Tag Archives: lollapalooza

Trip Sisters Episode 16 (9-15-18) – Music Festivals

Sisters Colleen Kelly and Catie Keogh talk tips and trends on all things travel. This week they talked about how women are using cannabis now more than ever and best musical festivals in the USA. Then they discussed their favorite music festivals, concert venues, and favorite travel songs.

Being on the Sober Side at Lollapalooza

By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) Lolla Cares is the division of Lollapalooza which promotes education, service and environmental sustainability through the duration of the four-day festival in Grant Park. From registering to vote to finding bone marrow donors for cancer patients, the organizations strive to gain awareness while doing good. One of the featured Lolla Cares tents is Sober Side.

Via the Lolla Cares page on the main website:

[Sober Side’s] simple purpose is to provide support and information to those who seek the comfort and camaraderie of other clean and sober people at Lollapalooza. The only requirement is a desire to stay drug and alcohol free at the festival. Though we consist mostly of people in recovery from alcoholism and addiction, Sober Side exists for anyone wishing to stay clean, sober and those seeking serenity and fellowship at Lollapalooza.

The Soberside Sign at the tent at Lollapalooza
The Soberside Sign at the tent at Lollapalooza

Q Brickell from Laguna Hills, CA, and a director on the board for Harmonium, the organization that provides the Sober Side services, explains that the group provides “a group of clean and sober music fans that provide a safe place for people to come and get away from the craziness.”

The mission of Harmonium is to provide a “sober sanctuary for music fans who choose to be abstinent” at music festivals around the country.

Harmonium holds daily meetings at festivals multiple times throughout each day at more than 16 festivals across the nation. This is the third year they have participated at Lollapalooza in Chicago as Sober Side.

Why the need for Sober Side?

Roughly 8-12 percent of the population are genetically predisposed to alcoholism and addiction. With the 100,000 festival attendees daily, that would put this number somewhere between 8,000 and 12,000 people struggling from the disease.

Though it is not merely people who suffer from addiction or work a recovery program who visit the tent at these festivals. Q says that many visitors to the tent come in the form of pregnant women who want to make a connection and gain support since oftentimes their friends continue to use alcohol when they attend these events together.

“We have a lot of people who are ‘Straight Edge,’ ex-punk rockers with the big ‘X’ tattoos on their hand who come out and are really excited to meet other people who won’t judge them,” Q Brickell continues. There are also many individuals who are in their 30s, and have burnt out on the scene.

During Lollapalooza, Sober Side touches thousands of people who stop by the tent just to find out what the tent is about. Many want to help or participate, but for those who aren’t in need of the service, receive the knowledge to pass on to others can be of great help.

Brandon Graham, 25, was reclining in the tent on a Adirondack chair, cooling off in the Sober Side tent. He says that he is content spiritually and has done a number of festivals sober including five years of Bonnaroo and three years at Lollapalooza.

When asked how long it took for Graham to feel comfortable in his own skin at music festivals, he replied, “I played music most of my life, and just love festivals. I’ve done so many more of these sober than I have partying that it has become natural.”

How did it all begin?
“In 2000, I started a group for Widespread Panic fans,” Patrick Whelan, board member and one of the founders stated. “In 2001, they played the first Bonnaroo, so we all gathered there. I’ve been going back to Bonnaroo ever since, and we started ‘Soberroo’ in 2004.”

“It’s not just for people in recovery, it’s also for people in recovery from loved ones who are suffering,” Patrick Whelan. “Festivals have wondered why they haven’t thought of it first.”

It is emphasized that the organization is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or any other 12-Step programs, and also “makes no judgment on others’ decisions related to drugs and alcohol, neither condemning nor condoning their use.”

One of those loved ones is Sean Brickell, father of Q, and a board member for Harmonium.

“I had 40 years in the business, and my son went into recovery,” Sean Brickell, father of Q and also a board member for Harmonium said.

Between Q’s love for music and Sean’s connections in the industry, they were able to they were able to put this program together.

“All of the promoters understand what we are trying to do and are accommodating,” said Sean Brickell.

“It needs to be said that while we are serving the sober community, we are also serving the promoters,” Sean Brickell said. Promoters of these events are looking to find an option for people, and the services that the Harmonium groups bring provide that for no cost to organizers.

“It’s a hot day and beer is starting to look good,” Sean Brickell explains. “These people can come in here and sit for a while, and they can go home with the same sobriety date.”

