By Kevin Lopez
CHICAGO – Lollapalooza 2022 was one for the history books as J-Hope became the first South Korean headliner in any major U.S. festival. Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot made a surprise appearance to announce a new contract with Lollapalooza that will keep the festival in Chicago for 10 more years.
Lollapalooza has a great impact on the Chicago economy, according to city officials it has generated nearly $2 billion since 2010, including last year when the event brought in $305.1 million. According to CBS Chicago, the contract extension that was agreed upon has many key points that would help the city of Chicago. These include a $2.2 million dollar commitment to Chicago Public Schools, efforts to present local Chicago artists and hire minority and women-owned business subcontractors, and a commitment to hold the festival during the last weekend of July or the first weekend in August.
According to a report by NBC 5 Chicago, this year the number of arrests and hospitalizations decreased from the prior year. City officials refined security measures which helped reduce the number of arrests, as only 15 total arrests were made–down from 31 in 2021–and only 68 hospitalizations were made during the weekend from a variety of issues.
The festival had many artists to note throughout the weekend as it showcased many new and up and coming artists. Sampa the Great, the first Zambian artist to perform at the festival, Maude Latour bringing fresh, youthful energy to the stage, Fletcher showcasing her strong vocals for the crowd, and Gracie Abrams showing her relatability with the crowd and command of the stage.
While the festival also featured established artists and popular hits, like Tove Lo, bringing a more raunchy set that included her running down the aisle to engage with fans and flashing the crowd, Tinashe introducing a more R&B flavor to the festival, Tomorrow X Together bringing K-pop fans to the festival, and The Kid LAROI dancing his way across the stage.
The weekend closed out with Thursday’s headliners Lil Baby, exciting fans with his southern Hip Hop set, and Metallica rocking the stage for the heavy metal fans. Friday ended with Machine Gun Kelly performing his latest album and bringing out guest Avril Lavigne, while Dua Lipa, in a glitter outfit, wowed the crowd with her choreography and a firework show. Saturday featured Kygo, who had the night dancing with his DJ set, and J. Cole playing his older music and featuring some of his newer songs as well. On Sunday, Green Day went above and beyond with their set as they turned back the clock and played some of their older hits, and the BTS army showed out in full force as J-Hope made history.
Lollapalooza announced the dates for next year as it will return in 2023 on Aug. 3-6. The hype for next year is here again as the road to next year’s festival is set.