(Check out our Lollapalooza 2011 Photo Gallery)
The ever-growing festival attracted approximately 90,000 fans this year, and filled a footprint that included all of Grant Park, expanding out into the entire length of South Columbus Drive for the first time in the event's history.
Concertgoers were perhaps spoiled by mild and enjoyable weather on the first two days of the festival, as dark storm clouds approached from the south on day 3 and brought with them torrential downpours that turned this festival into the world's largest wet t-shirt contest. Many fans were undeterred by the rain and trounced around in the park's open fields, turning the baseball diamonds into massive rock-and-roll fueled mud wrestling pits.
However, electronic music fans remained mostly dry at Perry's Stage, the only covered stage, which had grown this year to be the size of two large airplane hangars, reflecting the continued surging popularity of dubstep. Hordes of attendees packed the massive tent and danced for hours on end to the styling of DJs including Afrojack, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, and Glitch Mob. Large crowds made Perry's Stage difficult to even approach during mild weather, let alone during "hurricane Lolla".
Canadian house producer Deadmau5 graduated to headliner this year, the first time in the event's history that a dance act headlined a main stage, turning the north end of the park into the festival's largest dance floor. Singer Sofia "Sofi" Toufa even joined in for two guest features. However, mau5heads collectively shook the rain off their fuzzy oversized headgear after the set ended 10 minutes early. A confused crowd chanted "USA!" in hopes that he would return for one more song. It was almost certainly not Deadmau5's decision to stop early - meanwhile, at Perry's, Kid Cudi was cut off with one song remaining before his finale on day three, sending him spiraling into a rage, knocking over two amplifiers in his exit.
The hangover set in immediately the next morning: throngs of concertgoers seeking shelter from the severe rain trampled flower gardens and tore through muddy fields, leaving a wake of destruction in their path. Alaska indie band Portugal: The Man woke up to find their van and all of their equipment stolen. And anyone who purchased the quart-sized plastic squeeze bottles filled with wine almost certainly awoke to a hangover.
Alas, there is a happy ending: the concert promoters had deep insurance policies that covered damage to the park, and as of this morning, Chicago Police had recovered the band's van, trailer, and most of their equipment.