As the sun set on the opening day of Lollapalooza, thousands of fans continued to jump up and down with abandon, pumping their fists to the rhythmic beats of performers at eight stages across Chicago’s Grant Park. Lollapalooza kicked off its 27th annual summer festival August 2, with Arctic Monkeys, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and Jack White as headliners.
Lollapalooza features alternative, rock, hip-hop and electronic artists, from mainstream musicians such as Travis Scott, Camila Cabello and Khalid to more niche musicians, including The Wombats, R.LUM.R and GoldLink.
Headlining Lollapalooza at Grant Park — the festival’s main stage — on Thursday was English rock band Arctic Monkeys. Festival-goers packed together on the south lawn of the festival grounds, some taking part in the mosh-pits, others relaxing on picnic blankets at the back of the massive crowd.
The four-day festival — formerly three days prior to the festival’s 25th anniversary in 2016 — draws crowds in from across the country ready to experience the music, food and environment of Chicago’s most popular music festival.
Valee Taylor, known by his stage name Valee, put on a lively performance for screaming fans at the American Eagle stage Thursday afternoon. The sun was searing and fans packed tightly close to the stage, not bothered by the heat. As a native Chicagoan, Valee felt right at home.
Valee, along with several other friends, bounced around on stage while performing “Miami” and his most popular song to date, “Womp Womp.” The rapper knows how to spread love to other Chicago musicians, such as Mother Nature, who was recently spotted in Valee’s music video for his song, “Juice & Gin.”
At the end of his set, Valee greeted the welcoming arms of fans at the barricade. Valee spent the rest of the festival hanging out with Andrew Barber, the founder and creative behind local music blog, Fake Shore Drive.
At 1 p.m. on a humid August day, crowds filled up the Bud Light stage to hear Cuco perform his trademark bedroom pop. Decked in yellow shorts and shirt, to match the psychedelic graphics, Cuco bought something special to the early set.
The artist debuted “Lo Que Siento” featuring Clairo, who also performed for the festival as well as the Lollapalooza pre-party. Cuco sang his more popular songs, “Lover Is a Day” and “Dontmakemefallinlove,” but turned things up a notch with a trumpet in hand. “When this drops, I need you guys to start a pit,” Cuco shouted to the crowd about the forthcoming drop. The crowd proceeded to do exactly as Cuco said, their hands in the air, filming the moment for their Snapchat and Instagram stories.
Minutes before Jaden Smith was due to emerge on-stage, his fans chanted his name, urging the singer to begin his set. Four overly-eager fans risked their safety and climbed trees to gain a better view of the artist.
As soon as Smith took to the American Eagle stage, holding a Just Water bottle, pandemonium ensued. Fans jumped around haphazardly to tracks such as “Fallen,” “Batman” and the viral sensation “Icon,” which he performed a second time towards the end of the set. In the background, graphics from his widely popular music videos synced to his set. Seemingly satisfied with himself and the crowd’s energy, he lobbed one leg up on an amplifier and decidedly stated that from now he would be “Syre,” an on-brand move for the young artist and entrepreneur.
Famed Texas-native rapper Travis Scott put on a lively, redemptive show at Lollapalooza’s Bud Light stage, the last set at this stage on Thursday. The artist was given another chance at Lollapalooza after his set got cut short five minutes into his performance in 2015 for encouraging fans to climb over security barricades. The set lasted an hour and 15 minutes, during which Scott sang recent and throwback pieces, including “Pick Up the Phone,” “Sweet Sweet,” “Antidote” and “90201.”
In between songs, Scott shared a personal opinion with the crowd, saying he hated privileged sections, where a handful of people received special treatment. The artist proceeded to explain he wished he could perform “behind a curtain” so people wouldn’t have to watch him and could instead focus on raving. In response, the crowd jumped up and down, hands in the air, the ground shaking beneath Grant Park.
Making Travis Scott’s set unique like no other was his longtime friend and disc jockey, Chase B, proposing to his girlfriend. Chase B thanked Scott for helping him get to this point and proceeded to lovingly thank his girlfriend for her love, drawing a ring from his pocket. Chase B and Scott urged the crowd to find the girlfriend and escort her to the stage. When the couple was united, Chase B dropped to one knee and held out a ring to his now-fiancée.
Throughout his set, Scott dropped hints and referenced the dropping of his third studio album, Astroworld, which he has been perfecting for two years. The album was released at 11 p.m., an hour after Scott finished his Lollapalooza set.
Travis Scott closed off the first day of Lollapalooza in the perfect way — giving an invigorating performance that hyped the crowd for the remaining days of the festival.