Lollapalooza 2011: Gate security was this fest's biggest non-music story
Before Lollapalooza 2012 rolls around, the city and the festival organizers will undoubtedly be spending considerable time and effort in beefing up security around the event. Gate-crashing was a significant issue this year, and emboldened groups of young music fans are literally risking their lives trying to get in.
Last night as I headed north on Lake Shore Drive to catch the Foo Fighters show at Metro, I saw a terrified young couple clinging to a median wall as cars zoomed by. Today, one of the fest cart drivers said she'd witnessed several scary attempts to crash Lolla this year and that two daredevils were hit by cars and taken to the hospital in critical condition. There was a major break-in today via the south Lolla Lounge during the Cars set according to people I know who witnessed it, and I saw several smaller break-ins at the north lounge yesterday.
Could the problem be lessened by beefing up security on the east side of LSD during Lolla hours so that jumpers can't even enter the road? Perhaps, but the cart driver I spoke with said she saw some groups jump out of taxis and attempt to hop the fences. When you've got a portable fencing system around the venue that needs to have access points guards can easily open to admit carts and delivery vehicles, it's not an easy problem to solve. But this is one aspect of Lolla's growing pains that everyone knows must be addressed before next year's fest.