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I was 51 years old and wanted to take my 15 year old son to Lollapalooza. I had never been to Chicago. It would be a perfect summer trip.We had seen Rage Against the Machine at Coachella the year before. I saw that they were playing and started making reservations. I have been disabled for over 20 years . I honestly did not know how I would get thru the festival but I did not hesitate. When I got there I was so impressed by the accessibility and support at the Festival. I know that this is one of the last parts of the festival that most people would ever think about. But I will never forget the party on the wheelchair platform when Rage went on. EVERYBODY in their chairs went wild. Those that could were pulling themselves up to stand next to the railings. Hands were flying. Sit down dancing was all around me! I was standing behind all of the wheelchairs watching them rock out with Rage on the stage and the energy of the crowd going WILD. I was teary eyed and blown away by all of the good feelings around me. My son and my husband were with me on the platform. When Rage went on with TESTIFY! they both looked at each other and then said to me - "Sorry we gotta go!" They made it all the way to the front rail of the stage. They then got passed over the railing into the security section. After that excitement they headed back to be with me for the end of the show. Everyone on the accessible platform was wanting to hear about their experience. It was such a cool scene to see all those young people in wheelchairs getting to be there at the festival. Honestly I was so proud of the great job that Lollapalooza had done to include all rock and rollers. The reason I took the time to write this is so others will know that everyone is welcome at the Festival. While I know that it is not the kind of story that you are looking for. It is a big part of the whole Festival scene. Things were ROCKING on the platform. I will never hesitate to go back to Lollapalooza.
2008 was my third and most memorable Lollapalooza Adventure...Proud of the fun festival held in the heart of the Windy City, I recruited a ton of friends to accompany me from college and off to Lolla we went. To me, Lolla is always a guaranteed good time, but I could have never predicted how life changing it could be! It was the last day of the festival on a very sweaty Sunday... Despite my sunburn and perpetual hangover my friends and I were determined to make the most of it. While walking through the crowd careful not to spill our $10 drinks my friend overheard an Australian accent. My dad is from Australia and I’ve always had an affinity for Australians. In fact, I studied abroad there during high school and had always dreamed of meeting the man of my dreams on a white sandy beach. I’d never considered he might show up in Chicago! We introduced ourselves to the charming gentlemen from down under, but before I could catch any of their names Chromeo started playing and without hesitation, I followed one of the Aussies who was wearing a “Dumb is Back” t-shirt into the crowd. I left all my friends behind and was clenching to his hand so I wouldn’t get lost. Having made our way into the center of the chaos, Chromeo came out on stage and announced “This song is dedicated for all of you out there with that special someone” I just looked at him and he gave me a kiss on the cheek (Sure he was a perfect stranger with a ridiculous shirt on, but he was Australian. I couldn't believe my luck!) We proceeded to enjoy the rest of the set before returning to our friends. We exchanged numbers and made plans to possibly meet up before Kanye took stage. Four hours later—despite the alcohol and heat my friends and I mustered up enough sobriety to find ourselves front row at Kanye. I wasn’t thinking about whether or not I’d see my Australian prince charming until I received a text that said: “meet me by the beer tent”, which happened to be about a mile away. So naturally, I left my friends, prime viewing spot and didn’t look back. We had quite the adventure together while Kanye was on stage...It turns out my Aussie friend was traveling the world for 7 years and this was only the beginning of his trip. I was smitten and wasted and told him if he ever needed a place to stay to let me know. I didn’t think I’d see him again, but turns out he took up my offer of free room and board. Whether or not he realized I lived with my parents at the time was beyond me, but fortunately they’re very accommodating. He ended up staying at my house for over two weeks and came back from Christmas! We kept in touch writing letters on the 25th of every month, I even traveled to Sydney where I went on a blind date with his entire family while he was living in London. We’ve become really close friends and I couldn't imagine my life without him—and it’s all because of our chance encounter at Lollapalooza. So thank you Chromeo, Kanye and Perry for introducing us! I’ve been to Lolla every year since, but I haven’t been able to land any other international Romeos!
Rage Against the Machine's Saturday night headline set on the south end of Hutchinson Field was epic!
My freshman year of college had been a difficult one. I had spent the summer of 2008 unwinding and gearing up for my very first Lollapalooza. In addition to having a chance to see a number of my favorite bands in one place, there was also a certain someone I was planning on meeting up with. For sex. It was a girl I had known for quite a while. She moved away and we planned on having a bit of a reunion celebration while we were both in the same city. Numbers and locations were exchanged. All I had to do was wait. But, unfortunately, she never called and we never met up. I left Chicago disappointed and sexually frustrated. You know how terrible rejection feels? Well, it gets worse. I ran into some mutual friends on a train and they told me what happened. Over the course of the weekend, she was on the rail for a certain Lollapalooza performer who saw her, slapped an artist wristband on her, and took her on a whirlwind weekend consisting of parties with Lindsay Lohan, stage-side concerts, and lots and lots of sex. To this date, I've held a grudge against this electronic artist. Still, I keep coming to Lollapalooza (and telling this awesome story).
I had been to about 100 concerts in the Minneapolis area since 1996 and thought I experienced everything at a show. But Lollapalooza 2008 - my first ever Lollapalooza - was a different breed which resulted in a number of memorable firsts. It was my first trip to Chicago. It was my first road trip riding with complete strangers to a concert, followed by a bus ride back to Minneapolis. It was my first time seeing a number of bands, which included Radiohead, the Raconteurs, the Black Keys, Love and Rockets, and Mason Jennings, among other bands. It was my first time seeing Rage Against the Machine for the first time in a decade; the last time I saw them was in 1997 when they performed at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It was also the first time I attempted to be a professional meteorologist in front of other concert-goers before Nine Inch Nails took the stage; the end result was hooking up with a 48-year old cougar - my first (I was 27 at the time). There were two moments that stood out. The first was a beautiful fireworks display in the distance while Radiohead performed "Fake Plastic Trees." It doesn't get any better than to watch lots of magic happening with the music, which I am sure wasn't planned. The other was Zach De la Rocha's political rant about then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and their overall expectations. I wouldn't have expected anything less during the music interlude of "Wake Up", along with a raucus crowd feeding into the energy. Thanks for making it one of the most memorable and positive concert experiences I have ever had.
Selling out for the first time since its 2005 re-launch and playing to 225,000 fans over three days, Lollapalooza’s 2008 lineup was one for the ages. Olympian brit-rockers Radiohead rocked the main stage, along with legacy acts like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine, pulling in fans from many different musical backgrounds. Both the Radiohead and RATM sets packed Grant Park like never before - with fans watching from the stage front all the way back to Buckingham fountain. Hip-hop icon Kanye West became the first solo artist – and third artist overall, along with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction – to headline the festival multiple times.
Over at the Kidzapalooza stage, artists like festival founder Perry Farrell performed alongside Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Slash, and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy paid a visit, playing a solo acoustic set of Wilco songs to over 500 parents and their children.
This banner year for Lolla also featured the debut of Perry’s, an area that would become a festival staple in the years to come. An anchor point for electronica, hip-hop, and DJ acts, its debut brought together popular artists such as DJ AM, Flosstradamus, and VHS or Beta, demonstrating Lollapalooza’s flair for anticipating fan’s fare.