CHICAGO, Ill (NCC News) – Lollapalooza is a music festival that occurs every August in downtown Chicago. Around for almost three decades, this festival has spread from the heart of Chicago to six other countries outside of the United States. However, according to Concert Photographer, Alana Swaringen, Lollapalooza could not happen if it were not in Chicago; they are innately intertwined.
Swaringen grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She picked up photography as a hobby while she was in grade school. Realizing she could mesh her two passions, photography and music, she made it a personal and professional goal to attend and photograph at Lollapalooza. In 2019, Swaringen was brought to Lollapalooza as the photographer for a Canadian rock band known as The Arkells.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, more concerts were postponed or canceled. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot decided to make Lollapalooza virtual. Swaringen said she was excited about the festival taking on a virtual stage. She thought Lollapalooza has the recognition to be very successful online.
“Lolla does have the establishment to like, kind of gather all of their like archival videos and like really famous like public speakers and like, Michelle Obama got to speak for one of it,” said Swaringen.
The festival was put together on YouTube. The link is still available on the Lollapalooza website to look back at and experience. The Lollapalooza website states how music can bring people together, even during these crazy times.
Swaringen participated in the virtual music festival. She was appreciative of the bands, artists, and speakers abiding by health regulations, wearing masks, and still being able to show up and perform for their fans. Many of the artists used their fame and platform to make statements about how important it is to wear a mask and stay safe.
“And the fact that it was just like associated with Lolla made it all the more like touching during the weekend, it was supposed to be, it was, it was a really cool event.”
Lollapalooza held its virtual festival on the same weekend it would have happened in Grant Park. The music festival has already started planning for the summer of 2021. The staff and community say they are working hard to deliver the 30th anniversary of Lollapalooza in person next year.