My First Chicago Lollapalooza

Date: August 4 – 6, 2006
City: Chicago, IL
Venue: Grant Park

Lollapalooza 2006

After missing the inaugural year of Lollapalooza as a destination festival in Chicago’s Grant Park, I stalked their website to be one of the first to purchase tickets for year two. The excitement was palatable as soon as I saw the confirmation page. I was going to be part of something big and make my first ever trip to Chicago, IL. It was a great lineup with more than 100 acts that included Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Death Cab for Cutie, Queens of the Stone Age, The Shins, Nada Surf and Wolfmother.

Lollapalooza 2006

I traveled to Chicago with one of my best friends. We arrived the Thursday before the show and spent some time being tourists which included eating at Billy Goat Tavern, made famous by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live. We stayed at The Buckingham Athletic Club Hotel in The Loop. I remember it took us awhile to find the hotel because it is in an office building that we passed several times. It was a nice hotel that was close enough to Grant Park to walk to/from, but also far enough to not be bothered by other festival attendees walking the halls drunk.

Lollapalooza 2006

The first day of the festival arrived. After a hearty breakfast, we made our way to Grant Park to find out what this three-day festival was all about. We got our map and made our plan of which bands we had to see, which ones we were curious about and which ones we were definitely not going to waste our time with.

Highlights from 2006 included:

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers rocking it like they do
  • Wolfmother reminding everyone of Led Zeppelin
  • Jack White’s post The White Stripes band The Raconteurs
  • The older crowd loving the Violent Femmes and the younger crowd having no clue who they were
  • Finding out that Jared Leto fronting 30 Seconds to Mars is no joke. The man can sing and his band rocks. But he will still always be Jordan Catalano to me.
  • Really loving Editors
  • Finally getting to see Nada Surf


We could not have asked for better weather. It was perfect for sitting in the park watching and listening to awesome bands with the gorgeous Chicago skyline behind them. The entire event was such an amazing experience. I knew I wanted to return again, but unfortunately was laid off from my job not long after I returned and could not afford to attend again until 2010.

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