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Lollapalooza Set To Kick Off In Grant Park

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Lollapalooza Setup

Setup for Lollapalooza 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS)Lollapalooza begins its three-day run in Grant Park Friday, but work has continued until the last minute to assemble the stages and everything else that goes with a music festival that attracts 90,000 music fans.

Rows of port-a-potties have been set up, along with strings of ATMs. Stages, placed at strategic locations in Grant Park between Monroe Drive and Roosevelt Road, will feature a variety of acts.

One stage that is expected to draw far more attention than a year ago is the electronic dance music stage, which proved so popular that it was moved south across Balbo Drive, at Columbus Drive, to allow more fans to dance. In front of the stage is a huge, arched tent that is meant to resemble a nightclub, the venue in which electronica is most popular.

A number of vendors have displays — and not just food vendors. The Dell Lounge, a 30-foot-by-40-foot tent on the northeast corner of Balbo and Columbus, will be air conditioned and will have live feeds from all of the Lollapalooza stages.

Another popular attraction will be the family-themed “Kidzapalooza.” Tim Giles of Time Out Chicago has spent the last week assembling the family-friendly attraction, which he says will include face painting, mini recording studios, photo booths, and a bunch of surprise.

He tells WBBM Newsradio that the planning for Lollapalooza goes on all through the year.

“Lolla planning begins the day after Lolla ends,” Giles said. “For a year or more, you spend time getting everything ready for next year. You start with some preliminary meetings, and then it really ramps up. In the last two to three months, it gets really, really busy, when you’re doing site checks and having people around here on site every day, and then the week of is just organized chaos.”

Overall, Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell says this year’s Lollapalooza will be a “beast.” But he means that in a positive way.

“We have 90,000 people per day in the park here, and so it is, by far, the largest one,” Farrell said.
The headliners this year include Eminem, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse and My Morning Jacket. OK Go are also set to appear, fresh from a gig at the Aragon Ballroom earlier this week for President Barack Obama’s 50th birthday.

But there are other acts you might not be familiar with that will be well worth your time, says 93XRT’s Marty Lennartz.

“It’s going to be a great Lollapalooza — and there’s 130 acts on the bill — so, once you get past the major superstar headliners — the lineup is pretty diverse — a lot of up and coming bands — and a lot of bands really worth checking out and I think people are going to discover a lot of new music this year,” Lennartz told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones.

Lollapalooza runs through Sunday. Tickets are sold out.

If you’re going, you’re advised to take public transportation. And bear in mind that Congress, Balbo and Jackson drives are closed until Monday from Columbus Drive to Michigan Avenue, and Columbus Drive itself is closed from Monroe Drive to Roosevelt Road.

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