Lollapalooza 2012 Evacuated Saturday Due to Severe Thunderstorms
For the second year in a row, severe weather wreaked a little havoc on Lollapalooza, but this time organizers were better prepared. The bands and audience were evacuated from the Grant Park grounds Saturday (Aug. 4) in anticipation of a severe thunderstorm expected to hit the area.
Our reporter on the scene alerted us that there would be a two-hour break in the festivities. All of the stages were shut down to let the audience know of the evacuation, with the masses filing out of Grant Park to clear out for the pending bad weather. The Chicago Police Department New Affairs Officer Darryl Baety told the Chicago Tribune, "It will be closed as of 3:30PM CT due to inclement weather."
In a release, organizers stated that festivalgoers were being directed to a pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue. The severe thunderstorm warnings remain in effect until 3:45PM CT and a thunderstorm watch is expected through 8:00PM CT tonight in the surrounding counties.
The storm, which was approaching and causing damage from as far west as Rockford, reportedly included hail, heavy rain, lightning and wind gusts up to 75 mph.
Last year's Lollapalooza had their own weather issues when a sudden rainstorm left audience members seeking trash bags or hooded clothing to fend off the weather outburst.