In two days Lollapalooza will be in full swing. While street closures may be a hassle for some people, the festival is music to the ears for people who count on the money it brings in.
Lollapalooza has a whopping $140 million dollar economic impact on the city of Chicago, not to mention $3 million annually for the Chicago Park District.
Stewards of the park say the inconvenience factor from the traffic and congestion the festival brings, in addition to the damage left in the aftermath, all pale in comparison to the big financial upside of Lollapalooza.
Bob O'Neil, president of Grant Park Conservancy, told NBC Chicago the temporary mess leads to permanent improvements to the city.
“Grant Park is dependent on Lollapalooza now,” O’Neil said. “Thousands of trees planted, different gardens renovated, and new gardens created.”
Not to mention helping bank-roll Maggie Daley Park, and a multi-million dollar overhaul of Buckingham Fountain.
“We've made considerable improvements with Lollapalooza in 11 years,” O’Neil said.
Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly says the benefits don't stop there. A large portion of the $3 million his department gets from ticket sales trickles into improving neighborhood parks citywide.
“[Lollapalooza] means thousands of kids go to camp this summer for free on scholarship,” Kelly said. “Government can't do it alone anymore and these alternative sources of funds have had a great impact.”