Music

10 Artists to See at Lollapalooza 2019

Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman/Courtesy of Lollapalooza

Chicago’s biggest summer music festival is back. Lollapalooza has graced the city with music since 1991, and this year’s event brings more than 170 artists to eight stages in Grant Park. The lineup offers something for all 100,000 estimated fans attending August 1–4.

This year’s headliners include pop queen Ariana Grande, post-punk rockers the Strokes, rapper Childish Gambino, psych rockers Tame Impala, and EDM duo the Chainsmokers. Wear your walking shoes, because there’s a lot of musical ground to cover at Lollapalooza.

Photo courtesy of Beach Bunny/Facebook

Beach Bunny
No surprise, but Beach Bunny was made for summer. Lili Trifilio and company give the summertime blues a surf-pop soundtrack. The Chicago quartet is already making waves, so catch one early.
Details: August 1, 12:50 p.m., American Eagle Stage

Saba
Local rapper and producer Saba is one of Chicago’s best contemporary storytellers. His 2018 album, Care for Me, documents the joy and pain of life in Chicago through anecdotes about neighborhood fights, lectures from his grandfather, and the murder of his cousin. His skillful delivery and dynamic performance are not to be missed.
Details: August 1, 6:30 p.m., American Eagle Stage

The Strokes
As the Strokes celebrate their 20th anniversary, the New York band’s garage rock sound is as cutting-edge as it was in the era when boy bands reigned over the airwaves. Don’t miss the quintet cutting through a field of DJ sets with their dynamic guitar rock.
Details: August 1, 8:45 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Photo courtesy of Janelle Monáe/Facebook

Janelle Monáe
Festival stages were built for the kind of Afrofuturistic R&B–meets–performance art Monáe is known for. Expect a vibrant, high-energy performance that borders on theater. The singer’s 2018 hit album, Dirty Computer, offers plenty of opportunities to dance along in the crowd.
Details: August 2, 6:45 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Gary Clark Jr.
If you’re looking for some old-fashioned rock-and-roll to shred through the noise in Grant Park, don’t miss Texas guitar hero Clark. He delivers everything from blues to reggae to R&B, gaining comparisons to a contemporary Jimi Hendrix. His latest album, This Land, puts the politics back in music by taking on bigotry in America.
Details: August 3, 4:45 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Gary Clark Jr. / Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne’s Lollapalooza appearance is a long time coming. After years of legal battles concerning the delay of Tha Carter V, the album was finally released in 2018. Prepare for an energetic sing-along through the New Orleans rapper’s catalog, including “Lollipop,” “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy,” and “Tha Block Is Hot.”
Details: August 3, 6:45 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Francis and the Lights
If Peter Gabriel and Kanye West had a child, it would be Francis Farewell Starlite. In addition to fronting electronic R&B project Francis and the Lights, Starlite has worked as an engineer and producer for such artists as Kanye West, Justin Vernon, and Chance the Rapper. Expect an energetic display of pop prowess and maybe even a few musical guests.
Details: August 4, 4 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Photo courtesy of Kacey Musgraves/Facebook

Kacey Musgraves
Call it country, but Musgraves makes charismatic music that’s just as much pop with a side of psych and a pinch of disco. After taking home the album of the year Grammy, it’s easy to see why the singer’s take on Nashville twang continues to gain crossover fans. Two-step right past those labels and enjoy her catchy songwriting.
Details: August 4, 6:30 p.m., T-Mobile Stage

Mitski
Catch Mitski Miyawaki while you can. The indie rocker announced that she’s going on hiatus after her tour ends in September, so don’t miss her set, sure to be filled with ample shredding and a dose of performance art in Grant Park. Her 2018 album, Be the Cowboy, was a fresh take on electronic-tinged rock, but we hope that she’s not riding into the sunset just yet.
Details: August 4, 7:45 p.m., American Eagle Stage

Photo courtesy of Ariana Grande/Facebook

Ariana Grande
Grande returns to town after selling out two United Center dates in June. Chicagoans can’t get enough of the pop diva behind hits like “Thank U, Next,” “Break Free,” and “God Iis a Woman.” Expect Ari to close down Lollapalooza with outfit changes, backup dancers, and a string of chart toppers that will have the crowd feeling like the club.
Details: August 4, 8:30 p.m., T-Mobile Stage