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Lollapalooza Recap 2019

Chicago is home to many of the nation’s biggest summer festivals. This week, Lollapalooza was a plethora of incredible musical acts to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Lollapalooza 2019 Recap

Lollapalooza has been many things over its near thirty years, from touring festival to stationary, cancelled & revived, underground to mainstream. Indeed, its changing nature has been key to its longevity, as other festivals stick to their guns and get stuck in the mud, or never happen at all (this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the most famous music festival of all time couldn’t get off the ground). But that very change also brings about criticism, of “not being what it used to be,” “following trends, not starting them,” and generally not being as good as it was when you were younger, even while younger fans are experiencing it for the first time.

The 2019 edition was, in many ways, the most mainstream Lollapalooza ever, the most leaning into today and least into yesterday or tomorrow, from all the Instagram moments to Spotify-ready line-ups. But it was also, in other ways, its most diverse, the lack of a focus becoming the focus itself, a chance to see everyone from celebrity DJs to aging rock stars to internet pop celebrities to crossover cultural phenomena, Thursday-Sunday, August 1st-4th.


The first day of Lollapalooza is usually the lightest, having only been added in 2016, not even being weekend adjacent. But the festival has been doing a better job of spreading the wealth, and there was much on Thursday that was Lollapalooza ’19 must-see.

One of the things that hasn’t changed about Lollapalooza is the heat, and usually having to see all but the non-headliners under the beating sun. Only the smaller stages have any real shade, the semi-shaded side American Eagle Stage, the small up-and-comers BMI Stage, and the bonus Bud Light Dive Bar. A running promotion that Anheuser-Busch has bringing to festivals starting last year, it’s a tiny faux-dive bar located behind Tito’s Stage that has side-sets by a handful of Lollapalooza performers. It’s also almost completely in the shade, with picnic tables all around (and yes, sells Bud Light). On Thursday, it had an early intimate performance by Win and Woo, who would later headlining the Tito’s Stage next door. “We started in dive bars, so this is appropriate,” one of the DJ duo introduced themselves with, and they drew a healthy (if bro-heavy) crowd that literally shook the stage – a crewmember had to hold down the speakers.

By the middle of Lollapalooza, the heat has gotten to everyone, one’s initial energy has worn off, and it’s easy to question whether you’ll make it to the headliner. That’s why the festival needs energetic middle-to-late-in-the-line-up acts such as NormaniFitz & The TantrumsH.E.R., and Hayley Kiyoko. Whether at Lake Shore, Bud Light, T-Mobile, or Lake Shore Stages (respectively), they had the kind of big & bold sounds that worked well in the hot & sweaty part of the festival day. And that was true whether for veterans like The Tantrums or newer ladies such as Normani, H.E.R. or Kiyoko – indeed, special mention has to be made of Normani & Kiyoko’s killer dancers.

The Chainsmokers vs. The Strokes. Those were the rival headliners on Day One, and the conflict kind of summed up music today – or at least white people’s music. Do you want to see the highest-paid DJs in the world play the Bud Light Stage (and not Lollapalooza’s usually EDM stage/ghetto, Perry’s Tent), or the band that brought back rock n’ roll at the start of this century/millennium? Do you embrace whatever it is that the kids are listening to today (if not yesterday, and maybe not tomorrow), or do you go for not-that-long ago nostalgia (back when you were a kid)?


As people revved up towards the weekend, on Lollapalooza Friday there was the viral video of a 100+ kids jumping/knocking down the fence to get into the festival, where the only person stopped was a guy with a prosthetic leg. Yet both the festival and the Chicago P.D. were quick to follow-up by announcing that all of those fence-jumpers/breakers were quickly caught inside the festival. And that one guy who was stopped before? He actually ended up getting in, because ’19 artist Rich the Kid got in touch with him online and gave him an artist pass (Rich the Kid himself actually didn’t perform on Friday, his time slot given to Polo G, but was squeezed into the Saturday line-up).

The hot early part of the day at Lollapalooza is when to see the up-and-coming acts, and to see if they’re actually going anywhere. Omar Apollo had a strong crowd for 1:00 PM, when he opened up the second day at the massive Bud Light Stage, as did Boy Pablo right after at Tito’s Stage. The Nude Party have been playing seemingly every festival this summer, and their Cali surf-garage did fit well under the sun at the Lake Shore Stage (bonus points for thanking the techs, “Out all day in the heat, tuning too many guitars.”).


