What started as a single-stage touring music showcase put together in 1991 by Perry Farrell, lead singer of alternative rock group Jane's Addiction, has since evolved into a larger-than-life music extravaganza. Connecting with the city's deep musical heritage, Lollapalooza set down roots and made Chicago its home in 2005 and hasn't looked back. The outdoor festival has grown to three days of performances on multiple stages and features an ever-more diverse array of over 130 top artists. Now a destination event, thousands of fans come from around the world to experience the massive crowds, scenic lakefront setting and incredible entertainment each summer in August.
Those lucky enough to score tickets take to Grant Park's 115 acres of open green space and catch veteran performers and fresh talents taking the stage against the backdrop of Chicago's magnificent skyline. Lolla blends music's best acts into a genre-bending lineup, from hip-hop, electronica, reggae, indie, rock, modern roots and many more. Headlining the 2012 summer billing are Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White, Florence + the Machine, and At the Drive-In.
There's plenty to do between sets as well. Besides a passion for music, Lollapalooza emphasizes art, food, fun and community, as well as ongoing efforts to create an environmentally sound event.
If the 10 hours of music each day isn't enough sensory overload, other rocking activities at Lollapalooza include a farmers market, art vendors, sponsor booths, recharge stations and autograph tents.
The vendors at Chow Town feed the hungry masses exceptionally well with the most refined of festival foods. Curated by local celebrity restaurateur Graham Elliot, the culinary lineup at the two food courts rivals the star quality on the main stages. Local cuisine takes the spotlight here, with past restaurants including Chef Elliot's own Grahamwich, leading brewery Goose Island Brewpub, popular heavy metal burger joint Kuma's Corner, as well as Chicago traditions like Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and Original Rainbow Cone.
Coming in for the music and adult activities doesn't mean the little one can't come along to Lolla. From workshops, activities and children-friendly music all day, Kidzapalooza is a festival within a festival for the music fan of all ages. Also, for the passerby without kids in tow, main stage performers (and Perry Farrell himself) are known for making surprise appearances all weekend long here.
When it comes to Lollapalooza hotels in Chicago, a number of accommodations for all styles and budgets are conveniently located near Grant Park and in the nearby Loop and surrounding areas. Click here to book Chicago hotels for Lollapalooza.
For the ultimate music experience in Chicago, or for those who may have missed tickets to the three day festival, immerse yourself in the local club scene. Catch your favorite bands around town as many Lollapalooza acts play at venues such as House of Blues, Lincoln Hall and The Mid Chicago leading up to the main event and at official after-parties.
View our event listing for more Lollapalooza details.
Article Photo: Around the Park, Lollapalooza by Steve Wrubel