It's an entirely different prospect to see music in a festival context, a bloated macrocosm of the cultural landscape that's entirely distinct from an intimate club setting. Scanning Lollapallooza's 2014 line-up
would elicit a positive reaction from any music fan, with a breadth of big-name artists spanning multiple genres, but the high cost of entry and the claustrophobic crowd would serve as enough of a barrier for anyone who is only interested in a few of the acts. And so Lollapallooza - possibly the largest festival in the world, packing out 7 stages with rotating performances sprawling over several Chicago blocks - becomes a commune of folks who "love all kinds of music", whether that phrase is accurate or representative of their base engagement with the nuances of the art. Some in attendance truly were excited by the prospect of being exposed to new artists and taking in some of their favorites, some were so plastered they couldn't even tell me the name of a single group they'd seen that day. A large chunk of the people present were young, rowdy, and taking in the sounds as an accent to their drug experience. This was one of many ways people engage with the huge range of music, with a line-up so stacked people curated their own routes ahead of time. The show could truly become whatever you wanted it to be, a straight-ahead onslaught of some of the biggest names in a particular genre, or an opportunity to catch a wide array of notable artists.