Lollapalooza Suspended, Resumed After Dangerous Weather Conditions



Photo by Erik Hess
The rains left Lollapalooza mud-faced, but undeterred.
By Erik Thompson With additional reporting by Reed Fischer

The 2012 installment of Lollapalooza has thus far brought the requisite extremes, in terms of performances and potent weather. A two-hour delay cut through the middle of Saturday's entertainment at Chicago's Grant Park, and a good many people were wishing they had just the record heat to contend with when the storm clouds rolled in.

At about 3:30 p.m., word began circulating the grounds that bad weather was approaching, and that performances would be suspended. Indie rockers Chairlift, the blues reinventors Alabama Shakes, and pop-rapper B.o.B were all casualties of what turned out to be close to three hours of a warranted rain delay.

In a statement from Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza: "Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff, and artists. We regret having to suspend any show, but safety always comes first."

When the rain hit, it came down in sheets, soaking Grant Park and the surrounding areas. The grounds were being cleared, but it was a slow process, with many attendees being reluctant to leave. There were a lot of long faces and despondent looks on the fans that were being evacuated.

Here are some first-hand photos of the Lollapalooza evacuation process from Erik Hess:

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Photos By Erik Hess

Much of the updates/rumors that circulated over the afternoon came from Twitter.

Here are some Twitter updates from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Frank Ocean, Chicago Tribune music writer Greg Kot, and the official Lollapalooza twitter statement, as well as an overhead shot of the evacuation process.

Update: According to a new press release from the festival: "Lollapalooza will resume at 6:00 PM following a brief postponement due to dangerous weather conditions and warnings. Today's updated schedule can be found on Lollapalooza's official website."

Bands began playing again at 6:30 p.m. with a revamped schedule. The curfew was extended to 10:45 to accommodate the changes.

And with the puddles, mud, and a sense of a relief that spread over the tens of thousands of attendees, things started to get festive. Some photos of the celebratory mud-sliders follow below.

Photo by Erik Hess
Here's a few jubilant fellas getting dirty to the soulful sweetness of the Weeknd.

Photo by Reed Fischer
Another Weeknd fan slides with Lou Brock-like precision.

Photo by Erik Hess
Once night fell, the Perry's stage became a mud-soaked EDM paradise of sorts.

Photo by Erik Hess

"We want to thank the tens of thousands of festival goers, staff, and artists who calmly and safely exited from Grant Park today," said Charlie Jones, partner of C3 Presents, the promoter for Lollapalooza.  "We also applaud and thank the City of Chicago for their cooperation and commitment to making Lolla a safe and enjoyable experience for all.  Once again Chicago has come through and we're proud to call the city our partner." 

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