It's not just record attendance this weekend at Lollapalooza with 270,000 people in Grant Park. As the festival enters its final day Sunday, it's also experiencing a record number of fence jumpers.
Texas-based promoters C3 Presents acknowledge the festival has dealt with gate crashers ever since it set up in Grant Park in 2005, with a notable incident during Rage Against the Machine's headlining set in 2008 and a rash of fence-jumpers in 2010.
But "this year the number and particularly the size of the groups have increased significantly," C3 says in a statement. "Groups estimated as large as 200-300 have been reported by staff as forming in areas along the perimeter. Site crews now continuously work the fence line making repairs to fence panels that have been broken and or cut by groups and individuals."
Most of fence-jumpers have accessed the park along Lakeshore Drive, for three primary reasons, according to C3: "It is the longest and straightest side of the park and offers an almost unobstructed view of what area the jumper will be landing in"; "vehicles illegally stopping for loading and unloading of passengers offers great opportunity to breach the fence"; and "security staffing along the Lakeshore fence line can easily be observed and thus avoided."
Promoters say they are trying to discourage fence-jumpers by installing snow fencing from Monroe Street to Roosevelt Road, placing police barricades and festival security staff on the east side of Lakeshore Drive to monitor street traffic, and double fencing some areas to discourage jumpers.