CHICAGO — At the 27th annual Lollapalooza, the biggest thing on concertgoers minds is having fun, seeing cool bands and hanging out with friends, while Chicago police and fire officials work to keep all 100,000 people safe.
Before the gates opened at 11 a.m., lines of people sat outside Grant Park in downtown Chicago. As they finally filed in, they were met with airport-like security. Measures were increased this year after the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert last year. The shooter had booked a room at the Blackstone Hotel overlooking Lollapalooza in 2017, but never arrived.
In fact, all the hotels along the streets surrounding grant park have security plans in place. Inside the festival there are more barricades, more fences and fewer things you’re allowed to bring in.
"As you’re arriving at the festival, keep in mind small purses, nothing with a lot of pockets in it," said Brooke Leal, a marketing manager for Lollapalooza.
Groups of police assembled inside, while police on bikes patrolled outside. There will also be sniper-equipped SWAT teams, and four times more undercover officers dressed just like concert goers, mingling with the crowd. The city is not taking any chances.
Kenny Jusino and his friend Jake Emrich picked up four-day passes to this year's festival.
"It really is tiring and exhausting, but when you can come relax with your friends, hang out, new music and stuff we’ve listened to for years, it’s the best," Emrich said.
The Adler family brought their kids here for the first time.
"They have plenty of activities for the kids. It’s a great event," Jodii Adler said.
And you can’t go to Lolla without checking out the fashion. It’s definitely a place to people watch.
Headed to Lollapalooza? Here's what you need to know about this year's festival