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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2007/08/30
by Annabel Lukins

Long Live Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza still lives up to its name. It simply rules the festival world. We set up a massive city, over one-mile long, in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park, breathtaking views of the skyline, eight stages, 80,000 people, and a whole lotta eclectic music.

I wish I had massive amounts of stories and photos to share with you, but I don’tmy job just doesn’t allow me that luxury. However, I love the responsibility I have on-site.

My job at Lollapalooza couldn’t be more fulfilling and challenging at the same time. On top of managing 19 artist ambassadors, I manage the artist village: a large area behind the main stage that is home to all the dressing room trailers.

Not only do I create the dressing room schedule, but I have to oversee the change-overs, make sure there is festival hospitality in each and more than thatI am the liaison between the artists and the festival while they spend time in the artist village. Now, granted, I have the coolest boss who runs artist relations, but he spends more time in the office than out in the field.

Here are my highlights: My friend bet me $50 that Amy Winehouse wouldn’t show up. I bet she would. I won $50, but it was a close call and basically got screamed at by her production manager that if she didn’t have this or that, she wouldn’t play.Let’s just say, I made it happen. Obviously I wanted to please the band, but I really just wanted my $50.

Daft Punk is hands-down the coolest live performance I have seen in years. If anyone reading this hasn’t seen a show, YouTube one of their live videos, it’s outrageous!

Pearl Jam is as cool as they ever were. I was surprised how small Eddy Vedder is, maybe 5” 6’, but it is clear how strong his presence is and he was sweet as can be. Their entire entourage was a pleasure to be around.

Ryan Shaw was my favorite new artist at Bonnaroo and even though I didn’t get to see him play at Lolla, I had his artist ambassador bring him to me after his set just so I could give him a hug and tell him that he’s going to change lives.

I spent 5 minutes flirting with G Love.

I danced for 5 minutes at moe. side stage, only to be called out by my boss saying “you are too important to me to get to see any music.” As much as that sounds weird, it was nice to hear.

I escorted Ben Harper, Dennis Rodman and Lance Armstrong to give them special access onto the main stage.

I air-kissed Perry Farrell daily

Besides that, I ran around for 15 hours a day, with my cell phone on one hip, my radio on the other and a comforting feeling inside that I was a part of something really big.

Long live Lollapalooza.

[Editors note: We offer our congratulations to Annabel, who will be married over Labor Day Weekend. She promises to offer a full wedding recap in her next column, including the identity of her top-secret wedding band]

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