Referred to as Chicago’s “front yard,” the 319 acre Grant Park located in Chicago’s central business district has been the host of some of the city’s biggest festivals and spectator events including The Taste of Chicago—a large food and music festival held around the Independence Day holiday and The Grant Park Music Festival. Since 2005, Grant Park as hosted Lollapalooza, a popular music festival which spans over 2-3 days and features popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop bands.
Inspired by the Gathering of the Tribes concerts produced by Bill Graham, Perry Farrell, along with Ted Gardner, Marc Geiger, and Don Muller, conceived of the festival in 1991 as a farewell tour for his band Jane’s Addiction. Unlike previous music festivals such as Woodstock, A Gathering of the Tribes, or the US Festival, which were one-time events held in one venue, Lollapalooza was a touring festival that traveled across the United States and Canada. The festival toured from 1991-1997 and was revived again in 2003. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, but poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be canceled. In 2005, Farrell partnered up with Capital Sports Entertainment and retooled the festival into its current format as a weekend destination event in Grant Park.
The 1991 inaugural lineup was made up of artists from various genres, such as the post-punk group, Siouxsie and the Banshees, rapper Ice-T as well as the industrial music group, Nine Inch Nails. Lollapalooza also incorporated non-musical features with performers like the Jim Rose Circus Side Show and the Shaolin monks. There was a tent for display of art pieces, virtual reality games, and information tables for political and environmental non-profit groups promoting counter-culture and political awareness.
Over the years, the festival has included performances from such bands as Rollins Band, The Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, Imagine Dragons, Babes in Toyland, Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Stone Temple Pilots, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Pearl Jam, The Cure, X Japan, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Björk, Lorde, Hole, Lady Gaga, and Butthole Surfers to name a few.
In 2011 the festival was expanded to O’Higgins Park in Santiago, Chile and in 2012 to the Jockey Club in São Paulo, Brazil!
The 2014 festival in Chicago’s Grant Park stretched across 115 acres and despite the bad weather drew 300,000 spectators! There were dance and comedy performances, craft booths, and socially-conscious and environmentally-friendly organizations located at Lolla Cares and Green Street. Chow Town, featuring over 30 premier, local food vendors served unique fare all day long, while the Farmers Market offered special options for fans with dietary considerations. In all, 130 artists performed on eight stages scattered across the park. The big headline draws were Eminem with surprise guest Rihanna on Friday and Outkast on Saturday.
The aftermath of the concert was reminiscent of a muddy Woodstock as cleanup crews tried to restore order to this historic public park.
337 E. Randolph St. Chicago, Illinois 60601
Park Hours: 6:00 AM-11:00 PM
Phone: (312) 742-3918
Official Lollapalooza web page: http://www.lollapalooza.com/