Chicago is home to many iconic music venues and has long been known for being one of America’s best cities for live music. Lollapalooza has taken advantage of this fact in recent years by extending the festival beyond Grant Park and holding many official Lollapalooza aftershows across the city, creating a fest within the fest. This allows fans to see their favorite artists in smaller and more intimate settings. It also allows locals who couldn’t – or didn’t want to – attend all four days of Lollapalooza to catch only their must see acts.
Lollapalooza is the only major festival that I’m aware of that holds official aftershows, at least at this level. In fact, 26 venues all around Chicago held over 70 of these shows throughout the weekend, featuring over 100 artists that also played at Lollapalooza. A full list can be found HERE. On top of Lollapalooza’s official shows, many other sponsored after parties could have easily brought the number of total after-hours events to 100 or more. The thing about Chicago and Lollapalooza that I love the most is that nearly everyone has a chance to attend one of these events. You don’t have to be Kendall Jenner to be able to go see your favorite band play on a rooftop overlooking the skyline.
I have been to Lollapalooza nine times and I finally got myself to suck it up and attend some of these late night events. It made me wish I started doing this sooner. Some highlights are below.
Thursday – NYLON Nights featuring Haelos, Dua Lipa, and more.
Thursday night brought me to the 25th floor space at the Virgin Hotel for NYLON Magazine’s aftershow, NYLON Nights. This was the smallest event I attended, with very intimate performances from Haelos, Dua Lipa, and more. The crowd of about 50 to 100 people included the interesting combination of John Varvatos and the members of Bastille, who were definitely eager to party after their Lollapalooza performance earlier in the day.
Friday – Toyota‘s “25th Hour” featuring Leon Bridges and Big Boi of Outkast.
On Friday, Toyota brilliantly teamed up with Snapchat to create a special geo-filter that only showed up in certain areas of Grant Park. If fans were lucky enough to find it, a screenshot was their ticket into Toyota’s ’25th Hour’ show. Big Boi started the night off with a DJ set, and Leon Bridges headlined the evening performing songs from his Grammy Award nominated album, Coming Home. His cover of “Pony” by Ginuwine also got the crowd going. I sure hope that the girl I overheard saying “This isn’t a Leon Bridges song, is it?” was joking.
Saturday – FLOODfest featuring Local Natives, BAIO, and CLASSIXX.
Aftershows are unique because they oftentimes feature acts playing together that you wouldn’t normally see on the same bill. FLOODfest, put on by FLOOD Magazine, was definitely the most upbeat and diverse of the events that I went to. This show was announced ahead of time – although the venue was kept secret until the day of – so there were many more fans in attendance which led to a great vibe. This was the second annual FLOODfest, so expect to see it return next year.
If you had a chance to attend any Lollapalooza aftershows, official or not, let me know your thoughts below.