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Do you realize…you know life goes fast… it’s hard to make the good things last The words of the Flaming Lips song “ Do you realize” fill my head when I think back to Lollapalooza 2006. The year I shared my Lolla experiences with my 3 kids. I remember standing in the middle of the field watching as Wayne Coyne float over the top of us in his giant plastic bubble as I sang along with my kids to this wonderful song. My kids were 17, 6 & 8 then and they had grown up listening to the Flaming Lips. And this particular song always brought me to tears because it really gets you to think about life and the beauty of the people you have in it. And for me it’s my kids. Sharing the Lolla experience with them has become a tradition. We’ve come every year since and it’s become not just a weekend of music but our time to share a passion. They are musicians themselves playing the guitar, saxophone and violin. I’ve watched my boys each year become a part of Lolla. Planning out their schedule of who everyone wants to see. My now 13 yr. old son has gotten to be our lead in where to go and when. During the past few years he has gotten to meet and experience the chance to get high fives and autographs from musicians. For a young boy who is trying to find his place in the world-getting a chance to hear direct from a musician to “keep on rocking”…well it speaks volumes. Last year was the first time my husband came for one day. He is disabled so it’s hard for him to do that much walking. But he had to see what we always talked about. The kids were so thrilled to share this with him too. Pictures and words just don’t give the experience its true image. We loved all the bands we saw in 2006 from Flaming Lips to Sonic Youth to Red Hot Chili Peppers…it was fun sharing my experiences of seeing these bands at other times in my life with them and then watching them find the same passion for the music that I have. But what I will remember most is watching their ‘beautiful faces’ as we all sang along to “Do you realize”… Perry, you have created for so many a chances to see and experience music for all ages. Something I know my children will always carry with them. Lolla is not just a concert to the Cottone family but a chance to make the good times last…Our Lollapalooza story is simple but what we walk away with is so much more than expected. It’s something that has shaped my family. Looking forward to this year! Jil Cottone Alexandra, Samm & Ben
I never went to Lollapalooza back in the '90's. I did go to the Horde Tour in 1994, the year I graduated from high school. Stick with me here. My favorite band at that time was Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and when we watched their set at Horde Tour, there was an audience member who climbed the scaffolding (20 feet high or so) and hung directly above the stage for several minutes while security told him to get down. Being 17 and having recently glorified Eddie Vedder for doing similar things, we thought it was fucking awesome. Fast forward to 2006 and I am indeed at Lollapalooza - with two different groups of friends - one from high school and one from college. My high school friends were led, as always, by my buddy Casey, who was with me at that Horde show in '94. The two groups got along fairly well, although on Sunday Casey got progressively drunker and a little aggressive by late afternoon. He kept asking me - with increasing, grab-your-lapels type urgency - if I remembered the Horde Tour, when the guy climbed the scaffolding. I said "yes, dude, what's your point?" He wouldn't answer. My college friends asked me what he was talking about - I told them it was drunken nonsense. I was working at Lolla in '06 so I was exhausted from the week by Sunday, but I was still pretty damned excited about the Chili Peppers. I remember walking backstage that morning before gates opened and suddenly hearing the RHCP roadies launch into something off Blood Sugar Sex Magik and getting this surge of energy, like – OH MY FUCKING GOD THE CHILI PEPPERS ARE PLAYING TONIGHT. It felt amazing. When it finally came time for the show, I was fucking psyched. The end of a festival always feels like victory, and I had several drinks in me on my way to several more. And I was backstage with co-workers celebrating when I ran into one of my college friends, Kristi. We stood watching the show for a few minutes when she said "hey remember all that stuff Casey was saying about the scaffolding? Who's that guy up there?" I said "quit trying to fuck with me." She said, "no, look - who's that guy?" And she wasn't kidding. Casey had somehow slipped past security to the front of the stage and climbed up the scaffolding – 60 feet up to where the IMAG screen is. He was holding on with one hand and just waving at that huge crowd, as two security guards climbed up after him, yelling. Just waving. You can imagine the rest, but the Cliff's Notes version is this: The Chili Peppers crew apparently loved it. Our security folks understandably hated it. And Casey spent the night in the Cook County Jail. Somehow, I still have my job. It was a FANTASTIC show.
I bought two tickets to Lolla 2006, with no guest in mind, just an intuition I needed a spare. On my playwright income, an extra couple-hundred bucks for a feeling was a commitment, but I followed my gut. On the Fourth of July a friend brought a woman to my annual barbecue. We hit it off, and a couple dates later I asked her to Lolla. We spent the entire 72 hours together; holding her in my arms as we swayed to Wilco's "Jesus, etc." I realized I was in love. Now she's my wife. We go to Lolla every year, and "Jesus, etc." played during our first married dance.
I had my first kiss ever at Lollapalooza! The best part about going to music festivals are those people I become momentary friends with. Whether it is over the fact that we both love the band about to gon, or that we are appauled by the drunk guy three rows behind you, or maybe because we are both ten times drunker than that drunk guy, I bond with these people. When I was 17 years old, attending Lollapalooza for the second time in 2006, and was camped out waiting to be in the first row for the Raconteurs. Behind me was this gorgeous Welsh man who just graduated University. We started talking and soon became concert friends, both being sad about how we both wish we were at the opposite stage to listen to the Editors, but how we needed to be in front to see Brendan Benson (in the future I would go on to become a concert photographer and take pictures at one of Brendan's solo shows.) The Racontuers were amazing, as expected. Part way through their cover of Crazy though the Welsh guy put his arm around my waist. And then as we crossed the field after the concert to go see the Violent Femmes, he grabbed me and kissed me. This was my first kiss ever and it was surrounded by my favoirte music, in my favorite city. I never saw the guy again after that night. But it was a perfect music festival moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Ever the avid music fan, my friend Laura didn't let being ~9 months pregnant stop her from enjoying the festival. The security guards even took pity on her "condition" and let her into the handicap area so she wouldn't get crushed. After rocking up-close and personal with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura gave birth to a beautiful baby boy the next day... and gave him the middle name "Grant" in honor of the park holding the festival that helped bring him into the world!
Encouraged by the success of its debut as a single-destination festival the previous year, Lollapalooza 2006 brought a major expansion in the size of the festival, greatly expanding the area it would utilize in Chicago’s Grant Park and giving fans extra room to stretch out.
Lollapalooza’s new focus on independent artists hit a bulls-eye with audiences as the festival began to attract (and re-attract) more concertgoers in their 20s. The 2006 line-up deftly reflected their interests, with prominent stage slots going to indie darlings The Shins, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket, as well as a handful of world-famous headliners like Red Hot Chili Peppers. Further expanding the draw of the festival was a deep lineup of hip-hop acts like Kanye West, Common, Blackalicious and Lyrics Born. Artists from many other genres made appearances in the festival’s largest lineup ever (over 130 artists), including the Spanish reggae of Manu Chao and the Top 40 country-folk of Nickel Creek.
Debuting in 2006, Lollapalooza’s Rock & Recycle program became an instant success with fans, recruiting festival goers to help pick up discarded recyclables for free festival T-shirts. But this was just the tip of the environment-conscious iceberg for Lolla...
Hip-hop dominated the Saturday line-up at Lollapalooza ’96. Common, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, and Tonedeff performed, while Chicago native son Kanye West filled the headlining slot. He capped off his set with “Touch the Sky” – and about 60,000 joined him.