Lollapalooza reopens after heavy storm puts on show
Concert-goers dance in the rain on Congress Avenue after fans were evacuated from Lollapalooza. (Armando Sanchez, Chicago Tribune / August 4, 2012)
"There won't be riots in the streets," Angelina said, chuckling.
All of the bands stopped more or less at the same time and people were encouraged to leave by the bands before they exited the stage.
"We regret having to suspend any show, but safety always comes first," said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, in a release.
Eventually, the storm itself became the show. Some stranded attendees ran barefoot down the street, embracing the soaking conditions while others snapped photos and videos of blinding lightning strikes, ear-splitting thunder and umbrella-less people scampering through the streets.
"That's crazy," one man told his friend, holding up his camera.
Some fans worried about whether they'd miss their favorite bands.
"There were a lot of bands I wanted to see so I hope they find a way to reschedule those shows," said Jean Compton, 20, of Lincoln Park, who looked forward to performances from Alabama Shakes and The Tallest Man on Earth.
Some of the people who evacuated to the North Grant Park Garage said they went there on their own, and didn't get their information from festival staff.
Alicia Fuentes, 27, visiting from San Francisco, Said she evacuated to the garage only because her car was parked there.
"All they said was 'move now, move now,' no directions. Nothing. We didn't even know what was going on until I called my mom," Fuentes said. "She said there are severe thunderstorms coming through, you better go underground."
Most of the fans evacuated quickly but some initially refused to go, even as the sky darkened.
"Were not leaving," said Ashley Dunn, 21, at about 4:15 p.m., about 45 minutes after the festival was suspended.
Loren Santow, 56, and his friends were stretched on a now-empty bench.
"It doesn't feel like an emergency situation is imminent," he said. That changed by 5 p.m. or so.
ComEd spokeswoman Krissy Posey said that as of 9 p.m., a total of 119,000 customers were left without power because of the storm, with customers in the southern region hardest hit.
That number breaks down to 18,000 people in the city of Chicago, 9,000 in the northern region, 69,000 in the southern region and 22,000 in the west region.
Posey also said that they have restored power to 125,000 customers since the start of the storm.
By 12:45 a.m., power had been restored to about 149,000 customers, according to the company.
As the storm took hold, emergency crews were called out to “many’’ various storm-related emergencies across the city, including downed wires, transformers that were sparking and smoking, and at least one tree that fell in the middle of Waveland Avenue and Fremont Street, Chicago Fire Department spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim said.