile, respectively, have taken steps to hold the crowds back and make room as security pulls in those in distress.
“We don’t want anyone to die. We don’t want any deaths,” Sean said. “We want this here to be 100% safe.”
The concern for public safety comes after a tragedy at the Astroworld Music Festival in Houston last year, when 10 fans died amid a heavy crowd to see rapper Travis Scott.
Also, it’s your turn Mentioned on social media that he was hit by fireworks while filming; Videos show him holding his shirt to his face after what appeared to be explosions in front of him. He later published pictures of his eyes covered with bandages. “Because of the accident at Lollapalooza in Chicago on stage, I am taking a break and focusing on my health,” he wrote.
security was Another Lollapalooza themeThe festival comes less than a month after the 4th of July mass shooting in Highland Park. Police had a permanent presence, albeit mostly in the background, both on and off the fence (since 2021, the city’s Office of Emergency Management has not released numbers on arrests or medical transportation until after the festival). Along with uniformed police walking and cycling on the grounds, officers on Polaris vehicles were on camouflaged patrols, bearing the insignia of the FBI and counterterrorism teams. Although he was not authorized to speak officially, an officer told the Tribune that they had been in Lollapalooza in the past years as well.
The Tribune learned anecdotal accounts of multiple cases of pickpocketing at the festival. Luke Laurence, a student at the University of Chicago in Lollapalooza to help report for the Chicago Maroon student newspaper, said his phone was taken from his pocket in a crowded pit of 100 Gecs Thursday before he realized what had happened. He knew of other people who also lost their phones.
When he went to the Apple Store in Lincoln Park to get a replacement, the staff was well versed in advising him.
“They told me, go first to AT&T to get a new SIM, and then come back,” Lawrence said. “They said, ‘We’ve dealt with this all day.'”
Los Angeles indie band The Marías was a big draw in the late afternoon on Tito’s stage, opening with “Calling U Back” from their 2021 album “Cinema.”
“This is our first Lollapaloosa song,” lead singer Maria Zardoya said gleefully. “This is the first time I have brought Lollapalooza. We are Marias, thank you very much!”
Farrell was earlier on the main T-Mobile platform with Porno for Pyros, where he presented an electric range. Billy Corgan joined him as a guest on Smashing Pumpkins. Farrell joined Corgan at a concert for Highland Park on July 27 and the two announced a joint tour starting this fall, with Farrell fronting his band, Jane Addiction.
Farrell apparently threw the beans on a Lightfoot ad early this week, telling WGN-TV that a contract extension has been reached. Both C3 and City back then disclose it.
Also on Sunday, Italian rock band Måneskin told her fans on T-Mobile that Lollapalooza was the band’s first time in Chicago: “It’s our first time here, I have to say we (expletive) love this city…and weed is legal. … For us Italians, it’s a dream come true.” Elsewhere in their group, the band’s lead vocalist Damiano David announced that the band “stands with Ukraine” before performing their new song “Gasoline”, which was written as a protest song in honor of Ukraine.
The weekend was a fit for J-Hope and Green Day.
After an unfortunate introduction with a heavily soiled bunny as a noise man, Green Day came out to thunderous applause to begin with “American Idiot,” Billy Joe Armstrong in a Metro T-shirt.
Clarification: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Erica Banks’ name.
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