By Kyle Anderson and Nolan Feeney
When the second day of Lollapalooza 2012 began on Saturday, it was just another ridiculously hot morning in Chicago—but by the time the final notes had been played in Grant Park, it had become historic.
For the first time ever, the entire festival was suspended due to inclement weather, and all of the festival’s attendees—the official number at the time of the storm was 60,000, plus 3,000 staff—were evacuated for two and a half hours while a vicious thunderstorm passed through.
At about three o’clock local time, word started spreading that a nasty storm front was headed in the direction of Grant Park, and that everybody should brace themselves for the worst. Only a few minutes later, the organizers of Lollapalooza did the bracing for everybody.
A number of bands, including Neon Indian, were forced to end their mid-afternoon sets early to make way for the announcement that everybody had to leave the grounds due to the oncoming weather. What at first seemed like an alarmist case of over-protection ended up being right on, as the wind and rain ripped through Downtown Chicago for a solid hour.
The festival attendees who didn’t fill the bars and restaurants surrounding Grant Park were lead to a trio of underground parking garages that served as shelters during the storm.
The gates were re-opened at around six o’clock, with a new schedule and a slightly extended curfew. Most everybody was allowed to go on later, with the headlining acts given the go-ahead to play until 10:45, just under the cutoff time for noise in Grant Park. In the end, only a handful of acts were cancelled outright, including Temper Trap, Alabama Shakes, Chairlift, the Dunwells, B.o.B., J.J. Grey and Mofro, and Paper Diamond.
By the time the music was back on, the crowd had thinned only a little; most people seemed to stick out the storm. Though the fields had deteriorated quite a bit — a number of people standing in front during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set were in ankle-deep water).
Still, the resilience of the crowd (and the cooler temperatures post-storm) definitely played into both of Saturday night’s headliners. READ FULL STORY