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Lollapalooza Will Grow to Four Days Next Year. Uh-oh.

Chicago’s three-day mega-fest just usurped the better half of a week.

Lollapalooza 2014   Photo: Joshua Mellin

In the spirit of its millennial crowds, Lollapalooza is throwing itself a birthday week. Well, four days to be specific. Today, the behemoth festival announced that the 2016 iteration will run Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31 in Grant Park, effectively adding another 100,000 fans and 40 bands to its already massive footprint.

The extra day was reportedly added to make room for an influx of bands. Lollapalooza talent buyer Huston Powell told the Chicago Tribune he received 1,500 submissions from bands who wanted to play this year, up 50 percent from recent years.

There’s no reason not to believe him, but the added day is also undoubtedly a grab at increased ticket demand. Lolla has sold out in hours the past three years, with three-day passes often going before the lineup is even announced.

Four-day passes cost $335 this year, up from $275 last year, and single-day tickets have inexplicably risen from $100 to $120. Lolla has never said how much of its 100,000 daily capacity is usurped by weekend passes, but the festival stands to increase revenue by at least a few million with the higher ticket prices and extra day (never mind the revenue from 100,000 extra eyeballs for corporate sponsors).

Anyone who’s been to Lollapalooza knows this is a not-great idea. With older fans already peeved by the festival’s increasing nuttiness, owner C3 could choose to kiss the sensible chunk of its audience goodbye.

The party crowd, on the other hand, stands take a different type of hit. Last year, a Lurie Children’s Hospital study determined that Lolla was the biggest weekend for underage drinking in Chicago, and the festival quickly backed that up by sending 238 to the hospital in 2015. Even the people who are stoked know this is a horrible idea:

Of course, it could be worse. In 2012, Coachella expanded to two weekends in Indio, California. So there’s that to look forward to.

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