By Jenny Berg Posted August 8, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT
CHICAGO Grace Potter, a model-esque blues singer from Vermont, took the stage at the Petrillo Band Shell on Thursday night with a bassist in a cocktail dress, a mustachioed drummer, and energetic children from local summer camps. At Galaplaooza, the official preview party for Lollapalooza and a benefit for the Parkways Foundation, staffers wearing “Send a Kid to Camp” pins reminded guests of the evening's cause and asked them to bid on raffle prizes. Otherwise, partygoers had no job but to rock out.
“This year, we expanded the entertainment lineup to include three acts. We wanted to give guests an even bigger taste of the Lolla experience,” said Alison Krzys, the foundation's director of communications and events. Before Grace Potter performed, Walk the Moon and Elizaveta—two more acts that performed during Lollapalooza weekend—sang for the crowd. In past years, only one or two acts have performed.
Nearly 800 guests listened to the bands from sponsored lounge areas filled with plush leather furniture from Classic Party Rentals. Tables came stocked with magazines from sponsor Chicago and yellow glow sticks bearing the Charter One logo. Companies such as Google and Best Buy purchased the lounges, which ranged from $2,500 to $10,000 and each held about 10 guests.
While the event has offered buffet stations and food carts in previous years, this year a line of food trucks stood in a line near the band shell. Guests traveled from vehicle to vehicle to pick up everything from Cuban pork sandwiches to macaroni and cheese and red velvet cupcakes. Open bars slung vodka cocktails from sponsor Grey Goose, and servers also traveled to the lounge areas to take guests' drink orders.