Lollapalooza is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. The festival takes over Grant Park and expanded this time out. More than 270,000 paying customers were there over the weekend. There were big problems though with fence jumpers and bracelet switchers.
I started off my experience with cake and champagne at the opening press conference then I visited the Hard Rock and their gifting suites.
I was treated like a rockstar with a haircut by celebrity stylist Larry Sims and got2b hair products. Guess gave me a slick pair of shades then I was given a facial followed by a massage. UV vodka provided booze and Qdoba serviced lunch. Express offered clothing along with games on Kinetix. Celebrities were everywhere from McLovin to Lindsay Lohan.
Moving on to the actual concert was a long walk from one end to the other. It is hard to explain the sheer magnitude of Lollapalooza. Stage after stage with artists playing all day. I interviewed fun groups backstage such as An Horse with an openly lesbian singer to Deluka with their '80s sound. Downtown Julie Brown was in the press area and so funny.
Rapper Eminem packed the area and the crowd was obnoxious. Cee-Lo dressed for the occasion but didn't bring the goods musically. The Cars showed their age and Big Audio Dynamite were friendly while playing a long set. The weather turned for the worse on Sunday with rain throughout the day interrupting acts such as the Foo Fighters and Artic Monkeys. The place turned into a mud pit full of people covered head to toe in dirt. Deadmou5 proved their headline ability with hundreds of people wearing mouse ears to finish the day.
The after parties stretched on until the dawn with Fitz and the Tantrums, Foster the People and actor Elijah Wood DJing all night at the Hard Rock and the W.
Overall the weekend was exhausting but never boring with more eye candy and activities than ever.
Now the festival moves to Brazil after a successful run in Chile then returns to Chicago for year 21!