When asked about the transformation in the industry over the past 40 years, it was noted that promoters are taking a more responsible approach.

“Before it was just you have a party, you have a festival or a concert. People get high, and they get seriously messed up. That’s a consequence,” Sean Brickell said. “We cannot say how appreciative we are of the promoters, and that in itself is probably one of the most important changes that I’ve seen in the industry over the last 30 years.”

You can find more information on Harmonium their work at www.harmoniuminc.org.

Bringing Democracy to Lollapalooza

By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890

(CHICAGO) More than being one of the most popular music festivals in the United States, Lollapalooza advocates that it is a place where music fans can learn more about how to help the world around them.

Lolla Cares, according to the website, “brings together the best of the world’s organizations and puts them in front of 100,000 festival fans to bring awareness to amazing causes.”

One of the 2016 exhibitors was HeadCount, a non-for-profit, non-partisan organization that works with musicians to promote participation in democracy.

Katie Lenza, a Chicago Team Leader for HeadCount explains that the mission of the organization’s involvement at Lollapalooza is, “to get people to vote and make sure that everybody is exercising their right.”

Since 2004, the organization has helped register over 300,000 voters across all 50 states in the nation at more than 1,000 concert events per year. Since many fans at Lollapalooza travel from out of state, festival goers were able to register no matter which state they reside in.

“It’s more people who are registered, so it has been either those who are 17 and will be 18 before the next election or people who have turned 18 since the last term,” Lenza said of the typical person who she encountered at Lollapalooza.

Lenza and the other volunteers have encountered their share of political questions over the duration of the event.

“The biggest question is ‘who are you voting for,’ but since we are non-partisan, non-for-profit we are not affiliated with a major party,” Lenza said. “We are getting a lot of ‘Go Trump,’ but also hearing ‘anyone but Trump,’ so it has been interesting.”

“I’ve had a lot of people say this is the first time that I’d be able to vote, but I’m not registering because I don’t want to vote…a lot of women,” Lenza added. “We haven’t had this right for that long, so it is interesting hearing how women say that they are not going to register, or if they are registered, that they aren’t voting.”

Listen here:

Passing Thunderstorms Did Not Stop Day One of Lollapalooza

By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) The first day of Lollapalooza has concluded and according to organizers, despite the periods of rain, it was a successful day.

here comes the rain
The sky over Lollapalooza at 10:50 a.m. of the first day of the festival.


At 11:12 a.m., Lollapalooza officials released a statement that the gates “have been pushed due to incoming weather.”

At 11:43 a.m., the festival opened to ticket holders, and they were quite enthusiastic after waiting to get in.

By 2:00 p.m. lines at the Monroe Street entrance had extended all the way to Michigan Avenue as security took time to check entrants one-by-one. Items such as sunscreen and selfie sticks are among the items that are not allowed on festival grounds. For a comprehensive list of items prohibited by Lollapalooza, you can visit this site.

At 2:45 p.m. another statement was issued that organizers were “monitoring nearby weather systems,” but the storms broke up before entering the area. For the most part, the festival remained dry.

Friday isn’t shaping up to be too different from Thursday as WLS-AM 890’s meteorologist Ray Stagich predicts variable clouds and scattered thunderstorms with a high of 77°.

According to Rich Guidice of the OEMC, it can take nearly a half an hour to evacuate for a storm. Only twice the festival has had to evacuate; once in 2012, and the other time just last year in 2015 on Sunday of the festival. Up to 75,000 people had been in attendance during those times.

For the full interview with Rich Guidice from Friday, listen here:

Headliners on Friday include the EDM band Major Lazer, Swedish indie pop band Miike Snow, and English rock band Radiohead.

Ticket holders on Craigslist.org are still selling four-day passes for $300, and $150 for one-day passes.

For those wanting to see the musical acts without having to pay the resale ticket prices, or go into downtown, they can watch live at redbull.tv/lollapalooza.

Lollapalooza tv on redbull


Weekend A-Jenda: July 28th – July 31st (Lollapalooza Weekend)

Click Here for Weekend Traffic Projects
Click Here for Weekend CTA Travel Alerts

Ray Stagich’s Weekend Weather Forecast

Friday – Partly to mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms in the morning. High 77F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Friday Night – Partly cloudy skies. Low 66F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday – Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s.
Sunday – Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 60s.

