Lollapalooza Celebrates its Twentieth Birthday at Grant Park

When Jane Addiction’s Perry Farrell created a traveling alt-rock circus in 1991, there’s no way he could have predicted its impact on music festival culture.

After 20 years of crowd surfers and guitar riffs, Lollapalooza has not only become one of the most popular music festivals in the country, but it’s spawned countless imitators.

Crowd shot from 2010. Photo courtesy of Lollapalooza. Copyright Jack Edinger

This Friday, August 5, through Sunday, August 7, Lollapalooza is throwing possibly one of the biggest birthday bashes ever at Grant Park in downtown Chicago. It features a line-up that, while deviates from the fest’s early alternative rock history, has of some of biggest names of in pop, rock and hip-hop including Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Eminem.

Lollapalooza was first designed as a touring festival, but in 2005, with the help of Austin-based promoter C3 Presents, Lollapalooza was transformed in to an weekend destination festival that has become one of Chicago’s most anticipated events.

This year is no different with a line-up that’s possibly its most diverse yet. In addition to the aforementioned headliners, there’s melodic roots rockers My Morning Jacket, spacey arena rockers Muse, electronica and house artist Deadmau5 and sample-happy DJ Girl Talk.

But the big names aren’t the only reason to make the trip. Along with food options from Chicago favorites like Lou Malnati’s, Kuma’s Burgers, and the Original Rainbow Cone, Lollapalooza offers a vast array of musical talent. So, here are a few suggestions for can’t-miss acts:

On Friday afternoon, those in the mood for some edgy art-rock need to be upfront at the Google+ stage at 3 p.m. for Le Butcherettes. If your are looking for something not as rambunctious, Bright Eyes’ melodic indie-folk should be the perfect early evening pick-me-up when they hit the Bud Light stage at 6:30 p.m.

Be sure to be at the Bud Light Stage on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. for Chicago’s ghostly garage rockers Disappears. Their latest record, “Guider,” may be one of the year’s best with its hypnotic krautrock approach. When the sun begins to drop, “Forget You” singer Cee Lo will no doubt get the crowd moving at 6:30 p.m. on the Music Unlimited stage.

Don’t miss up-and-coming Chicago hip-hop duo The Cool Kids on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. on Perry’s Stage. They’ll likely be playing a number of songs from their recent and much anticipated release, “When Fish Ride Bicycles,” which is a hard-hitting rap album with old-school attitude. Finally, grungy arena rock veterans Foo Fighters will bring Lollapalooza to a close with fuzzy riffs and bombastic rhythms on the Music Unlimited stage at 8:00 p.m.

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