The actual weekend brought the hottest day so far, with less of a breeze off Lake Michigan. Considering the heat wave that had struck much of the United States two weekends before, including cancelling New York’s Ozy Fest, one hopes that global warming won’t do in the outdoor music festival. Not the biggest worry about climate change, not by far, but a definite First World Problem that brings it all a little closer to home (like the avocado shortages…).

Under that sun were the smooth, sweet sounds of Men I Trust at the Lake Shore Stage. They are a fast-rising female fronted act at a festival that had a lot of them. It’s long been the case that music festivals tilt XY (just look at the line-ups of the supposedly forward-thinking nineties Lollapalooza…), but perhaps the music industry is finally giving up the idea that, while women will listen to male act, men won’t listen to female ones. It’s a fallacy across the entertainment industry (has been holding back female movie stars for generations), but it’s never been less true than it is today, a credit to the open-minded & much-derided millennials. Just look at the gender diverse crowd for Bea Miller (the American Eagle Stage’s shade did help, something else with universal appeal), who brought her great girl power, including talking about “rubbing one out” and being called a slut, to great cheers.


The final day of Lollapalooza was overshadowed by the tragic mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Even for all of the talk of America becoming numb to mass shootings, two together hit hard. At Lollapalooza, the idea of a mass shooting at the mass festival comes right to the fore of one’s mind, particularly after both the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting a week ago, and particularly the shooting two years ago at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas – and word that that shooter had initially planned on targeting Lollapalooza, but couldn’t get a hotel room that looked out over Grant Park. 

A more sedate final day of Lollapalooza saw young Ryan Beatty at Bud Light Stage and (Sandy) Alex G sing through his clenched teeth at the Lake Shore Stage; the parenthesized Frank Ocean guitarist has new album House of Sugar coming out next month. Meanwhile, there were the smooth sound of NoMBe at a shady & packed Bud Light Dive Bar, with the performer going through the crowd to stand on the back bar, then back into the crowd, as his set’s end.

Ariana Grande closed out Lollapalooza ’19 at the T-Mobile Stage, because this is the world we live in today (earlier this year, Miley Cyrus played Barcelona’s supremely artistic Primavera Sound ). Were there people scoffing (and not just the photographers, who were all pissed because none of them were allowed to even look at the mega pop star)? Sure, but she had a giant crowd filling all the way up to the side stairs of the main stage. And Grande brought her full show, including expert dancers.

Lollapalooza was never going to be like it was, but nothing is in this new millennium. But it has become what it is now, a giant festival drawing from all four corners of the musical world. It’s also super-professional, something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Coverage: Anique Monae, Miz Venus, Jariel Frazier

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Arts & Entertainment Culture Fashion

amfAR 6th Annual “Inspiration” Gala

Tuesday night, Pop star Miley Cyrus, and  Talk show host Andy Cohen were honored at the 6th annual amfAR Inspiration Gala. The two were honored for their work in the fight against AIDS.  Anderson Cooper, a long time friend of Andy Cohen, hosted the star-studded event. The event featured; a fashion show that was centered around men’s style, and a musical performance by the legendary Mary J. Blige. 

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ICYMI:Nicki Minaj wears Idan Cohen on the cover of Cosmo

 ICjumpsuit nicki on cosmo

When we viewed the Idan Cohen show back in February, we were dazzled by the beautiful intricacy of his work. Apparently, the stylists over at Cosmopolitan were too, since their July cover girl, Nicki Minaj, dazzled in a crystallized body suit from his RTW collection. Mr. Cohen debuted his designs for the first time at New York Fashion Week in February. We have no doubt it will not be his last. As time ticks down to September, we cannot wait to see what Idan Cohen has in store for us with his S/S 2016 Collection.

If you would like to view more of Idan Cohen’s A/W 2015 collection, watch the video below. Courtesy

of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week YouTube Channel:


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The Council of Fashion Designers of America held its annual CFDA Awards on Monday evening at New York’s AliceTully Hall in Lincoln Center. Despite the rain, the stars still shined as fashion’s royalty came out to celebrate and acknowledge the best of the industry.

Arts & Entertainment Fashion

Rihanna For Dior Official Short Video!

