From the early days when flannel-clad grunge rockers cleared out mosh pits for bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam to the present, when Arcade Fire and Kanye West draw gigantic crowds of all ages, Chicago’s annual Lollapalooza Festival has taken on a life of its own, infused with the incredible energy of fans and the artists that rock them.
Lolla was in the delivery room when alternative rock was born, brought hip-hop to the masses, waved glow sticks when the electronica scene came of age, and staked out tiny clubs to bring the best indie-rock to the big stage.
It all started back in 1991 when Perry Farrell, lead singer of fabled alternative rockers Jane’s Addiction started planning a farewell show for the group.
His idea morphed into a larger-than-life musical roadshow that would bring music, culture, and community to fans all over the continent. Before the Internet, there wasn’t a great way to get music from up-and-coming bands to the fans.
Lollapalooza now calls the legendary city of Chicago home, having put down roots in the gorgeous green spaces of Grant Park in 2005.
As the festival has grown up, it’s also grown out — now spanning over 115 acres,multiple stages, and a ever-more diverse array of 130+ artists from hip-hop, electronica, reggae, indie, rock, modern roots, and many more.
Photo credit: Konbini.