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2012 was a year of firsts for my best friend, Lindsey and I. It was our first time riding the train in Chicago, after 2 other years in the city. It was the first time we saw the Blue Man Group successfully (the first time around we had a bit too much to drink to focus), our first Chicago Dogs, our first trip to Lollapalooza with our significant others in tow, the first time to have VIP tickets (Oh man how could we ever go General Admission again?), and our first time being rained out at Lolla and taking a double decker bus tour instead. We had a blast while sitting on the top, getting pleasantly soaked and cheered on by crowds of hundreds of people all throughout the city. Times like these make for great memories. 2012 was also a time for lasts. Our last time being together for the year, as my husband and I are now living states away from our family and friends while I attend college, and he serves in the U.S. Army. It was our last big trip, our last time to make those memories something great. And they were just magnificent. Cheering crowds, being so caked in mud there was no hope of ever being clean again, and the music was phenomenal. We were each introduced to new bands, and rocked out so hard to old ones. If I could think of a favorite memory at Lollapalooza 2012, I would have to choose being in the crowd at Black Sabbath, way in the back with room to run and dance like crazy people, laughing with two beers each. It was then that I had the idea that it could be our last time, our last moment together for a while, and our last memory to make, so I gladly grabbed the nearest patron and had our picture snapped. I would like to be able to have free tickets to the best music festival ever, but then, I wouldn't be upset if I didn't either. I have had the best of times in Chicago at Lollapalooza, but maybe last year just can't be beat. The photo is of the four of us after the rain. I am the bottom left with Lindsey next to me, my husband Ryan is behind me with her boyfriend Brandon next to him. We are at the Black Sabbath show, having the best night of my life.
It's hard to choose a poignant moment from Lollapalooza when once the scorching sun sets, and the air can't touch you, all the moments seem golden and vibrant. One particular moment, however, stands out for me as a bit brighter than the rest. On the second night of Lollapalooza, my roommates and I, all of whom were either a volunteer or a video crew member, moved effortlessly through stage security to stand on the backside of the Sony Stage and caught the end of Bloc Party. As soon as they wrapped up, Red Hot Chili Peppers booted up across the expansive lawn. We met both of the men who ran the jumbo-screen cameras for the Sony Stage while watching RHCP and after the crew cleared the Sony Stage, we all moved up onto it to watch the last show of the evening. As I dangled my legs over the edge of the stage and watched a band I had enjoyed since I was in middle school, I couldn't believe how great my life was. Here I was, with friends old and new alike, marveling in the cooler night and the vibrant waves coming from the stage across the way. The skyline was beginning to light up and I had a chance to come back the next day for more. It was a perfect moment in which to be alive, and how fortunate I was to have it.
2012 was our first Lolla. I was too young (12) for Woodstock, but didn't want my whole life to pass by without going to a 3 day festival. So yes, my husband and I are old (55 and 61) -- ANCIENT compared to the vast majority of EDM fans at the Perry Stage. But its EDM that we love. Kaskade, Porter Robinson, Zedd - still kicking myself for missing Calvin Harris (we wimped out on the mud bath). So we decided to acknowledge the fact that we were way out of place hanging at Perry all day, every day. I made shirts that said "So what if I'm old? Music is Ageless!" We had so many people come up and ask to take their pictures with us. "you rock", "oh my god I've got to send this to my Dad", "you guys like dup-step?" I'm sure we are all over instagram and facebook. We had so much fun! We'll be back next year. Anybody got any good ideas for shirts? I'm thinking of doing a "bucket list" type of thing . . . Tiesto - check, Kaskade-check, Porter Robinson -check and then added the DJs we will be seeing . . .
Saturday, Aug 4, the heavy storm forced the closing of the festival for a few hours. My hotel had a happy hour each day; on this particular day, I met several other Lolla fans including two sisters who'd been travelling from venue to venue as their vacation. We sat and drank wine and shared our favorite shows thus far of Lolla and one hour turned into another..By the time the storm had lifted, we'd become fast friends and ran into each other during the remainder of the festival!
My boyfriend and I have been going to Lolla for the past 6 years. The festival was actually our first date and the place I believe we fell in love. Lolla 2012, was a very different experience than any other When festival time came around I just so happened to be 9 months pregnant. I was deteremined to go, after all, how could I break tradition. I decided to go on Saturday and Sunday. Of all things to happen, the big storm hit on Saturday and I toughed it out and stayed the entire day. I don't know how I made it without sitting down all day, at times it was painful, but it was all worth it when I was able to experience Franz Ferinand front and center. I remember getting all kinds of looks from people. People were very cool and let me cut in line for the bathroom and for water. People were giving me thumbs up and told me how awesome it was that I still came. I made it through both days and hung with the best of them. I had my baby boy, Jordan on August 25th. He has his Lolla onesie and is a music lover already. This year when Lolla comes around, I will be finding a babysitter and making up for the partying that I was unable to do last year. However, I guarantee this will not be baby Jordan's last Lolla experience. He will be joining us in the years to come!
Lollapalooza's 21st birthday bash boasted a jam-packed lineup of epic proportions, bringing together genre-bending bands from across the musical spectrum. Black Sabbath, Trampled by Turtles, Sigur Ros, First Aid Kit and Jack White to name a few. Whether fans were dancing along to the beats at Perry’s stage all afternoon (and night) or bouncing between the other main stages dotting the park, the grounds quickly filled up as a steady stream of revelers made their way to the music all weekend.
For those who couldn't make it to the Grant Park party, millions tuned in to YouTube's live webcast and dual channel coverage of Lolla 2012. Other digital additions included the rotating slideshow of fan-submitted Instagram photos on jumbotrons throughout the park. Not only were Festival staffers taking behind the scenes pics from as many places as possible, but fans themselves got in on the action by adding the hashtag #lolla to their snapshots for the chance to have their photog skills on display — online AND in person! Green Street was also humming with engaged fans hoping to make a difference and give back to their communities.
Despite Saturday's temperamental stormy weather, a rain evacuation ran smoothly and in all, more than 60,000 festival-goers and nearly 3,000 staff, artists and vendors were safely evacuated in 38 minutes. LollaShop was another new and wild success, and the dedicated gear outpost located across from Grant Park was a welcome addition to the Lolla family!