Lollapalooza is one of the longest-running music festivals of its nature, and the original touring iteration was one of the defining events of Generation X. But it seems the now-stationary Lolla is leaving that demographic behind rather than growing up along with it. The stats don’t lie: Lolla has become less and less popular amongst an older crowd while building steam with the collegiate age bracket. The Chicago Tribune reports that in the past two years, there’s been a 10 percent decrease in attendees between the ages of 35 and 54, and the number of concertgoers between 18 and 24 has grown significantly to counter that transition. The article also offered comparative percentages of the depreciating number of Gen X-ers attending the fest:
Lollagoers ages 35-44 made up 11 percent of patrons, down from 16 percent in 2012, while fans ages 45-54 comprised 6 percent, down from 11 percent in 2012.
The other demographics remained steady from 2012-14: the 25-34 group comprised 40 percent of the audience while patrons 17 and younger and 55 and older each represented 3 percent of concertgoers.
At first glance, this makes a lot of sense. Festivals are an exhausting time commitment that for many requires a significant amount of substance-consumption to be even remotely tolerable. However, Lollapalooza’s headliners this year were Metallica and Paul McCartney, two artists that definitely skew toward an older fan-base while preserving an all-ages appeal. Despite the appeal of these legacy acts, many of those interviewed in The Tribune’s piece commented that they could sense that the fest is actively trying to appeal to a young crowd, citing uncomfortable fairgrounds as one of the main deterrents for people in their age group…
Jackie Yum, of Belmont Cragin, said she used to get high-fives and compliments about what a cool mom she is take her son to Lollapalooza.
Then about two years ago, she noticed there were fewer hand-slaps and more eye-rolls and sniffs as she pushed her stroller in between stages.
“This year especially, it’s ‘You don’t belong here,'” said Yum, 33, a mother of two who said she has been going to the fest for the last decade. “It’s become a party. It’s not about the music anymore.
Read more here.