Lollapalooza 2016 Wins Best Weekend of the Year So Far


With the on and off rain on day one, we took our time getting to the festival. We were able to catch Weathers play a kick ass set followed by some bad weather. With the bad weather, we took shelter under an awning and watched as fans either looked for the same refuge or continued on dancing and enjoying the festival. If not for all the camera gear, I'm sure we would have been roaming out in the open as well. As soon as the rain led up, we took the time to explore the grounds, and it was impressive. So many beer tents, so many food tents, so many activities. After Bastille, we took to the city and got ready for what would be a very long night thanks to Nylon and Stillhouse Whiskey. We found ourselves at a Lolla after party powered by Nylon Nights and dFm, where we watched Haelos, Dua Lipa, and Jarydd James completely captivate the very chill and intimate setting at The Virgin Hotels. The Stillhouse Whiskey was flowing and smiles could be found everywhere you looked. And just when the night was about to end, Bastille decided to join the party and start a conga line. I guess you could say, day one ended amazingly.

Daniel Boczarski catching us enjoying the Stillhouse Whiskey After Party

Dancing in the rain on Day One at Lollapalooza

Leon Bridges at the Toyota/Deep Eddy Vodka Lolla After Party

On Friday we somehow managed to wake up at a decent time and gather our gear together for the festival around noon. We arrived at the festival just in time for The Struts and a packed crowd as gray clouds hovered above. The Struts came out, as always with a ton of energy and style. The crowd rocked out with the band from start to finish, singing along and stomping their feet. Lead singer, Luke Spiller has this contagious energy about him that always keeps the fans excited. After the Struts, we headed backstage to meet the guys of Houndmouth right after their Toyota Den performance. These dudes were super cool and pretty funny together. In the quick time we head to take a few portraits of them, you could tell they were a tight knit group of friends who seemed to constantly be laughing with each other. After our portrait session it was time to head over to MO. As soon it started, the rain joined in. It stuck around for the entire set and more. It didn't seem to bother MO, nor the crowd. The crowd danced and cheered in the newly formed mud as we watched from under the trees. As the rain continued, we headed to Da Beers craft beer bar/tent, enjoyed a few beers and just as we were finishing those final ounces of suds, the rain led up. We walked over to Perry's Stage to get down to the beats of DJ Duke Dumont. Nonstop deep house, nonstop dancing. After his set, we relaxed with a few games of cornhole and headed back to the hotel to prepare for the exclusive after party presented by Toyota and Deep Eddy Vodka at the beautiful and intimate Venue Six10. Here, Big Boi opened the night up with a DJ set and Leon Bridges played an amazing soulful set for us at midnight coining the name of the party, "The 25th Hour." What a great night, once again. We met a bunch of great people at the party, and, with that, the night continued into the morning sharing laughs and more suds while reminiscing of the festival so far and past festival experiences.

Houndmouth backstage after Toyota Den performance / Lollapalooza

Houndmouth backstage after Toyota Den performance / Lollapalooza

Fans feeling the music of Leon Bridges at the Toyota/Deep Eddy Lolla After Party

Its now Saturday, and the sun is out in the morning for the first time. You could just feel that the rain had taken a hike for the rest of the weekend. No one said that out loud though - no jinx happening here. Today, we headed out around noon to catch the "Its So Miami" day party/brunch in the city at Raised in the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, thanks to BMF Media. After enjoying some good eats and mimosas on the beautiful rooftop with some good company and some very intimate live music, we walked over to the festival grounds in time to catch an awesome energetic performance by Dua Lipa. She had the crowd singing and dancing in the sun while she performed beautifully all throughout the stage. Dua is not only talented, she is incredibly beautiful. Always awesome to photograph. Great start, to what was about to be another great day. After Dua, we met up with some friends by Da Beers, which seemed to have become our meet up and relax spot at the festival. A game of cornhole ensued with some strangers who became friends by the end of the game. Next up was Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Nonstop foot stomping and smiles is what we saw, and what we did. We got nowhere close to the stage to no surprise. Rateliff always seems to pack the house these days with his contagious and fun energy that he brings to the stage for every performance. The band belted out awesome tune after awesome tune and we loved every second of it from the little side corner we watched and rocked out from. Their set was super fun as always. As they closed out their set, we walked to the backstage area of the BMI stage to meet with the beautiful and talented Frankie. Frankie met with us with a smile on her face and a fun attitude. She was down for anything we asked of her during the quick portrait session we had before she took the stage. We caught her performance and she was awesome. It was the first I've ever heard or photographed Frankie, and I was not disappointed. She performed to packed crowd singing along and dancing to her every song. We really dug Frankie. We decided to kick it backstage for a little while and enjoy a few drinks after her set until it was time to head back to the hotel and prepare for another kick ass night. We headed over to the awesome Venue Six10 for another fun after party. Tonight was Flood Magazine's FLOODFest party featuring the DJ duo Classix and one of our favorite crowd surfing bands, Local Natives. Again, this event was sponsored by Deep Eddy Vodka. The tasty cocktails were flowing the music was bringing joy to all of our ears. Local Natives ended their set in true Local Natives fashion, a lead singer crowd surf. We partied until dawn once again.

