Toting Totem Poles at Lollapalloza


I didn't make Lollapalooza this year. I could give you a thousand excuses. But the truth is (1) I hate big crowds (2) I love my eardrums.

I do understand that they set an attendance record for the three-day "festival"---270,000.  Which may include a lot of second and third offenders.  On Saturday the Grant Park site had to be evacuated because of the stormy weather. Reports say the 65,000 rock fans did so in an orderly fashion and after the downpour, not a few enjoyed romping around in   the muddy terrain.

Yes, sometimes it's good to be somewhere else when these"festivals" are happening.  Like in Orland Park shopping with my wife at Kohl's and Bed Bath and Beyond. Buying  a  toaster and a  coffee maker.  Afterwards having calamari and chesseburgers at Rock Bottom.  Something to do on a lazy August afternoon.  Far from the madding crowds in Grant Park.  Where---according to Christopher Borrelli's account in today's Trib----  headbangers held up totem poles. A cardboard Chewbacca. An inflatable palm tree. A headless rubber bat painted with fake blood. A homemade flag with the words "I'm Sorry, I Love You. But I've Chosen Techno".    An Elmo doll nailed to a cross.  And a host of  other light-hearted  emblems and devices that, in a sense,  balanced the heavy metal sounds.

Borrelli writes about one "frequent festivalgoer", Sheila O'Sullivan of Chicago who carried an inflatable green alien.   Percy Lollapalooza, she called him.  She used to parade around with  inflatable guitars and foam noodles at festivals before Percy. "We try to keep him with us," she bewailed , but people do grab him  Inexplicably, they molest him."

I hate to sound like an old stick-in-the-mud.  But that's another reason I avoid these "festivals".


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