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It Cost Over $400K To Fix Grant Park After Lollapalooza

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 13, 2016 8:11PM

Lollapalooza 2016, Day One / Photo: Annie Lesser

It looks like ticket prices aren’t the only sticker shocks associated with Lollapalooza.

The costs to repair Grant Park following the epic summer music festival totaled $453,000 this year, according to the Chicago Park District. That represents a significant increase over last year’s costs, $236,000—almost half this year’s figure. The highest restoration cost in recent years was 2011, when a torrential thunderstorm deluged the park on Day Three and resulted in $1 million in damage.

Some increase in cost was to be expected. The festival, which took place in late July, expanded from its usual three days to four and attracted a record 400,000 festivalgoers. And rain fell on Grant Park during festival prep and the first couple of days of Lolla, acknowledged C3 Presents, the festival organizers who also foot the annual bill, in the Tribune.

Still, that’s quite a cost jump for one extra day and some rain.

Bob O’Neill, president of Grant Park Conservancy, said that Hutchinson Field, on the southeast end of the park, collected significant water and required extra attention; and the rain wreaked some havoc on the grass-seeding process. "The restoration is weather-dependent," O'Neill told Chicagoist via email. "We need rain to water the sod and grass seed but if it is really wet and muddy, which it was, then it is more work to condition the soil and prepare it to be seeded and sodded." He added that the park looks "much better" after having undergone the extensive repairs.

C3 Presents plans to maintain the festival’s new four-day length for next year, too. So depending on how the weather plays out, they could be in for similarly high costs the next time around.

Chicago Parks District did not immediately reply to requests for comment. This post will be updated as necessary.