For 2015, the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park continued to celebrate diversity in music over a three-day period ( July 31-Aug. 2 ). There were more than 130 bands on eight stages that offered a little something for everyone.
Although classic headliners like Paul McCartney and Metallica did bring in the older crowd, the younger generation continued to rule with the EDM element on event founder Perry Ferrell's side stage. The Weeknd and Sam Smith played at the same time on opposite sides of the park to McCartney and Metallica to balance out listeners. Groups like Alabama Shakes were finally able to perform after being cancelled last year due to weather. Crooner George Ezra had to leave and return for his set this time out, but relaxed everyone with his hit "Budapest."
Sunday was no fun day for this music festival as it was evacuated at 2:30 p.m. while ominous storm clouds appeared. Wristband holders returned to humidity that had even the artists themselves onstage complaining. Performer Marina and the Diamonds said, "I'm wearing plastic and roasting!" Her fans were full of screaming girls and gays in the front row that became emotional for her songs.
Acts on Aug. 2 were adjusted earlier to hopefully avoid the unpredictable weather. Norwegian DJ Kygo landed a late-night time slot and Windy City Times talked backstage to out vocalist Parson James about the current track "Stole the Show." Look for big things from this up-and-coming singer. He sang a cover of Tove Lo's "Habits" for Rolling Stone that is unforgettable. Lo herself talked "Body" with Windy City Times about her new single, "Timebomb." The touching video, complete with LGBT couples, could be the next hit radio single for the Swedish songstress.
There was some controversy, as rapper Travis Scott was removed after only one song for encouraging the crowd to rush security; afterward, Charli XCX managed to control with her minions with her chanting renditions.
There were plenty of new artists to watch during the weekend, like Ryn Weaver, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Bully. New pop stars Walk the Moon were especially popular across the board with concert goers.
The city came alive with after-shows and private parties at venues such as the Hard Rock Hotel and the Renaissance Hotel. Water and Red Bulls kept party people going, and Dell computers even provided an oasis across the street to take a break. For the few who didn't pace themselves, it was a long weekendand a few heavy drinkers wound up in the hospital. For those who behaved responsibly, it was three days of fashion, food and fun to remember.
Visit www.lollapalooza.com and start planning for next year .
Photos and text by Jerry Nunn