The Lollapalooza Festival is originally from the USA and the first edition was organised 26 years ago. Since two years the festival also takes place in Berlin and after editions at Airport Tempelhof and Treptower Park this year’s edition was last weekend in Hoppegarten. In this review of Lollapalooza Berlin 2017 we provide you with plenty of photos, some of the highlights but also some aspects which need be improved for next year’s edition.
Lollapalooza Berlin 2017
Just like you might expect from an American festival, the Lollapalooza festival was announced on a big scale. From billboards to television and from social media to radio: The last couple of weeks you read and heard about the festival everywhere. With headliners like the Foo Fighters, The XX and Mumford & Sons, the expectation were high and all tickets were sold out. This meant that the organisation was expecting 170.000 people at a horse track in the east of Berlin. This is a massive amount of people, if you keep in mind that other large German Festivals like Fusion and Melt have about 60.000 visitors. In the end this this also caused problems which have to be improved if Lollapalooza wants people to come back next year. On the other hand there were also heaps of highlights and positive things to point out regarding Lollapalooza 2017.
Let’s start with the good stuff first. All in all there was plenty to enjoy on Lollapalooza 2017 and the organisation also did a lot of things right. Below some of the things we enjoyed and likes about Lollapalooza Berlin 2017:
High quality shows
In the end the most important aspect of a festival is still the acts and music. At this years edition of Lollapalooza Berlin, all acts we have seen have been of a very high quality. Especially bands like the Foo Fighters, Bear’s Den and Rudimental blew our mind. If Lollapalooza can keep up this quality of line-up, we will definitely be back next year.
If you are a fan of a band or DJ and you really want to see the performance from the first row, you probably stand in front of the stage at least half an hour before it starts. In these situations it can be quite annoying when the show starts late. Therefore it is definitely positive that all acts we have seen at Lollapalooza Berlin 2017 started perfectly in time.
This year the Lollapalooza Berlin was organised in Hoppegarten on a horserace-track. The good thing was, especially compare to last year, that it was very easy to have an overview over the location. When you were standing in the middle of the festival you could see all the stages and because the stages each had their own color, it was easy to spot where you wanted to go next. Also the tribunes were great to sit down for a while and still overview the whole festival. The fact that there was only one station leading to the horse track was of course a big problem, but we will get to that later.
Plenty of entertainment
A successful festival in the year 2017 should offer a lot more than just music. It is a good thing that the organisation of Lollapalooza understood this message loud and clear. Visitors were able to sing karaoke in a car, get lost between hundreds of glitters (see photo) and enjoy things like an art-corner, the Fashionpalooza and a sustainable part of the festival called Grüne Kiez. Also the Lolla Fun Fair was definitely worth a visit with performances of acrobats, actors and other enjoying creatures.
Full headliners concerts
Another positive thing about the Lollapalooza festival was the fact that both headliners (Foo Fighters & Mumford & Sons) played over 2 hours of music. Many other festivals promote themselves with famous names but they mostly just play for one hour. The shows of these two bands were simply awesome and made up for a lot of things. If you keep in mind that a ticket for these bands will cost you more than 70 Euro anyway, the price of a Lollapalooza ticket was not too bad after all.
Plenty of toilets
Two years ago, when the Lollapalooza Berlin festival was organised at the airport Tempelhof, there were not enough toilets. The guys were doing their things anywhere they could and the girls had to stand in line for about 30 minutes. It is good to see that the Lollapalooza took this serious and put down enough toilets this year. I have not seen any lines in front of the toilets but let me know if I missed something there.
What needs to be improved
Besides plenty of highlights and positive aspects of Lollapalooza Berlin 2017, this review also needs to point out some things which have to be improved. The organisation of Lollapalooza have to keep in mind that Festivals in the east of Germany are not that expensive most of the time. This means, that when you ask for 140 Euro for two days without camping, people have very high expectations and everything has to be organised near to perfectly. That was not the case at this years edition of Lollapalooza. Below we describe some of the things which need to be improved for next year.
Do not underestimate the home journey
Clear and simple: On Saturday the situation at station Hoppegarten was a disaster. If people need 3 hours to get home after a festival, although the train-ride only takes 20 minutes, the organisation clearly underestimated something. You do not have to the be a psychic to foresee problems if a large portion of 85.000 people need to go home from one single train station. The location for next year has already been announced (Olympiapark) but I sincerely hope that the organisation will keep this in mind during the organisation.
Give your personell better instructions
Personally I was very annoyed about the fact that the personell at Lollapalooza Berlin 2017 did not have a clue about anything. These people are hired to help the visitors out but most of the time they did no have an answer or send you to someone else. If the guy who is responsible for sending people in the right direction does not know where the Press-Entrance is, they have not been instructed well enough. On Sunday we were sent all over the terrain and after walking for at least 1km and talking to 4 different employees about a problem with our wristband, we still did not get an answer.
As can be seen on the photo below, there were very long lines in front of most of the foodstands. In the end we decided to eat a bratwurst, which cost us 5 Euro and we had to stand in line for 30 minutes for it. The price is not the main problem but waiting at a festival is just very annoying because you want to enjoy the music of your favourite bands and djs. Some might suggest getting eating at a different time but it is I guess most people just get hungry in the late afternoon, right?
Don’t make things too complicated
Lollapalooza is a modern festival with cashless-wristbands. Obviously the cashless-system has large advantages but all the planning and organisation before the festival made it a bit less fun for us. On Friday-night before the festival, we were having a long discussion about how much money we were going to need during the weekend. We had to choose between different sorts of packages, add-ons and at that moment we did not know how much the food was going to cost. At one moment we were quite annoyed by it and would’ve preferred to just visit the festival and sort things out over there. I guess my point is, that technology can make live easier but also can take a way the spontaneity of a festival.
Lollapalooza 2018 in Olympiapark
Although the things mentioned above were quite annoying, overall we had a great time at the Lollapalooza festival. The location itself and the music were great and the vibe and visitors were also peaceful and sweet. Next year the Lollapalooza Berlin 2018 will take place at the Olympiapark in the west of Berlin. If the organisation can improve the main issues of this year, the fourth edition of Lollapalooza in Berlin is going to be an even better success. The festival will take place during exactly the same weekend, on the 8th and 9th of September 2018. If you want to keep up to date about next year’s edition, you can check the Lollapalooza Berlin website once in a while.
Below you can see some of the photos of Lollapalooza Berlin 2017. If you have any feedback for us, just let me know: