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Hello Perry and Friends, In 2008, I was being treated for stage 3 breast cancer. That year, Lollapalooza started on the day of my 8th and final chemo treatment. Once I was done with my last treatment I did what any Lollapalooza lifer would do, I took a cab right from the hospital directly to gates of Lollapalooza and celebrated life with thousands of revelers for 3 days. I wasn't able to do much, but I soaked in all the love, peace and joy! Every year now, I celebrate the birthday of my second chance at life at Lollapalooza - dancing and singing. What a joy life can be! Thank you for throwing me the best Celebration of Life party a survivor could ask for! May your Good Karma Cup overflow for all of your days! Jill Jill Tondu - Chicago, IL
I had just met my new girlfriend, Sara, in the spring of '08. We hit it hard and heavy. I had never believed in love at first sight until her. Furthermore, she confessed to me that her favorite band was Radiohead. Not a bad choice. I told her mine was Rage Against the Machine. Radiohead was touring and I thought a good present for her birthday in June would be tickets to their upcoming Dallas show. We live in Tulsa. It wasn't that long of a drive. That was until I found out the Lolla lineup. Both our favs and Nine Inch Nails to boot! Jesus what an opportunity to impress. I bought three 3-day passes. One for me, her, and my bro for HIS birthday. Plus I knew he'd spring for the hotel once I told him. I was all set. I sprung the surprise gifts on 'em and they were ecstatic. It was to be our first Lolla. The first day was amazing. Personal highlights included The Black Keys, Bloc Party, and of course, Radiohead. But when we arrived I noticed all the sponsors of the event including, most notably for me, Playstation. I wanted to drop by there tent, half because I'm a game nerd, half because I figured they'd be giving away swag. "Nawwww..." my brother and girlfriend said. "We're here for music." "That we are." I thought to myself and we had a blast the first day culminating with the vocal stylings of Thom Yorke and company. The next day we get there early and listen to one of my then recent discoveries: Does It Offend You, Yeah? I love them to this day. Afterwards I FINALLY convince my brother and girlfriend to stop by Playstation tent, my reasoning being that it is perfectly situated next to the sausage tent, beer garden, and portopotties. Little did I know this would change the dynamic of our weekend dramatically for the better AND worse. Walking up to the tent my brother IMMEDIATELY notices a sign saying, "WIN BACKSTAGE PASSES TO OCKERVILLE RIVER." "WHAT!?!" My brother exclaims. Other than the headliners, this was a band that he claimed on the drive up that he wanted to see most. The competition?....Something called The Singstar. Basically a Playstation karaoke machine that judges your performance and scores it. This was all me. Nobody out karaokes ME! Except for that first time. I was just warming up the golden pipes and getting acclimated to the Singstar. We didn't win the backstage tickets but my brother bumrushed the guy who did and offered to buy the prize off him. After upping the price twice he finally agreed and we officially got to go see Ockerville river backstage! My brother was in heaven. But he had to pee really bad so our guide gave him directions backstage and off my brother went while I enjoyed the show. Apparently the guides directions weren't as detailed as they should have been and my brother gets lost. As I am watching the performance I see the center door of the stage behind Ockerville River open up and it is none other than my brother walking onstage on accident for a split second before shitting his pants and closing the door. He comes back after peeing and sputters in disbelief. We laugh and decide it's almost time to hit up the Lolla Lounge for free booze and food. You see...although I didn't win the Ockerville River backstage passes I DID win free Lolla Lounge bracelets for the nights performance by Rage due to my stirring performance of Radiohead's Creep on Singstar. We would be enjoying free food and libations whilst taking in the most mindblowing sight of the weekend: the crowd that exploded for Rage Against the Machine. We floated on clouds back to the hotel. My brother and girlfriend remarked that I should try singing again tomorrow and try to win more Lolla Lounge bracelets for Nine Inch Nails. "I can probably do that." I remarked brimming with confidence. It would prove to be my undoing. Sunday started out epic. We started with Wild Sweet Orange. Sitting on blankets under the trees and taking in the breeze off Lake Michigan, we let the soft sounds soothe us. Then I went straight to the Playstation tent. I signed up, sat back, and ate sausage and drank Hoegarden while I watched the competition one by one fail to impress me. Finally they called my name. It would be a reprise of Creep. In fact, everyone who sang sang Creep. I felt bad for the moderator of the competition. He must've heard Creep in his nightmares. But I was on a mission. I approached the mic, explained to the crowd that the winner had arrived to sing Creep, and performed............and won. Back to back Lolla Lounge winner. We headed straight to the Lounge. And I drank some free booze...and I drank some more. And I had another....and another...and another until, obviously, I was officially obliterated. And then, the coup de grâce, Nine Inch Nails. At least that's what I was told. I don't remember them coming onstage. I had worked myself into such a frenzy and drank so much alcohol that I spent the entire set climbing the fence of the lounge and screaming that my girlfriend dragged me outta there and back to the hotel. My brother was pissed and abandoned me, my girlfriend was on the verge of a breakup, and I was passed out on her lap on the El ride back to the car. We woke up the next day in the hotel, packed, and made the 12 hour drive back to Tulsa in complete and utter silence. It took a week before my brother would talk to me again. My girlfriend was FORCED to talk to me because we lived together. But we all made up and agreed that while the last few hours of the three day excursion was forgettable (in more ways than one) that it was pretty much the most amazing experience we've ever had. Sara saw Radiohead, I saw Rage, my brother joined Ockerville River onstage, I rocked the Playstation tent all weekend, and none us enjoyed Nine Inch Nails. But we've been back to Lolla every year since. And each ensuing year one of us has their Nine Inch Nails moment. 2009 it would be my brother, Depeche Mode, and picking a fight with my cousin near the portopotties which he doesn't remember. 2010 would be my girlfriend, The National at the House of Blues afterparty, and passing out standing up while I dragged her back to the hotel in a surprising turn of the tables. This year we hope to remember everything. But we now refer to every trip to Lolla as Operation Remember Nine Inch Nails. I've even got a hot pink Post-It on my comp that says Remember Nine Inch Nails to remind me when I start acting like a jackass for no reason towards my girlfriend. And to help us remember I've started making videos of our pilgrimages. Here's one. Enjoy. And remember YOUR trips to Lolla!
I was a young, hip 20-something living in Chicago during the summer of 2008. I received a call from a guy I knew in high school that he was coming to Chicago for Lolla and that I should tag along with he and his friends. Now, this guy and I were not "friends" in high school. We ran in different crowds and I always thought I was too cool to talk to him. We ended up running into each other a few years after high school and that's where our friendship began. Anyway, he ended up crashing on my couch for the weekend and we would sometimes meet up with his friends at the festival. We had a ridiculously fun time as platonic friends. As Kanye played the last set on Sunday night, we walked to the fountain for him to meet up with his friends. We were saying our farewells and we leaned in for a hug to cap off the refreshed friendship . As I leaned in, he planted the most awkward kiss on my lips and there we stood slobbering on each other. As I was walking out of Grant Park, I was so confused that I couldn't find the L to take home and ended up flagging a cab many blocks later. I was just baffled by what this kiss meant - I mean, I had a boyfriend that he knew about! We both sort of forgot about the incident and rarely talked anymore. A couple of months later, we met up and decided that maybe there was something to this. And now...we're getting married two weeks before Lolla (specifically planned around the festival). This year will be our 4th year attending together - the third attending as an official couple and the first as a married couple. It is a well known tradition between family and friends. We often talk about that horrible, awkward kiss and are glad that wasn't a dealbreaker!
My first time at Lollapalooza was one of the most memorable concert experiences of my life! I had just turned 19 years old the day before the festival began, and my step dad gave me the most amazing gift I could have received. My 18th birthday was terrible, my uncle passed away and no one wanted to celebrate, so I didn't expect any of my birthdays in the future to be happy. Then all of a sudden my step dad told me that he got me a backstage pass to the festival I was so desperate to go to! He had previously worked with the band Margot and The Nuclear So and So's who played on the first day, and they gave me one of their backstage passes. My mom got us a hotel room at The Congress Hotel across the street, so we could walk back and forth to the festival all day. It was amazing! Walking into Lollapalooza was almost too much, their were so many people and the city was so beautiful surrounding the park. We showed up just before Margot played and I was able to watch the entire show from the side of the stage. MGMT played right after Margot which was like a dream come true, because I also love that band. I loved looking out at the crowd as if I was a musician. The days blend together a bit because I was so excited, but I remember seeing Jeff Tweedy from Wilco play at the children's stage. He jumped off stage and sat on the grass with kids surrounding him. It was amazing. He was so hilarious as he tried to alter his songs to be a little more PG. I would have to say the highlight of my entire experience was meeting Chan Marshal of Cat Power. My mom and I went backstage at her stage and kind of just sat around on for a bit taking in the sun. All of a sudden I saw her come and stand super close to me. I absolutely hate cigarettes, but I saw her smoking and I asked my mom to give me a cigarette and I went over and asked Chan for a light. I was so nervous. She didn't have a lighter so she lit my cigarette with hers. I fell in love! I was practically in shock! Then she told me I had a cute dress and I said thanks and wished her luck on stage. Then I was forced to smoke the cigarette, because I didn't want to look like a fool taking it back to my mom, haha. I enjoyed her show and many others. The festival was just one huge amazing experience. My only regret, which actually turned out alright, was that I must have ate something that didn't sit well with me because right before Radiohead came on I got the worst stomach pains of my life, and had to run back to the hotel! I was so angry with myself, I couldn't believe I was going to miss one of the best bands of all time! However, when I got to my hotel room I realized I could hear and see Radiohead perfectly from my window. So I laid on the bed opened the window and watched Radiohead from there it was amazing. I remember looking at the beautiful brick buildings and listening to Idioteque, my life couldn't have gotten any better. I miss Lollapalooza! This year Bright Eyes is playing, along with many other amazing bands! I would give anything for a chance to come to this festival again for my 22nd birthday! My boyfriend and I just started a website, where we film local bands, here in Seattle, and all of our funds have gone to making our dreams become a reality. Winning a trip to Lollapalooza would make my year!
At four months old my son couldn't truly appreciate the festivities that day. I had heard the day before that anyone with a wristband could bring in children with them. Wait... I have a wristband! Wait, WAIT... I have a child! Awesome! It didn't take much convincing of my wife to get her to go along with the idea. I would take my son with me to the festival for the day, giving her a much-needed rest. So we loaded up the Jeep with his stroller, some milk bottles, and a diaper bag and headed to Grant Park. She dropped us off and we strolled right in. I've been to many concerts and many Lollapalooza's before but this was the first time I'd been to one with a kid, much less, my son! It was a blast! The looks and smiles I got from people passing by made me a very proud dad. He was all smiles, too. We got to bond and he got to experience his first concert festival. In the evening his momma came and picked him up. With the wristband I was able to walk him out and load him up in the Jeep and then come back in. As I was walking down the sidewalk back to the gate a golf cart came speeding down and I stepped aside and it was Perry himself being driven to the North end of the park. Pretty truckin' cool! Being at this concert with my son was even more special for me because just one year earlier I was at the Pearl Jam edition of Lollapalooza and it was that same night that my son was conceived... how ironic and apropos that my son be ushered into the world with a Pearl Jam concert! I almost named him Eddie but instead I chose to name him Ean Jordan after my iconic hero, MJ. Even though I enjoy the three-day event, having kids makes it tough to attend. Now my son is three and he loves hanging out with me. We don't get to do too much because I am in school working towards my degree and the baby sitter is about 35 miles away so the time we do get to spend together is very precious. Now he has a little brother who will be turning six months around the Lolla fest this year. It would be totally cool to be able to bring momma and the kids to the weekend event. We have never had a honeymoon and even though we live in Chicago, I couldn't imagine a more perfect way to celebrate life, love, and happiness then by celebrating with the Lolla family. Our anniversary is on August 13th. Keep it going, Perry!
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.