Dua Lipa performing in Petrillo Bandshell / Lollapalooza

Aurora performing on the Pepsi Stage / Lollapalooza

Frankie BMI backstage Lollapalooza

Muddy Magnolias at FLOODFest After Party

It was now Sunday, fatigue may have slightly begun setting in...slightly. This did not stop us from getting an early start and arriving at the festival around 1pm. We made it a point to enjoy this sunny Sunday like a Sunday Funday. Moving slowly and comfortably with no rushing, we made our way to whatever stage we felt like walking to with no real direction. We found ourselves catching Muna's set. The entire band sported custom made Fuck Trump crop tops as they rocked out. It was clear they did not like the Republican nominee for President. I personally, lose interest with bands that try to push their political opinions on their fans, especially young fans. Nonetheless, they had their young fans singing along and moving their feet throughout the set. After Muna, we found ourselves playing another game of cornhole and making some more new friends. We decided to walk back over to the Pepsi Stage to catch Aurora, another band I had never heard before. I was pleasantly surprised. Aurora belted out tune after tune to a pretty packed crowd beautifully. Not to mention, she was so photogenic. I will definitely be on the look out for Aurora again in the future. Naturally, we had to catch Haim, who were playing right after Aurora at the neighboring Bud Light Stage. Haim, once again, impressed the hell out of us with their unison dance moves and their relatable songs. These girls are always awesome and definitely know how to rock out. Super crowd engaging, fun, and talented. Thanks again, Haim. Haim would essentially close out the festival for us, as we made our way out shortly after to try enjoy the rest of the beautiful city of Chicago.

Muna on the Pepsi Stage / Lollapalooza

The police enjoy a game of cornhole with fans.

Here is some more of what we got from this amazing weekend...

Over the course of the weekend, we noticed, despite the nostalgic list of legendary aged headliners, the majority of attendees were quite young, most likely there for the long list of edm/house DJs playing at Perry's Stage all weekend long. Don't get me wrong, their were plenty of adults attending as well. If you took a walk to Perry's at any point in the day, you'd find a sea of teens and tweens dancing their butts off, most of which looked like they were in another world, and most of which did not have a green bracelet on (the band you get if you are 21 and over). Despite most not having this green bracelet, it was here at Perry's Stage where you probably saw atleast two or three folks falling down or fainting due to dehydration, or making some really odd faces. But hey, maybe it was just the combination of sun, hard beats, and lack of water. We spent much of our time away from Perry's and around some great bands playing at the other stages. We rocked out to some of the established bands at the big stages, but especially liked rocking out at the smaller stages which hosted a number of great up and coming bands. Our favorite stages were the BMI Stage, the Pepsi Stage, and the Petrillo Bandshell. We were able to get closer to these stages and the bands we were close to rocked just as much as the big names.

Like most Lollapalooza's in recent history, we dealt with rain and occasional down pour on the first couple of days. This stopped no one from enjoying the festival. We were graced with sunny skies on the last two days of the festival and we completely forgot about the rain on the days before. The venue was pretty damn awesome this year, as it is most years. Our favorite area was Da Beers Tent serving a wide variety of craft beers and premium beer on tap. In the same area outside the bar, you could play a game of table tennis on one of the many tables, cornhole on one of the four cornhole courts, or even bochi ball. Not to mention, all of these things were completely covered by trees providing comfortable shade. We made many new friends here through game interactions. The festival never ended, as we attended an after party/show every night once the headliners closed out on the grounds. All in all, this was probably the best festival I've attended this year.

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