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Lollapalooza: Last Festival Standing?

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As we know, large group events are not having a very good year. Festivals have been tripping over each other to land new dates later in the year, or they have postponed to next year or have canceled altogether. Lollapalooza, however, is staying strong and hoping for the best, displaying this message at the bottom of each email update:

“Chicago is our home, and we will continue to remain optimistic about Lollapalooza 2020. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to listen closely to government and public health leaders and stay safe.”

They assure fans that they will have sufficient information by the end of this month to make an informed decision about the fate of Lollapalooza 2020. I wonder what a music festival would even look like in the year of a global pandemic. Universities are proposing hybrid classes– melting the traditional classroom with a virtual one to eliminate large lectures and keep students at arm’s length. If those strategies are assumed to be in place this fall, what does Lolla plan to look like at the end of July? 

Honestly, I can think of quite a few times at the Perry’s Stage when I would’ve done anything (well, almost anything) for six feet between me and the other sweaty people kicking up dust. A festival where you never have to claw and jump for a breath of fresh air… is that even a festival at all? Just something to think about (oops)! Social distancing definitely has the potential to change the shape of music festival culture. Bumping into someone you don’t know looks a lot different now than it did a year ago.

BUT! If Lolla is optimistic, then so am I 🙂

In the meantime, Lollapalooza has joined the live stream craze, broadcasting old performances on their YouTube channel. This weekend featured an iconic 2018 performance by ODESZA (don’t forget to check out Bronson, by the way), and a Perry’s Power Hour led by FISHER. 

If you aren’t on the email list, you can stay up to date on all things Lollapalooza by visiting their website and following them on social media. Stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t give up on festivals just yet!

Mallory Dwortz
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