The Chicago White Sox take on the Chicago Cubs All Week

Mon, Jul 25 vs Cubs 7:10 p.m. (U.S. Cellular Field)
Tues, Jul 26 vs Cubs 6:10 p.m. (U.S. Cellular Field)
Wed, Jul 27 @ Cubs 7:05 p.m. (Wrigley Field)
Thu, Jul 28 @ Cubs 7:05 p.m. (Wrigley Field)


Lollapalooza 2016

Date: Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., daily
Location: Grant Park

From Lollapalooza.com
From Lollapalooza.com

Metra is offering an unlimited ride, four-day train pass to this year’s Lollapalooza music festival (July 28-31).

The $20 pass is available for purchase at all ticket windows, including all downtown and outlying stations, and through the Ventra app.

REMINDER: “We realize that everyone attending this event will be using their phones to take pictures, text and post on social media throughout the day, but if they are using their phone as their ticket too, they need to make sure that they have sufficient battery power for the ride home,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.


Don’t have tickets? There’s no need to worry if you don’t want to spend the nearly $400 for a four-day wristband. Have fun with “Couch-a-palooza!

Here are some of the acts that you can see through the web, courtesy of Red Bull:



Sugar Grove Corn Boil

Date: Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31
Location: Volunteer Park 85 South Main Street in Sugar Grove

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is a volunteer run, community event, featuring three family friendly and fun filled days.

Family Fun including Carnival rides, live music, Kids Zone, Business Booths, Art Vendors, Food, beer, Water Fights, 5K, Farmers Market, contests, raffles, used book sale, and BINGO.

The event also has a Pokemon Go Meetup scheduled, and the annual 5k Run/Walk. Register here!


DuPage County Fair

Date: Wednesday, July 27 – Sunday, July 31
Location: DuPage County Fairgrounds

Live music including “The Voice” Contestant, Michael Lynch and a Sock Hop with the Neverly Brothers.

Catch events uncommon of the area such as rodeos, animal expos and a demolition derby!


The Tall Ships at Navy Pier

Date: Wednesday, July 27 – Sunday, July 31
Time: During Navy Pier open hours
Location: Navy Pier, Chicago

From the website: One of Navy Pier’s most recognized events, Pepsi® Tall Ships®, makes its exciting return to Chicago from July 27 – July 31 2016. This year, the event will feature a majestic fleet of 13+ international vessels.*

The five-day festival kicks off at Navy Pier with a spectacular Parade of Sail on Wednesday, July 27. Then, starting Thursday, July 28, ticketed guests will have the opportunity to view, tour, and even sail away on participating vessels.


Chicago Margarita Festival

Date: Saturday, July 30 – Sunday, July 31
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 8 :00 p.m.
Location: South Shore Cultural Center

Tickets must be purchased, and participants must be over 21 years of age.

Chicago Margarita Festival is an outdoor festival combining a margarita tasting with live original music, dancing, food trucks and fun! What better way to spend the day lounging with friends on Lake Michigan, listening to music and more! So, join us for a fun day off the beach.


National Cheesecake Day – Celebrations at ALL Mariano’s Stores

Date: Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31
Time: 12:00 p.m. each day
Location: All Mariano’s Locations

This FREE event is at ALL Chicagoland Mariano’s locations.

Free Strawberry Topped Cheesecake samples will be available while supplies last, so get there for noon!

There is also a chance to win cheesecake for a year.

For more details visit: www.elischeesecake.com/marianosnccd

Other Events Around the Area


Concerts in the Park, Westmont 07/27/2016 Westmont, IL
Dupage County Fair 07/27/2016 Wheaton, IL
Adams County Fair 07/27/2016 Mendon, IL
Lake County Fair 07/27/2016 Grayslake, IL
Taste of Main Street 07/28/2016 Berwyn, IL
Wood Dale Prairie Fest 07/28/2016 Wood Dale, IL
Proud American Days 07/28/2016 New Lenox, IL
Ridgefest 07/28/2016 Chicago Ridge, IL
Algonquin Founders’ Days 07/28/2016 Algonquin, IL
Radiofest 07/29/2016 Addison, IL
Effingham County Fair 07/29/2016 Altamont, IL
Streamwood Summer Celebration 07/29/2016 Streamwood, IL
Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival 07/29/2016 Chicago, IL
WHEELING PARK DIST. CAR SHOW 07/30/2016 Wheeling, IL
Glencoe Festival of Art 07/30/2016 Glencoe, IL
Coles County Fair 07/31/2016 Charleston, IL
Bloody Mary Fest 07/31/2016 Highwood, IL
Community Band Showcase 07/31/2016 Crystal Lake, IL
W.A.C.O.’s 16th Annual Wingfest & Bags Tournament 07/31/2016 Schaumburg, IL


CTA and Public Transit Weekend Alerts

Increased Capacity, More Frequent Service for Lollapalooza
(info from transitchicago.com)
Red Line
Thu and Fri: Longer trains will operate until 2am next day. Trains will operate between 95th/Dan Ryan and Howard every 6 minutes from 6pm to 11:59pm.