As if there were any doubt, Rihanna slays in the new “Secret Garden IV”  campaign video for Christian Dior as the first woman of color to represent the fashion house. Check out the amazingly gorgeous  video here! We cannot wait to see what else the iconic fashion house has in store for the fashion maven who seems to have all the right moves.
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New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF) 2015

 New York City International Film Festival


Announces Schedules and Films

 April 30 to May 7, 2015

NYC, NY – 4/8/15 – The 6th Annual New York City International Film Festival will kick off with an Opening Gala, Red Carpet Black Tie event at the DGA Theatre,110 West 57th Street, New York, NY. It will be followed by the North American Premiere of Phantom Halo, a film from USA, directed by Antonia Bodganovich. Also in  attendance will be  Peter Bodganovich, and the following cast members; Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Rebecca Romijn. 

For 2015, NYCIFF is proud to introduce its major sponsor AirBNB. A special award for The Best International Feature Film will be sponsored and presented by AirBNB at the close of the Film Festival.

This year, the NYCIFF has an excellent line-up of films, with over 100 selections, including shorts, full-length features and documentaries from the USA and 27 countries around the world. Once again providing filmmakers with an opportunity to have their World or North American Premiere presented in New York City.

Every evening throughout the festival there will be a red carpet event, to promote a selected film in order to introduce it to the press and media. Each event will include photo opportunities on the step & repeat with members of the cast and crew of the film to delight  the audience.

On Friday May 1st, NYCIFF will present an exclusive VIP red carpet event at the DGA theatre to introduce, William Shatner who will be presenting his film, Chaos on the Bridge, followed by a special Star Trek Q&A.

The 4rd Annual LATINO FILM DAY will be held In TIMES SQUARE (Father Dufy Sq.) on Tuesday, May 5 (CINCO DE MAYO). NYCIFF will screen the best films from Latin America. At 6:00 pm there will be a red carpet event for the press and media, including a reception until 7:30 PM, followed by the screening at8PM.

The Closing Gala Awards night will take place on May 7th at The Regal Cinema Union Square, New York City, and will include a presentation of Awards in all categories of Shorts and Feature films. For tickets and schedule information, visit the website at


Arts & Entertainment Fashion Featured

The 6th Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards

NEW YORK – March 31, 2015 – More than 450 fashion industry leaders gathered tonight at the Fashion 2.0 Awards ceremony and reception, celebrating the intersection of fashion brand marketing and digital innovation. This black-tie affair feted legendary designer Sam Edelman offering a keynote dedicated to the ever-growing role of digital media in the business of fashion. TV personality Robert Verdi hosted the evening’s events offering his humorous insight into today’s trends. The public votes tallied and it’s been declared that Rebecca Minkoff was the top winner of the night, for the first time since the awards inception being the only brand to take home two awards Best Interactive Retail and Top Innovator. Other winning brands included Dior, H&M, Opening Ceremony, Kate Spade, Net-A-Porter, Dressember, Under Armour, Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch. Cosmic Cart won the Best fashion Startup Award; the founders of BaubleBar Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky were honored with the 2015 Visionary Award.

Arts & Entertainment Lifestyle

Artist Fusion Spotlight: Tali Lennox

In an exclusive interview with Refinery 29, artist and model Tali Lennox tells of her rise in the art world as well as being the daughter of a famous celebrity.

Being a child of a celebrity can be a curse rather than a blessing. Will people take you seriously? Will anyone believe that hard work — and not familial connections — is responsible for your success? Is it possible to become a recognized figure for your own talent when your mother is one of the world’s most powerful musicians?

Arts & Entertainment Fashion

Stevie Boi presents: “CR3AM”

While everyone on the east coast was wishing for the last cold snap of the winter season to move on, the eye wear impresario to the stars, Stevie Boi was heating up the streets of the Crescent city with the debut of his line “CR3AM”. Complete with his signature eye wear, his street-chic line  of two piece printed joggers, mini dresses,  and shorts brought the heat of summer as his models strutted down the runway. 

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The 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

The 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards was held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles California on January 15, 2015. The show was hosted by former NFL star and tv talk show host Michael Strahan. Boyhood’ is Critics’ Choice for Best Picture, which won four awards. Actor Ethan Hawke with the Best Picture award, director Richard Linklater won for best director, actor Ellar Coltrane with the Best Young Actor/Actress award and actress Patricia Arquette with the Best Supporting Actress award for the film.

boyhood collage