CHICAGO — For its ninth year, Lollapalooza will bring popular music, food and special events to Grant Park, and while we've seen plenty of it before, we've got some highlights for what's new at the fest this weekend.
Produced by Texas-based promoter C3, Lolla boasts an Aug. 2-4 lineup of well-known and indie bands, local food and features such as Kidzapalooza and the eco-friendly Green Street to keep fest-goers entertained when they're not at the stages.
This year's Chow Town lineup, organized by chef Graham Elliot, features familiar spots like Lou Malnati's, Robinson's No. 1 Ribs and Original Rainbow Cone, but other local favorites will make their Lolla debut to fans hungry between sets.
Glazed and Infused, which helped take the doughnut craze to new levels in Chicago, will also be at Lolla for the first time.
French pastry shop La Boulangerie, with locations in Lakeview and Logan Square, will serve its signature crepes, breads and croissants.
Also new to the fest is Billy Goat Tavern (that's right, the famous cheezborgers have never been to Lolla) and award-winning chef Gale Gand, whose root beer spot will serve up cool ice cream floats and chocolate bananas.
In addition to catching performances by world-known artists, the fest also gives fans a chance to see a few local favorites, some of whom will play their first Lolla stage in 2013.
One of the bigger local names is Chatham's Chance the Rapper, who put out mix tape "Acid Rap" in April to a throng of new fans and plenty of hype. Chance has a busy Friday, when he'll be playing at Chicago artist Hebru Brantley's pop-up shop, at 3 p.m., before taking the Lollapalooza BMI stage at 6:50 p.m. He'll then perform an aftershow at Reggie's, 2105 S. State St., at 10 p.m. with BJ the Chicago Kid.
Also performing at the fest for the first time is Wild Belle, a Chicago sibling duo whose 2013 debut album "Isles" combines such influences as reggae, indie rock and pop. Elliot and Natalie Bergman play an aftershow at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., on Saturday at 10 p.m. and the fest's Lake Shore stage Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Supreme Cuts, a Chicago-based pair made up of Mike Perry and Austin Keultjes, draw from hip-hop, house and rap genres. They'll be at the Petrillo Music Shell for their first Lolla fest on Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
Local folk-country band Rivals of the Peacemaker, from husband and wife Alexandrea and Billy Watson, is scheduled to play the fest's The Grove stage Sunday at noon.
Electronic artist Stratus, also known as Patrick Stratton, will play his first Lolla at the Perry stage Sunday at noon. After being added to the lineup, he posted on his Facebook fan page: "Being from Chicago, Lollapalooza was one of my first real exposures to this beloved culture of ours. Music and gathering on that large of a scale was newly inspiring to me back then, so Its always held a special place in my heartstrings ..."
YAWN, an indie rock band also fairly new to the local scene with the release of their first full-length album, "Open Season," in 2011, will play Petrillo Music Shell on Sunday at 12:15 p.m.
Other Chicago-area bands worth a listen include rockers Smith Westerns, who play the Red Bull Sound Select stage at 2:30 Friday; pop/alt-rock band Makeshift Prodigy playing at the BMI stage at 1:10 p.m. Sunday, and Elmhurst rising stars The Orwells, scheduled to perform at The Grove stage at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Each year, Lollapalooza opens its own pop-up shop at 322 S. Michigan Ave. and operates a Lolla Cart at the Shops at North Bridge a week leading up to the fest. The shops typically offer a mix of freshly designed T-shirts and accessories along with merchandise featured over the years.
New items include this year's commemorative poster, depicting a band of sailors playing as they sink beneath presumably Lake Michigan, designed by Austin contemporary artist Michael Sieben. Also featured is the winner of the fest's annual T-shirt contest, artist Sandra Travezaño Mendoza, who came up with a shirt that judges thought captured "Lolla’s loveably freaky nature."