Sat and Sun: Longer trains will operate until 2am next day. Trains will operate between 95th/Dan Ryan and Howard every 6 minutes from 6:30pm to 11:59pm, Saturday, and every 6-8 minutes from 6:30pm to 11:59pm, Sunday.

Brown Line
Thu and Fri:
Longer trains will operate until 1am next day, Trains will operate between Kimball and the Loop every 8 minutes from 10pm to 11pm.

Sat and Sun: Longer trains will operate until 1am next day. Trains will operate between Kimball and the Loop every 8 minutes from 6:30pm to 11pm, Saturday and every 10 minutes from 9:30pm to11pm, Sunday.

Green Line
Thu to Sun:
Longer trains will operate until 1am next day.

Orange Line
Thu to Sun:
Longer trains will operate until 1am next day. Trains will operate between Midway and the Loop every 10 minutes from 8:30pm to 9:30pm and every 8 minutes from 9:30pm to 11pm, Thursday and Friday; every 10 minutes from 8:30pm to 11pm, Saturday; and every 10 minutes from 9:30pm to 11pm, Sunday.

Blue Line
Thu and Fri:
Longer trains will operate until 11:59pm. Trains will operate between Forest Park and O’Hare every 8 minutes from 7pm to 11:30pm.

Sat and Sun: Longer trains will operate until 11:59pm. Trains will operate between Forest Park and O’Hare every 6 – 12 minutes from 8:30pm to 11pm, Saturday, and every 8 minutes from 9:30pm to 11pm, Sunday. Note: On Saturday, some trips will operate between O’Hare and UIC-Halsted stations only. Listen carefully to train announcements.

Pink Line
Thu and Fri:
Trains will operate between 54th/Cermak and the Loop every 12 minutes from 9pm to 11pm.

Yellow Line
Thu through Sun:
Trains will operate between Dempster-Skokie and Howard every 15 minutes from 11:59pm to 1am next day.

Why is service being changed?
Added service is being provided for the convenience of customers attending the Lollapalooza event.

Metra is offering $20-four day Lollapalooza passes which is available for purchase at all ticket windows, including all downtown and outlying stations, and through the Ventra app.

Traffic Restrictions & Road Projects

Closures in place for Lollapalooza:
-Columbus between Monroe & Roosevelt
-Congreess between Columbus & Michigan Avenue
-Balbo from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
-Jackson from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive


Fiesta del Sol in Pilsen – Cermak will be closed between Ashland and Morgan, Thursday thru Sunday.

Jefferson Park – Lawrence Ave Between Milwaukee Ave and Long Ave closed for Jeff Fest

Whiting, In – Pierogi Fest – 119th St at Indianapolis Blvd closed


Verizon adding small cells in Grant Park to boost data capacity for Lollapalooza

(CHICAGO) With the Lollapalooza music festival about to bring tens of thousands of extra visitors to the downtown area, most with smartphones, Verizon Wireless has decided to increase its available data capacity in Grant Park.

Photo Credit: J. DeSalvo, Lollapalooza, 2013

Verizon has installed 12 new small cells, designed to boost network capacity in highly populated areas, around Grant Park, according to a statement from the company.

Small cells are “strategically positioned within Verizon’s existing network coverage area to add additional 4G LTE capacity where it’s needed,” the statement said.

“Data use grows almost exponentially when you have a lot of people congregated in one location over the course of three days,” said Brian Pascoe, region president of Verizon Wireless.

It’s become the trend for people to share their experiences at live events via social media, which has only meant an increase in data traffic, he said.

During the recent Blackhawks parade and Soldier Field rally, Verizon customers used 4.8 TB of data (one TB can hold about 3.6 million 300 KB photo images, or 300 hours of high-quality video).

“This recent addition of small cells to Grant Park is part of a two-year plan to more than double our already existing 134 small cells in the city of Chicago,” Pascoe said.

The small cells are hidden on existing infrastructure such as light poles, traffic lights and power poles—and you would likely never notice them unless you knew exactly what to look for, he said.