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Lollapalooza 2012 Evacuates Audience As Storms Approach

Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Lollapalooza had an unexpected break Saturday (Aug. 4) in Chicago, as fans of the music festival were evacuated due to a pending storm that was approaching the area.

Our reporter on the scene alerted us that there would be a two-hour break in the festivities. The bands were alerted first, with most of the stages shutting down simultaneously. The audience was then alerted of the evacuation, with the masses filing out of Grant Park to clear out for the pending bad weather. The Chicago Police Department New Affairs Officer Darryl Baety told the Chicago Tribune, “It will be closed as of 3:30PM CT due to inclement weather.”

In a release, organizers stated that festivalgoers were being directed to a pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue. The severe thunderstorm warnings remain in affect until 3:45PM CT and a thunderstorm watch is expected through 8:00PM CT tonight in the surrounding counties.

The storm, which was approaching and causing damage from as far west as Rockford, reportedly included hail, heavy rain, lightning and wind gusts up to 75 mph.

Some might remember last year’s Lollapalooza when a torrential downpour occurred during sets from several of the top acts on the bill, with the rain falling the hardest during sets from Arctic Monkeys and Cage the Elephant before Foo Fighters took the stage.

Update: According to the Chicago Tribune, Lollapalooza reopened two-and-a-half hours after the evacuation.

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