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Expect Extra Fencing, Security At Lollapalooza

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 27, 2012 1:45PM

Arrests are made after a crowd rushes security at Lollapalooza. Photo by Flickr user misterbuckwheattree.

Expect increased security and fencing at Lollapalooza next week as concert organizers and the city work to protect Grant Park’s landscaping and keep flash mobs from crashing the festival. The Sun-Times reports that measures are being taken to ensure concertgoers use Grant Park’s walkways and allow the park to be functional after the final notes have been played.

Grant Park Conservancy president Bob O’Neill told the Sun-Times flower gardens and bushes will be fenced off in an attempt to force people to use the paved surfaces and lawns to navigate the festival.

“There’ll be much more fencing off of all the areas with sensitive landscaping. Flowers and bushes and things that can get trampled will be protected. Some of the gardens are quite large and those will be completely fenced off. It’ll be very obvious to concert go-ers that landscaping is more protected this year.”

O’Neill said there will be a heavier security presence and more secure fencing to prevent fence jumpers from crashing Lollapalooza. O’Neill said flash mobs took advantage of points with less security last year to enter the festival without paying. To be fair, there have been gate crashers at Lollapalooza every year and, short of putting up razor wire, we still expect groups of people to overwhelm security at some point and crash a fence.

O’Neill, city and Park District officials and Lollapalooza promoters C3 Presents hope to avoid a situation like last year where flash mobs crashed the festival most of the weekend and the sheer number of attendees, coupled with heavy rains, left portions of Grant Park unusable for months. C3 paid $1 million to help restore Grant Park after the festival. As part of the preparation for this year’s festival, which is expected to attract 300,000 people, O’Neill said there will be a walkthrough of Grant Park and photographs will be taken so there’s a record of what the park looked like before setting up the festival. O’Neill also said the dry weather will help protect the lawn from the masses, as the forecast doesn’t call for rain.