Because of an approaching storm and warnings from the National Weather Service, Lollapalooza organizers and the City of Chicago ended the first day of the festival early. Festivalgoers were evacuated from Grant Park and are being directed by staff and the Chicago Police Department to pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue, according the Office of Emergency Management.
“We are disappointed to have to end today’s performances early, however our first priority is the safety of our fans, staff and artists,” said Sandee Fenton, Director of Publicity for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza.
Earlier, the light rain showers that fell in Chicago on Thursday did nothing to dampen the spirit of musicians and attendees at Lollapalooza 2017’s opening day.
“Now until infinity, we celebrate love,” Cage the Elephant’s Matt Shultz shouted to a crowd of thousands before he launched into one of the band’s first songs of the night about 6:30 p.m.
George Ezra expressed similar sentiments. “How are you doing, Chicago?” he said before playing. He said his songs should be an “escape,” especially after 2016, “a really weird year.”
About a hundred thousand people from all over the world attended the festival’s first day on Thursday, which featured performers including Cage the Elephant, Migos, Lorde, Muse, Spoon and Wiz Khalifa. Groups of friends, families and their children and couples, gathered together to listen to music.
The weather wasn’t the only bump in the road for the festival’s opening day.
Liam Gallagher walked off the stage during his 4:30 p.m. set after only 20 minutes or so of what was supposed to be an hourlong gig. No explanation was given at the time.
Later in the day, Gallagher tweeted an apology to Chicago:
Gallagher is out on the road in support of his upcoming solo album debut, “As You Were,” due Oct. 6.
GallerySome drove for hours or days to get to Chicago.
Kaitlin Buenviaje, 17, and four of her friends drove from Quebec to get to Lollapalooza, mainly to see Migos and Cage the Elephant. This was their first time at Lolla.
“I love how colorful it is,” she said. “It’s been exploding with color all day.”
The “color” appeared on attendee’s graphic T-shirts, sporting quotes such as “Empower women” and images from iconic movies such as “Step Brothers.” A roller rink, new this year, featured colorful disco lights and retro music. Although some did channel more grunge musicians.
Kayla Lubicz, 21, from Chicago, wore a long black skirt that she said was “Lorde-esque.”
“I was feeling witchy today,” she said.
Parker Kohlhaas, 9, of Gainesville, Florida, who hung out at Kidzapalooza in the morning, also was excited about seeing Lorde. He came with his dad and older brother. They usually go to the Chicago Air and Water show every year, but this time wanted a change.
“He’s excited about Lorde,” said his father, Mike Kohlhaas. “While my older son is more of a Wiz Khalifa guy.”
Ben Lascola, 19, of Chicago, stood in the pouring rain to see Lorde: “I really really loved her first album. I made a choice between her and Muse. I have a poncho, rain is rain. She is a unique artist who I want to see, and this might be my only chance.”
When Lorde came on stage, the rain came down even harder.
But to her, the weather was just a challenge, “Tonight we will conquer spirits.”
RedBull is streaming some of Thursday’s headliners, which includes Cage the Elephant, Wiz Khalifa and Lorde. The livestream starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and you can watch it below:
General admission passes and hotel packages sold out within the hour of going live, but Lollapalooza introduced an official ticket exchange website (ticketsnow.com) that allows people to buy and sell passes.
The Lollapalooza box office is located at Michigan and Balbo avenues. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Public transportation might be the way to get to and from the festival as ride-sharing apps typically have high surge charges during Lollapalooza weekend.
The CTA announced earlier this week that it is preparing for the high volumes of passengers by providing longer trains on the Green, Brown, Orange and Blue line routes. The CTA also plans to run more frequent service on the Red, Brown, Blue, Orange and Yellow lines.
From concert-goers coming in from the suburbs, Metra is planning to have extra service on its BNSF Railway,Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West, Rock Island District, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West lines.
Thunderstorms could shower crowds Thursday afternoon, when the National Weather Service predicts severe storms, 70 mph winds and hail. In case of evacuation, the festival has three emergency centers on Michigan Ave. and Columbus Drive.
RELATED READS: Festival food: what’s for lunch at Lollapalooza
Here is a map of Grant Park for Lollapalooza, and below is the full line-up schedule by stage for Thursday:
Bud Light Stage:
- Kevin Devine:1:00-2:00 p.m.
- SUICIDEBOY$:3:00-4:00 p.m.
- Migos:5:00-6:00 p.m.
- Wiz Khalifa:7:00-8:00 p.m.
- Lorde:8:45-10:00 p.m.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage:
- HONNE:12:15-1:00 p.m.
- Jain:2:00-3:00 p.m.
- Capital Cities:4:00-5:00 p.m.
- Jon Bellion:6:00-7:00 p.m.
- Pham:8:00-8:45 p.m.
- Kweku Collins:12:00-12:30 p.m.
- Elohim:12:50-1:30 p.m.
- The O’My’s:1:50-2:30 p.m.
- Middle Kids:2:50-3:30 p.m.
- Oliver Tree:3:50-4:30 p.m.
- CRX:5:00-5:45 p.m.
- Gryffin:6:15-7:00 p.m.
- Kaytranada:7:30-8:45 p.m.
- Lil Uzi Vert:9:00-10:00 p.m.
- MAX:1:00-1:40 p.m.
- Michael Blume:2:10-2:50 p.m.
- Gibbz:3:20-4:00 p.m.
- Stanaj:4:30 p.m.-5:10 p.m.
- A R I Z O N A:5:40-6:20 p.m.
- Atlas Genius:6:50-7:30 p.m.
- Golf Clap:12:00-1:00 p.m.
- Unlike Pluto:1:15-2:15 p.m.
- Paper Diamond:2:30-3:15 p.m.
- Cheat Codes:3:30-4:15 p.m.
- Tritonal:4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
- A-Trak:5:45-6:45 p.m.
- Baauer:7:00-8:15 p.m.
- Porter Robinson:8:30-9:45 p.m.
Lake Shore Stage:
- Declan McKenna:12:00-12:45 p.m.
- Hippo Campus:1:30-2:30 p.m.
- The Drums:3:30-4:30 p.m.
- George Ezra:5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Spoon:7:45-8:45 p.m.
Grant Park Stage:
- White Reaper:12:45-1:30 p.m.
- Temples:2:30-3:30 p.m.
- Liam Gallagher:4:30-5:30 p.m.
- Cage the Elephant:6:40-7:45 p.m.
- MUSE:8:45-10:00 p.m.
Kidzapalooza presented by Lifeway Stage:
- Lard Dog & The Band of Shy:12:00-12:30 p.m.
- School of Rock All Stars:1:30-2:00 p.m.
- JoJo & The Pinecones:3:00-3:30 p.m.
- Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band:5:00-5:30 p.m.
Follow along on our Snapchat ChiSun-Times or reporter Amanda Svachula on Twitter: