Record Attendance Brings Rave Reviews, Few Arrests, and One Close Call for Lollapalooza 2008

By Michael O'Connell August 5, 2008, 5:01 PM EDT

The grass may still be trampled and muddy in Chicago’s Grant Park after Lollapalooza’s fourth showing since settling in the city in 2005, but there has already seen enough media reaction to assess what everyone thought of the festival. Landmark attendance, A-list parties, and celebrated performances sprinkle the glowing reviews, but a little extra reading reveals that things got a little scary for some on Saturday night.

The Chicago Tribune
took time to acknowledge the magnitude of the event (a record-busting 225,000 fans, with all three days sold out) and to assess the damage. Fortunately, a mere 14 people were arrested, most for being drunk and disorderly. As far as injuries, about 100 were treated during the first two days for dehydration and twisted ankles, and a solitary hooligan received attention for a punch wound.

Rolling Stone had nothing but positive commentary for most of the Lollapalooza lineup and offered a few details from Saturday night’s party at the “Rock the Vote Lounge.” DJ siblings Mark and Samantha Ronson took turns spinning while skeptical guests considered the complimentary tattoo station set up by Chicago’s revered Jade Dragon Tattoo Parlor. Paparazzi tracked Lindsay Lohan to the shindig, where she apparently did not partake in the free ink.

MTV seemed less blasé than other outlets about the wild Rage Against the Machine set that forced the band to stop three times, begging the crowd to find some composure. Citing broken barricades and nervous fans being “knocked over like dominos,” MTV saw the performance as “an ugly and unfortunate end to what had been an otherwise idyllic day in Grant Park.”

Be sure to check out the rest of our coverage of Lollapalooza 2008.

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