GRANT PARK — At Lollapalooza, now a far cry from the fringe festival it began as in 1991, kids with seriously discerning taste in music can rock out to their favorite indie bands just like the adults.
While their parents have to shell out for festival tickets starting at about $95, kids under the age of 10 get in for free and can soak up such acts as The Lumineers, Icona Pop, Imagine Dragons and Phoenix, among others.
That is, if they can make it through without a nap.
"Of all things, he fell asleep during Queens of the Stone Age," said Minneapolis resident Adam Bunge of his 5-year-old son, Luther.
Luther, who had just woken up from his rock-filled sleep, looked a little dazed. But Bunge, 35, said the two had to stay awake to make The Killers, who took the stage Friday at about 8:30 p.m.
At Kidzapalooza, the children-centric area of the fest, kids get the star treatment. They sing karaoke, wear temporary tattoos and hair dye and even practice "Rock Star Yoga" while bands such as the School of Rock AllStars perform.
The AllStars, who range from age 12 through 18, go through multiple rounds of auditions and come from various Schools of Rock all over the country to play Lollapalooza.
"You get to live out a rock-star fantasy," School of Rock band member Ava Cohen, 14, said of both their experience and the experience of their young fans.
"Everyone wants to be a rock star," added band member Molly Kirschenbaum, 15.
Some lucky kids can even meet their favorite musicians if they wait in line at the autograph tents during Lolla.
Charlie Duggan, 5, said he got an autograph from Icona Pop and talked to the band's members, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, on Friday.
"It was amazing," said Charlie, who was going on day two of the fest Saturday. "I talked to [them] longer than everyone else."
For Charlie's second Lollapalooza, he said he was here to see the kids bands. "But Mom and Dad are going to stay a little later than I am so I can sleep," he said.
Charlie also sported a temporarily dyed hairdo, one he got at Kidzapalooza and said was a "surprise" for his parents, Julie and Dan Duggan, who live in West Town. The parents said they approved of the red, white and blue look Charlie picked out for himself.
Some kids are a bit pickier about their music, however.
"Brite Lite Brite were a bit too much," said 10-year-old Beck Nolan of the electronics band that played Friday.
He and his sister, 14-year-old Rosie Nolan, said they were looking forward to seeing the Lumineers, as well as Vampire Weekend, the Postal Service and Mumford and Sons.
Rosie and Beck came with their dad, Jeff Nolan, along with some friends, and the kids said their music taste was both their own and a mix of what their parents loved.
"[We're all] music buddies," said friend Quincy Hayes, 10.
And on festival day two, Beck was already looking ahead to his next Lollapalooza.
"One thing I'd like to see next year is Daft Punk," Beck said.