What’s In Store for Lollapalooza?

The first day of summer begins the countdown to Lollapalooza for many Chicagoans and especially for Parker High School students. Lollapalooza is a four day music festival held annually in the heart of downtown Chicago at Grant Park, and is the event of the summer. The festival was founded in 1991 and has been gaining exponential popularity ever since. However, due to COVID-19, the festival this summer was put on hold.

As the number of cases of the coronavirus began to quickly rise, many speculated that this summer’s festival would be canceled. It was not until June when Lollapalooza made an official statement confirming that the festival would be put on hold. Their website states “…we will be working hard behind the scenes to deliver Chicago a spectacular celebration of Lollapalooza’s 30th Anniversary in the summer of 2021…” However, Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger does not anticipate any concerts or festivals until “late ’21, more likely ’22” as he stated on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast.

In efforts to compensate for the canceled festival, Lollapalooza attempted to still celebrate live music with a virtual festival called Lolla2020. The event was a free four night live broadcast on Youtube from Thursday, July 30 through Sunday, August 2, the original dates of this summer’s festival. With music and appearances by Paul McCartney, Chance The Rapper, Louis The Child, founder of Lollapalooza Perry Farrell, Michelle Obama, and Lori Lightfoot, there was something for everyone. The four-night event included over 150 performances and appearances, broadcasting both new and old sets from the featured artists. 

“I didn’t watch it,” senior and two-year Music Committee Head Griffin Kass said, “and the reason why is because personally I didn’t care to watch live-streams of the artists because it’s not same as being able to see someone perform live in person.” Lollapalooza enthusiast and senior Leila Sheridan explained that, “Lolla is such a fun time to reconnect with people after spending months away during the summer, and I really missed seeing everyone this year.”

Lollapalooza was built on the idea of inspiring, connecting, and uplifting communities. Even with the fastival being canceled this summer and moved virtually, this was still their main message. Lollapalooza partnered with Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and When We All Vote in efforts to raise awareness for these organizations and what they stand for.

Lollapalooza was not alone in regards to canceled major events this year, as many other concerts and festivals alike are still being cancelled and postponed to this day. Whether or not Lollapalooza 2021 will be an in person event is still to be determined, as the coronavirus cases continue to rise.