Back in the early 1990s, musician and impresario Perry Farrell’s eclectically programmed a whimsically alternative music festival Lollapalooza was a bona fide pop cultural touchstone, barnstorming the country as some kind of portable, modern-day Woodstock before fading rather abruptly. Fast-forward to the mid-2000s, when the massive destination music festival concept was enjoying a sudden and unprecedented resurgence with brands like Coachella and Bonaroo drawing huge multi-day crowds and diverse musical acts.
Taking the blueprint of those successes and transporting it from remote rural fields to a park in the heart of a bustling metropolis, Farrell and company resurrected Lollapalooza in Chicago for a new generation of concertgoers in 2005, the start of a winning streak that continues this weekend when Lollapalooza 2011 once again takes over Grant Park. With more than 130 acts spread over three days and eight stages, there’s probably something to appeal to just about every music fan. But game-planning an event of this size can be a daunting task, so here are a few daily highlights to keep in mind:
Friday, August 5
Headliners Coldplay and Muse will split the arena/bombast vote at opposite ends of the park, but the real action should be at the Perry’s Stage for the dance party of Girl Talk. Earlier in the evening, expect big crowds for A Perfect Circle.
Saturday, August 6
Young Brit singers Lykke Li and Ellie Goulding will draw some attention during the day on the Grove Stage, while the night features a choice between Louisville rockers My Morning Jacket and rapid-fire rapper Eminem.
Sunday, August 7
Chicago’s own rap duo The Cool Kids is an early-afternoon highlight, while 2011’s closing sets go to straightforward rockers Foo Fighters, hip-hopper Kid Cudi and electronic/house master Deadmau5.
Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive. Friday through Sunday from Noon – 10pm. Single-day tickets $90. 888/512-7469. Complete schedule available at www.lollapalooza.com.