Thursday, August 20, 2015

Some of the Pros and Cons of Lollapalooza

The Lollapalooza hangover is slowly fading away (yes it's been 3 weeks), but one nuisance that remains is the annual Grant Park repairs stemming from the festivals footprint (via Chicagoist).
While this year wasn't the worst, it still means that: Promoter C3 Presents is footing the $236,223 cleanup bill to repair Grant Park following the three-day music fest, Chicago Park District officials have announced. 
Cleanup is currently underway and could last through the third week of September, according to the park district, with some areas of the park roped off to visitors. Park cleanup costs are usually fairly steep at the end of Chicago's biggest music fests, especially in years when rainfall muddies the park grounds. This year's repair costs are lower for Lollapalooza than last year's $266,000 in repairs, possibly because there was less rain this year while the fest was underway—though the park was briefly evacuated due to storm warnings.
While we're not going to attempt to come to a definitive decision on whether or not this festival is good or bad for the city, we will say that this year we noticed how much prep and repair is necessary for this event.  

The festival is just three days (which is fine in our eyes), but the weekend we were walking around and realized that pretty much the entire park from Washington to Roosevelt was inaccessible (minus a little path for tourists to still get to Buckingham Fountain).  While that was annoying we didn't think much about it.  However, the weekend after Lolla we walked by Hutchinson Field and it was roped off for repairs.  Moral of the story is that the actual Lollapalooza festival is 3 days, but their occupancy is much longer.

On the flip side, it appears that more and more businesses and organizations are reaping the benefits of this massive event and all the attention it gets.  The most prominent example we saw this year was the #DellLounge which apparently took over the Spertus museum at 610 S. Michigan for the weekend.  While we didn't attend, the whole building was lit up over the weekend with prominent branding on the glass exterior:

While we have no way of knowing how much Dell paid for this, it couldn't have been cheap.

So like every year, there are pros and cons to this festival being in our back yard.  Everyone will have different feelings, but at this stage this festival isn't going anywhere (contract signed until 2021).

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