Chicago, Illinois. Home to the White Sox, Trump Tower, the Bean and about a thousand pizza parlors all claiming to have created the original deep-dish pizza.
Chicago is also the birthplace of Lollapalooza, an illustrious, four-day long music festival renowned for its high influx of marijuana, kooky outfits, and new tunes. Dubbed "the Midwestern Coachella," Lollapalooza is complete with booming music, bright new artists and, of course, an onslaught of wild, slightly crazed music fans.
The various festivities boasted new vocalists like Lauv, Jaden Smith and Dua Lipa, all eager to showcase their work, while veteran artists like Bruno Mars, Arctic Monkeys and James Bay flooded the audience and the stage.
This year, I was lucky enough to attend one of the days of the festival, which included big names in the music industry like Galantis, Travis Scott and Camilla Cabello.
So, what was Lollapalooza like, you ask? Three words for you: It. Was. Wild.
The very aura of Lollapalooza itself was pure energy. It was a hot ninety-eight degrees in the park, and the air smelled heavily of weed, pizza and sweat. But everyone was bustling around, running and talking about who they were excited to see. The city had shut down an entire block for the festival, with stages spread out all across the street. The whole day was filled with music, but the big leaguers, the most popular artists, didn't come on until about 5:00. There was not one unhappy face gracing the crowds, only the frenzied, overjoyed faces of people in absolute euphoria, letting the music take over there minds and bodies.
Needless to say, it wasn't all images out of a princess picture book. There were people collapsing from dehydration and overconsumption of alcohol. There was a huge line outside the medic tent filled with partiers who had gone too hard. But there was more than just that.
There were the Instagram couples who were only there for pictures. There were the college bros and sorority hoes boozing it up in the VIP section. There were music lovers going crazy in the mosh pits, and native Chicagoans shaking their heads at the stupid antics of the people around them. There were complete strangers stopping to lend a helping hand or carrying an unconscious man or woman out of crowds to safety. There were kids giving water to a dehydrated friend, or a group of teenagers chatting amicably away with the people next to them in the street.
To me, Lollapalooza was a cord that connected seemingly random people together through the appreciation of music, the desire to have a good time and the desperate need to make a memory of life. Because life, like music, can be extraordinary if you just stop for a moment to listen and watch the flow of humanity around you.
In other words, definitely go to Lollapalooza next summer. You might just have a brilliant, life-altering time.