Lollapalooza Funding Used Throughout Chicago Park District
Chicago is currently the center of the musical universe.
Lollapalooza 2015 is well underway, with bands playing on seven different stages throughout each day. An estimated 100,000 music fans fill Grant Park each night for the three-day festival.
And while the park is sometimes destroyed and the streets are closed, which irritates drivers, there is a big benefit to the festival.
"Lollapolooza is a big fundraiser for Chicago Parks," said Bob O’Neill, who’s the Grant Park Conservancy and Advisory Council President.
For example, Lollapalooza built Washington Park, which is where Larry Burns is celebrating his 7th birthday.
"I play in it, I get wet in it, and sometimes we play with the toys," Larry said.
You don't have to go far to see how important Lollapalooza is to Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.
"They'd probably be on the streets doing things they ain't supposed to, so this is keeping them occupied," said Larry’s mom Jasmine Gray.
Lollapolooza pumps $140 Million dollars into the Chicago economy.
The Park District gets $3 million dollars from the festival, with the majority of the money going toward renovations and children's programming at the city's 580 neighborhood parks.
"With Grant Park we've had thousands of trees planted, money went into Maggie Daley Park, the restoration of Buckingham Fountain, we've created gardens with the money," O’Neill said.
With Chicago parks suffering a multi-million dollar loss of state funding, Grant Park alone depends on money from the festival.
"If we don't bring more tourists and also make it a better place for people who live in Chicago, then we're not going to be able to compete with other cities and Lollapolooza is a part of that," O’Neill said.